Claimed to be inspired by Glycine military watches that were produced during World War II, this oversized Glycine KMU 48 (ref. 3905.99AT.LB90) has been here for ages. From time to time, the Swiss watchmaking company refreshes the range with new versions, new finishes and new materials, even including such high-tech ones as carbon fiber. Featuring the same oversized steel case with black PVD treatment, and a refreshed dial, this Glycine KMU 48 Black seems to be the new big thing in all meanings of this word.
The first thing that captured my attention here is, of course, the “layer cake”, Panerai-style dial that features an upper, matte-black layer with cut-outs for oversized Arabic numerals and dot-shaped hour markers, and a lower layer, which is painted with an unspecified luminous substance (possibly, some greenish Superluminova).
Besides looking cool and providing the watch with an extra feeling of depth, the layout also seems to be quite legible and very easy to read, even despite the relative thinness of the diamond-shaped hour and minute hands.
Although the hand-wound, pocket watch movement Unitas 6497 is quite large (especially compared to modern calibers from ETA), at less than 37 millimeters in diameter it is still too small for a watch that measures whole 48 millimeters. To make the dial of the piece look more proportional, the Swiss designers equipped it with an extra-long subsidiary seconds hand that seems to be almost half as long as the hour hand.
I didn’t really like the way they decorated the sub-dial when I first saw the watch, but must admit that it’s growing on me at the very moment I type this word: given an enormous size of that thing, it is only just that it sports a contrast, negative-style color scheme, challenging the main display, throwing the gauntlet right into its face.
With a height of around 10 millimeters, the watch looks very slim, however it still remains VERY large: I saw a number of wrist shots of its siblings hugging to some skinny wrists and in many cases the owner of this thing looked not really impressive. So, as usual, if you really one this model (and it indeed looks terrific), don’t be lazy to visit your local dealer or watch boutique and try this beast on your hand.
And if it fits, don’t hesitate to get one, since, limited to only 250 pieces, it will soon become a very rare item.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 5/5
Value for Money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Glycine Watches
Glycine KMU 48 Black (ref. 3905.99AT.LB90) specification
Price: $2000 (Retail)
Movement: Hand-wound, caliber Unitas 6497, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 17
Movement frequency: 21,600 vph
Power reserve: 41 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
Case material: Stainless steel, black PVD
Case size: 48.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Steel, luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Black leather strap with grey stitching
Case back: Transparent