Glycine is a entry to medium-level Swiss brand which is mostly known for their Airman Pilot watches. However, they produce a variety of different timepieces including dive watches, dress watches and military/field watches. Glycine Incursore is an example the latter group and today we are going to have a closer look on a California dial variant of this watch in my hands-on review.

Before we discuss the watch itself, I wanted to tackle one more subject. Glycine as a company seems to be having a little identity crysis. Their watches were priced quite high for many years starting at around $1000 mark with many models reaching $2000-3000. In my personal opinion, they were artificially bumped to create an illusion of a luxury Swiss brand.

However, something snapped at Glycine headquarters. Perhaps sales weren’t too good? I don’t really want to speculate on that. The fact is, that the company changed their prices policy dramatically and started to sell their watches for fraction of the price from the tags. I’ll admit that was the main reason I decided to jump on the Glycine bandwagon and purchased the Glycine Incursore California dial we are reviewing today. Just to make you aware what kind of price drop we are talking about, the price tag on this watch is $1400 and I got it brand new off a grey market for $299. That’s almost 80% off!

Packaging

Glycine Incursore comes in rectangular black cardboard box with a warranty card in a separate sleeve. The box in nicely executed and fits the aesthetics of the watch. It’s not the most rich packaging out there but there’s also nothing to complaint about.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic

Case, crown

Glycine Incursore has a really interesting case. It’s 316L stainless steel case, which measures 44 mm in diameter and 52 mm lug to lug. What’s special about this watch is it’s height which measures only 10 mm. That’s a really slim profile for a watch that’s 44 mm wide. I prefer taller watches but I can definitely give credit to Glycine for this engineering achievement. Keep in mind that this slim case has a see through caseback, a water resistance of 100 meters and it holds and automatic movements inside. That’s quite a lot and I can appreciate the effort here.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic

The case is entirely brushed, which is a good thing for a military style watch. This kind of watch is meant to be abused so it will hide scratches better with a such kind of finishing. I love when watch companies make drilled lug holes and luckily Glyince does that too. It makes strap changing so much easier.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic

At 3 o’clock there is a huge signed crown with Glycine logo. The crown screws down to the case, and it’s one of the reasons this watch is 100 m water resistance. The crown is easy to operate and works really smoothly. My only complaint would be that the logo on the crown does not align with the case when it’s screwed down. But that’s really nitpicking.

Dial, hands, crystal

Glycine Incursore California features, as name suggests, a california style dial. It’s a kind of dial when half of the indices are Roman and the other half is Arabic. It’s an interesting style often seen on old military watches made by Rolex and Panerai. It adds some dimension to the dial and attracts the attention of non-WIS people. I really like it personally. Speaking of military style, I really enjoy this highly legible military look and feel. For some reason this Glycine reminds me of that minimalistic Panerai style. I’m aware that they are completely different watches but there is this common vibe going for them.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic

All the indices on the dial are printed with thick layer of Swiss superluminova, which is quite strong and glows nicely in low light conditions. Just below 12 o’clock there is an applied Glycine logo, which happens to be the only glossy element on the entire watch. I’m not sure if I really like it, I probably preferred if it was a simple printed logo to be more inline with the overall understated aesthetics of the watch.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic

For all the date complication enthusiasts, there is a date window at 4 o’clock. I’m usually not a big fan of date function on such kind of dials but it suits here very well. It’s understated and doesn’t disturb the balance of the dial too much.

Keep in mind that Glycine Incursore is a Swiss made watch, so the company couldn’t miss the opportunity to denote this information on the dial. As usual, you will find the Swiss Made printing on the 6 o’clock position.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic

The version of Glycine Incursore I currently own, is the older generation of the watch. It features so called syringe style hands and I think they complement the watch very well. They also happen be filled with the same Superluminova as the hour markers.

The whole front of the watch is protected by a flat mineral crystal. And this is my only major complaint about the watch. Not only it’s not a sapphire but there also is no AR coating on either side of the crystal. I think it’s a real shame and unnecessary omission. Don’t get me wrong, the watch is still highly legible and you will have no trouble to read time in any condition. However, it  takes away a lot of aesthetics of the watch as under certain angles the dial will appear greyish instead of deep black.

Movement

The watch is powered by GL224 automatic movement. It’s just rebranded Swiss ETA 2824-2 with a custom rotor.. This movement is a classic workhorse by ETA which won’t let you down. 28 800 VPH, hacking, hand-winding, 40 hours of power reserve, we all know and love that. Nothing more see here, let’s move along.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic

Straps and wearability

Glyince Incursore California came on a black leather strap, which I replaced immediately with this light brown G.Gerlach strap, which comes with their latest PZL.24 Karaś. Don’t get me wrong here. The supplied strap by Glyine is fine and it’s actually of pretty high quality. Just aesthetically, this brown thicker G. Gerlach strap worked for me better and matched the military style of the Glycine Incursore.

Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic

As I mentioned before, that watch has a really slim profile which might be a hit or miss for many people. I prefer taller watches myself but there is something special about this slim profile of Glycine. It hugs you wrist really well and after some time you can almost forget that you are wearing a watch. However, at 44 mm with “all dial” design, the watch feels rather big on your wrist. Even with my 7,5 inch wrists I prefer it was 1-2 mm smaller in diameter. Nevertheless, it wears comfortable due to its slim profile and light weight. If you are into outdoor activities, it’s really interesting proposition.

Conlusions

Glycine Incursore California is a tough watch for me to rate fair. You have to look at it from two different angles. From the $1400 tag price angle it’s not really an interesting proposition and I haven’t really looked at these watches closer before simply due to their steep unjustified price. However, if you can get this watch new at around $300 mark that’s a completely different story. You get a pretty interesting package for your money: a Swiss Made watch (even if it’s just a label), ETA automatic movement, really well made slim profile case, and an interesting minimalistic military design. The only letdown is the lack of AR sapphire crystal but I think it can be forgiven at this price range.

The case of Glycine is a really interesting subject and huge eye-opener for Swiss watches market in general. There is this unhealthy trend going on that many Swiss brands artificially bump the prices of their watches to unacceptable levels just to create an illusion of luxury and to convince customers that they are getting something special. I despise it. It’s all cool and dandy as long as sales are good. But when the sales aren’t as expected companies like Glycine start to panic and try to change their strategy just to stay alive. Suddenly, they can sell their $1400 watch for $300 and STILL make profit. If that’s not a rip-off then I don’t know what is.

PROS:

+ Great value for money at $300

+ Swiss ETA movement

+ interesting design

+ very good build quality

CONS:

– the lack of Sapphire crystal

– the strap could have been better

– shady pricing policy by Glycine (although it’s not directly ralated to the watch itself)

Model Glycine Incursore California Dial Automatic
Diameter 44 mm
Thickness 10mm
Lug to Lug 52 mm
Lug width 22 mm
Crystal Flat mineral crystal, no AR
Movement GL224 (ETA 2824-2) Automatic, date, hand-winding, hacking
Water resistance 100 m
Price $1400 Price tag, available for $299

 

Image Gallery

Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
Glycine Incursore II Automatic Glycine Incursore II Automatic
6.8 Good

Glycine Incursore California is a tough watch for me to rate fair. You have to look at it from two different angles. From the $1400 tag price angle it's not really an interesting proposition and I haven't really looked at these watches closer before simply due to their steep unjustified price. However, if you can get this watch new at around $300 mark that's a completely different story. You get a pretty interesting package for your money: a Swiss Made watch (even if it's just a label), ETA automatic movement, really well made slim profile case, and an interesting minimalistic military design. The only letdown is the lack of AR sapphire crystal but I think it can be forgiven at this price range.

The case of Glycine is a really interesting subject and huge eye-opener for Swiss watches market in general. There is this unhealthy trend going on that many Swiss brands artificially bump the prices of their watches to unacceptable levels just to create an illusion of luxury and to convince customers that they are getting something special. I despise it. It's all cool and dandy as long as sales are good. But when the sales aren't as expected companies like Glycine start to panic and try to change their strategy just to stay alive. Suddenly, they can sell their $1400 watch for $300 and STILL make profit. If that's not a rip-off then I don't know what is.

  • Design 8
  • Quality 7
  • Value @$300 9
  • Value @$1400 3
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0
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About Author

Watch enthusiast who loves to take photos of his watches, blogger, and founder of Lug2Lug.

  • Ally Porwal

    “My only complaint would be that the logo on the crown does not align with the case when it’s screwed down”

    You realise…that if you need to twist the crown to set the time, the crown will often end up pointing a different
    direction before you then screw it down?

    Pretty much every time you screw it down it will be at a different alignment.

    • That’s not true. It always align the same way, perpendicularly to the case. See the photo.

      For instance, Damasko watches always align their logo on their screw down crowns. It’s just a matter threading the crown properly.

  • dennis

    The logo reads ” Swiss made ” , all in all not bad at $300 for the entry newbe , but i rather
    spend the $300 on a Seiko, more bang.

    • It would say that’s a great package for $300. If someone likes the style, it’s really hard to find a better deal in my opinion. But I agree with you, I would prefer to spend that $300 on a Seiko myself 😉

  • antisyphus

    You mentioned a few times that this is not a sapphire crystal, but in one of your images “sapphire crystal” is written right on the case back. I am confused which is actually the case.

  • Stanley K

    Perhaps the sales strategy is something that’s driven from Invicta headquarter who now owns Glycine?
    I mean, nobody (absolutely nobody) buys Invicta watches with their ‘retail price’ right?