While the original Glycine F104 (ref. 3933) that was delivered back in April 2014 looked absolutely killer with its clean, vintage-inspired design, somebody at the company’s HQ has probably decided that sales are not quite satisfactory. Enters the Glycine F104 v.2, which is now available in a choice of four or five dials, and even includes a version with a steel black PVD bezel with 46 diamonds (1.80 carats, yuck!)
As I have already noticed, the vintage-style Glycine F104 was released less than six months ago, but the Swiss-based watchmaking brand has already prepared a number of new models that, as it probably hopes, will satisfy tastes of a much broader audience. While the timekeepers don’t look like a re-issue of an actual Glycine watch that was produced during the first half of the 20th century, it is still cool and, well, desirable.
Besides a smaller version in a 40 mm body, there will also be a lot more impressive model that measures whole 48 millimeters in diameter. Both watches are 9.10 mm thick, which makes them wearable with formal attire.
Although I don’t care for a version with a mother-of-pearl dial and black PVD bezel with 46 diamonds totaling 1.80 carats (and if you do, I’ve got bad news for you), the more sanguine variations with a silver-white or beige dial and polished steel cases make a lot better impression.
Modest and unassuming, the timepieces offer highly legible dials with bold, but visually light Arabic numerals and enough Superluminova for them to be easily read in any lighting scenario.
Like many watches that sport “stopwatch”-style dial layout with a prominent minute track, even the oversized versions do not make an impression of their standard-issue movement being too small for them: the hands are long enough and the date aperture, even despite it being placed quite far from the bezel, looks organic.
Their huge cases are equipped with Glycine’s signature “mobile” stainless steel lugs that make wearing the new F104 a lot more comfortable, especially for persons with skinny wrists.
The winding/setting crown is comfortable: not too short and not too large, while easy to grip. I am not sure whether the part will be operable with gloved hands (I am talking about light leather gloves here, of course), however, the chance that you will have to manipulate the hands while piloting a Spitfire at her service ceiling is negligible, so this is not an issue.
The movement that drives this steel beauty is the same Glycine caliber GL224. Based on the well-known ETA 2824-2 industry workhorse, it is reliable and accurate, and you can always find a qualified tech if anything goes wrong. The only problem with the choice of mechanism is that it is too small for the 48 mm version of the F104. Perhaps, displaying it behind a mineral crystal on the back of the watch was not the brightest idea, after all.
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4/5
Glycine F104 Automatic specification
Price: $1825 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Glycine caliber GL224 (base ETA 2824-2), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 38 hours
Movement decoration: Ruthenium-coated rotor on ball bearings, decorated with Glycine engraving
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel / Steel black PVD
Sizes: 48.00 mm / 40.00 mm
Case height: 9.10 mm
Lug width: 22.00 mm
Dial: Silver white with SuperLuminova / black with SuperLuminova / Beige sand with SuperLuminova / Black or Marine blue with mother-of-pearl with 12 diamonds
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Luminous, diamond-shaped
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Vintage leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Back: Mineral, transparent