Glycine Combat Sub Wristwatch Review

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Jacky Chou

The Glycine Combat Sub is a smartwatch that combines military-grade durability with the convenience and functionality of an everyday watch. The Glycine uses a proprietary G10 steel, which turns out to be harder than some other materials on the market. This makes it possible to build more robust wristbands without compromising comfort or appearance in any way.

The "glycine combat sub 39 review" is a watch that has been designed for the military and law enforcement. It can be used in the field and is water resistant up to 200 meters.

Combat Submarine Glycine is a contemporary classic with ideal proportions and exceptional build quality. It's also one of the most well-liked watches that Glycine produces, and it comes in a variety of color schemes and variations.

Glycine Combat Mens Analog Swiss Automatic Watch with Leather Bracelet GL0188
  • Featuring a Dark Brown Band, Case, Scratch Resistant Sapphire...


One of the most well-known timepieces produced by the Swiss business is Combat Submarine Glycine.

I shouldn't be shocked since the Combat Sub, with its almost ideal proportions, exceptional construction quality and precision, and timeless good aesthetics, hits the "sweet spot" — or many of them.

In reality, Glycine has made extensive use of the Combat moniker, introducing versions like the Combat 6 and 7 Automatic, Combat 7 Manual and Chronograph, Combat Iguana Quartz, among others, to complete out the current range.

The Combat series undergoes considerable variation, with new iterations seeming to be issued annually.

In fact, if there is anything that can be said about the business, it is that they could be attempting to overuse the Combat brand. At some point, the lineup will need more than just a new coat of paint.

But let's hope that the traditional Combat Sub will always be there with its sharply patterned semi-serif typeface.

Combat Submarine Glycine

I just recently became familiar with the Glycine brand, and I learned about the Combat Sub when looking for a sport/dress diving watch roughly three years ago. Since the closest I've ever been to diving is using a friend's equipment to sit at the bottom of a pool one day just for fun, I refer to myself as a "desk diver."

I suppose I'll have to believe Glycine when she claims that the Combat Sub was initially produced in the 1960s. Sincerely speaking, I don't recall ever seeing a combat submarine older than five years, but who knows?

Apparently an offshoot of the military market created for the Airman, glycine gained somewhat of an underground notoriety with the Airman 24-hour watches during the Vietnam War. Although Glycine is typically not a particularly well recognized brand—at least in comparison to names like Seiko, Rolex, TAG Heuer, and the rest of the ultra-marketed (and ultra-hyped) wristwatch brands—it is a staple of the Glycine product range.

Since I've been aware of the watch, the fundamental Combat Sub design hasn't altered all that much, and it's evolved into a kind of "modern classic." The Rolex Submariner design is heavily influenced by diving watches in general, and the Combat Sub is no exception; there are many similarities between the two. Not that I'm drawing comparisons, but the Combat Sub, along with a plethora of other diving watches, has a lot in common with the iconic Rolex design.

Let's face it: if you're creating a straightforward dive watch, you really couldn't do much worse than simply slap an ETA 2824 or a similar movement into a 40-42 mm case, add a sapphire crystal, a screw-in crown, and a serrated bezel, and call it a day. There are more variations like it than Crayola makes crayons, and some of them resemble the Submariner so closely that they would rather be considered "fakes" than "homages." Sometimes the old Rolex design is directly reproduced down to the text, language, and hands.

I'm not even claiming that the Combat Sub is one of them, even if it does exhibit certain distinctive Glycine traits. In fact, several business owners, although earning six figures annually, would never dream of donning a Rolex watch due to the negative connotations the brand holds. I'll stop here.

The contemporary Combat Sub is available in a wide range of variations, including the newest "Stealth" versions with hardly legible contrast and just about every color and strap combination one could imagine. But in general, the Combat Sub is a strong, dependable worker that can also be easily read when its colors are used correctly. In the end, that's what counts since, in my view, a wristwatch is just jewelry if it can't tell the time at a look. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it; that is its main goal.

The white-handed, blue-faced Combat Sub succeeds in the exam with flying colors.

Fighting Sub Details

I believe that the Combat Sub has "ideal" proportions for the twenty-first century. It is 10.5 mm thick and 42 mm broad (without the crown). Modern timepieces should be worn in this "sweet zone" between large and tiny. And it shouldn't be too thick to prevent it from fitting under a dress shirt's buttoned sleeve cuff.

It looks as beautiful on a 7′′ wrist as it does on an 8′′ wrist, however anything smaller or larger may not be as flattering. According to this NOAA converter, the watch is rated for 20 ATM (atmospheres), which is 678 feet, and features a traditional stainless steel casing. Anyone would consider that a serious diving watch.

With its orange bezel and blue "anisotropic" face, the 3863.18AT O1 (also known as Ref. 3863) variation of the Combat Sub has evolved into something of a Glycine classic. This watch first made me wonder, "Blue and orange? "Are you kidding me? " But it absolutely (and soon) won me over, and anybody acquainted with the brand can now identify this color scheme, together with the equally iconic 386319AT N-D9 (black face, orange/red hands, and chapter ring), as a Glycine Combat Sub.

It has the standard and anticipated characteristics: a screw-down crown with a large rubber O-ring gasket underneath it that is highly serrated. The crown doesn't need to be tightened up all the way. You just need to apply enough pressure to slightly compress the O-ring, and you'll be OK.

Sadly, the orange bezel's numerals are not etched, however the color on this particular piece has held up flawlessly. A very thin lip to help maintain the painted surface and a metal "bump" at the 12 o'clock position make the bezel stand out in the dark are two minor elements of the bezel that you may not notice unless the owner pointed them out. It also helps if there is a little lume dot there.

The sapphire crystal complements the watch's very flat display and contributes to the Combat Sub's "readability". This example's white hands on dark blue dial creates a striking contrast, and the numbers' usage of the gorgeous, vintage Glycine semi-serif typeface is one of the watch's greatest and most distinguishing aspects.

Because the numbers on my Combat Sub are so fantastic, I have never found any watch of any kind, brand, or price that gives me the same rush (other Combat Sub variants have a more modern, sans serif font that gives the watch a slightly unfinished look, in my opinion).

The "Mercedes Benz" hands may have been copied from the Rolex design a little too closely, but they do function. The minute hand is extra-long and touches the small 15-second indices, which are separated by a little broader line, directly at the minute mark. This watch's professional and rich aesthetic is created by the Seconds hand's rectangular semaphore running precisely halfway down those indices. This tiny but significant design choice also improves the watch's capacity to swiftly tell its owner the time.

Additionally, the hour hand is clearly recognizable from the minute and second hands while simultaneously indicating the hour thanks to its ball-and-arrow design (again inspired by Rolex). It's understated yet, in my opinion, ideal.


The majority of Glycine's Combat Sub watches employ SuperLuminova, and this one is among the best examples of that lume. Of course, the lume area isn't as large as, say, one of those Seiko Monsters due to the size of the numerals and indexes. But in my perspective, the Combat Sub performs far better than a Monster as a "dress/sport" diver, so the balance is there.

Let's face it; diving isn't for everyone. Since the 1960s vanished into obscurity, there is no need for a serious diver to wear this or any other dress/sport diver. In 2012, if you dive, you're likely wearing a digital dive computer of some kind. If you're not, you're likely snorkeling or swimming.

There's absolutely no way I can see somebody diving to a depth where it's so dark that they have to rely on the lume using the Combat Sub, Rolex Submariner, or any of its millions of knockoffs. Sorry.

Back to Case & Case

The Combat Sub case doesn't really stand out in any particular way; it's just a typical stainless steel casing that you've probably seen a dozen (or more) times before, despite being well-made. The bracelet variants include a great "fill-in-the-lugs" end link that simplifies the appearance and enhances the dress/sport appeal despite the lugs' average length and possible thinness. Although I have never taken the bracelet off of this one, the end link seems hollow; otherwise, the metal is of great quality, and the brushed polish is uniform.

Another modest detail that raises the dress factor a few notches is the case's polished surfaces along the sides and brushed finish on top. Although this watch's orange bezel somewhat reduces its dressiness, generally, the Combat Sub can pretty much go with whatever dress attire I'll be wearing.

The word "Combat" is located behind a pair of what seem to be dolphins in a "dolphin and anchor" configuration, which is a wonderfully done Glycine logo. This seems to be the Combat Sub logo used for marketing. When placed against an etched backdrop, the text and pictures give the impression of being acid-etched or at least somewhat elevated. Depending on your level of sensitivity, the text and pictures are nearly too sharp, rubbed away the hair on the back of the wrist. Maybe a little Scotchbrite brushing would take care of the rough edges.

The lugs are drilled through in traditional Glycine manner for the spring bars, which is a bonus on the diving watch factor score table. The spring bar may be removed by compressing the spring using the tool that Glycine often supplies, or a tool can be easily acquired from a watch supply shop. I haven't taken the bracelet off this one yet, but previous Combat Sub versions feature what seems to be a beautiful Glycine rubber strap. Compared to the dressier bracelet version displayed above, the black-faced Combat Sub with its rubber strap seems more "business-like."

With this grade, the casing is undoubtedly one of the thinnest you'll find on a diving watch. It is highly challenging to impossible to design a diving watch much thinner than this and yet have it certified for any significant pressure resistance due to the physics of pressure vessels.

Operation and Movement

The common ETA 2824-2 movement is used by the Combat Sub once again. The Combat Sub's date window is located at the recommended 3 o'clock position and has a white backdrop in this version. The contrast to the blue display does not irritate me as much as it does on other watches since the window in this instance is tiny enough and strategically positioned. Additionally, the white hand color and date window match.

The 2824 in this watch, like it is in every other Glycine watch I've had—and I've owned many—is very accurate. Due to the hacking function included into the 2824-2 and the ability to accurately aim the hands at a number or indice on the Combat Sub face, the movement is quite smooth and can be adjusted exactly.

The minute hand does have a little play, however I do find that I have to offset it by around 5 to 10 seconds beyond the minute I'm setting it to. On pretty much every hacking watch, this impact is more or less perceptible.

The "glycine combat sub vintage" is a watch that has been designed for the military. It is made of stainless steel and has a black rubber strap. The watch also features a dial with three hands, an analog display, and a date wheel.

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Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the co-founder of Uberwrists and has gotten into watches from his father from a young age. His first watch was a black G Shock that was comedically large for his wrist. He appreciates watches from Seiko to a Patek Philippe.

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