Glycine Airman No1

Why are Glycine watches so cheap?

Known for producing the functional pilot and dive watches, Glycine is a Swiss watchmaker. Let’s look at why are Glycine watches so cheap. Their flagship collection, the Airman, is offered at a lower price compared to other watches that offer comparable GMT capabilities. You can learn about Glycine watch prices in this article. You can also look at some of this watchmaker’s current listings and decide which ones would be the best additions to your collection.

Affordable Glycine watch

About Glycine Watches (Airman, Combat)

Since 1914, Glycine has produced useful tool watches with simple designs. Since its introduction in 1953, the Airman collection of pilot’s watches has been a mainstay of the Glycine portfolio. The Airman is the perfect watch for pilots because it was one of the first timepieces to ever have a 24-hour display with a second-time zone. Top models nowadays have a third-time zone and are made of bronze. For enthusiasts of classic watches, Glycine also has a wide selection of retro models based on previous Airman timepieces. Some editions, like the Airman 40 No1, are extremely rare. This watch is one of only 1,000 made.

The other major Glycine collection is the Combat. It has a large selection of diving watches with unidirectional bezels and a 200 m depth certification (20 bar, 66 ft). The most notable variants have a helium escape valve and are water-resistant to 500 m (50 bar, 1,640 feet). Saturation diving is safe for these timepieces. The case comes in bronze or stainless steel. A few variants come with a gold or black PVD coating. There are also two-tone watches that resemble something from the 1980s. There is something for every wrist and taste in the 42 to 48 mm size range. Combat dress watches with a leather band or a golden tone are likewise sporty yet elegant. When worn with a formal outfit, these watches look fantastic.

Prices for Airman Watches

The Airman Vintage series is your only option if you’re searching for a vintage Glycine Airman. Each of these watches has a size of 36 or 40 mm. The smaller variants are the exact same size as the vintage 1950s wristwatches. The Airman No1 is offered in all sizes and has a particularly striking similarity to the first versions. Additionally, this vintage timepiece is available with or without a GMT hand and a matte black or matte silver dial. There is a 1,000 piece maximum run for each Airman No1. For less than 1,300 USD, you might even find a brand-new example if you look patiently online in Chrono24. The prices of other standard edition models, like the Airman Vintage “The Chief” and Airman “DC 4”, are similar.

Since bronze watches have become increasingly popular in recent years, numerous manufacturers—including Glycine—have added them to their product lineup. The Airman 44 Bronze GMT Automatic model is available from the Swiss manufacturer with a brown or blue dial and complementary strap. This bronze watch has a 24-hour dial, a date display at 3 o’clock, and a rotatable bezel with a 24-hour scale, just like its stainless steel counterparts. Inside its case, the GL293 caliber continues to run. This Sellita 300-1 or ETA 2893-2-based movement has a 42-hour power reserve. The retail price for this model is about $2,175 USD. However, by buying a used model, you can save even more money. A brown dial and strap timepiece in mint condition costs about $1,400 USD. Some pieces from the blue edition are less expensive than $1,100 USD.

Prices for Combat Sub Watches

The 42-mm models on a stainless steel link bracelet are wonderful entry-level diving watches and cost about 500 USD new. At around 780 USD, their larger, 48-mm sister counterparts are a little more pricey. The price of the bronze and gold-plated editions, together, is about $750 USD.

One of the best models in this collection is the Combat Sub Aquarius. The helium escape valve and 500 m of water resistance on this type enable it to dive with expert divers during saturation dives. The valve is screwed into the case and is located at 7 o’clock on the left side of the case. This timepiece is powered by the ETA caliber 2824, which also provides its date display. A built-in rubber strap keeps the watch firmly in place on your wrist. The starting price for this model is about $9,00 USD.

Why are Glycine watches so cheap?

After looking at a few watches from the Airman and Combat Sub collections, which have starting prices of about $500 USD, some of the reasons for the affordability of these watches come down to the fact that they use ETA and Sellita base movements inside rather than in-house movements, which keeps the cost of making these watches low. When watch companies begin producing their own in-house movements, their prices typically start to rise, as Oris did in 2014.

Since Invicta Group acquired Glycine in 2016, brand recognition has generally been affected, and in order to compete with other watch brands like Seiko and Longines, their pricing should be lower.

How much are Glycine watches?

For your next Glycine watch, I suggest shopping on secondary markets. You can sometimes find New/Mint condition at a significant discount, below current pricing of the popular Glycine watches: :

ModelPrice (approx.)Diameter
Combat Sub500 USD42 mm
Combat Sub Aquarius900 USD46 mm
Airman No1835 USD36 mm
The Chief “PURIST”840 USD40 mm

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