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Glycine Airman Watch Reviews: The Finest Travel Companion

The Glycine Airman watches are the leading ones for travel and aviation.
Jan 07, 2022

Having a watch on your wrist would somehow intrigue you to know more about the brand behind the making. The same goes for me when wearing a Glycine airman watch as my go-to watch. It is a big watch that completes me to resonate confidence. In fact, the watch is designed as part of the aviation industry. That way, it comes with features that please me as a companion on travel. 

As I love the watch, I cherish the story behind this watch collection. This watch collection is one of the famous signatures of Glycine. In fact, it made the company stand out with this craftsmanship. I bought three of them and later I'd talk about them under the Glycine watch review. 

The early story of Glycine Airman watches

Glycine itself was founded by Eugène Meylan in 1914. A small watch manufacturer settled in Bienne, Switzerland that focused on making watches for women. Meylan tried to give a special timepiece by wrapping a delicate watch element in precious metals. But then, the year of the 1930s came as a big milestone for both Meylan and Glycine to produce their first-ever automatic watch and chronometer. More than a decade later, Charles Hertig Sr. took over the company. Right in this period and later, Glycine started to produce its signature - the Glycine Airman.

This watch collection was born from the aspiration of a pilot when Samuel Glur, a friend of Charles Hertig, had a chance to speak with him. Thanks to that conversation, Samuel got a list of requirements for a perfect pilot watch. During this period, it is said that the demand for aviation watches was high. That way, Samuel brought the list to start a new project that marked the birth of Glycine Airman watches.

In that conversation, the pilot requested for a pilot watch with a complete hour dial which means the hour-marker is not indicated by 1-12 but purely in 24-hour format. It would be easier for him when read the time. He also added about having a rotating 24-hour bezel on the watch. 


The result of the project is indeed a remarkable timepiece that managed to answer the pilot's needs. The Airman watches were introduced only months later. Yet, the watch holds a great quality that succeeds in gaining watch enthusiasts’ attention. The first premiere of the watch was at the Basel Watch Fair in 1955 which was only a year after Rolex introduced its GMT-Master to the world. Until today, the Airman watch remains a favorite that has set its place in the heart of watch lovers. I would say that the Airman collection is an underrated watch collection that managed to secure its charm in the vast field of horology. 

An appealing appearance of Glycine Airman watches

If you look at the watch, it does present what the pilot needs and make it into a real watch. A 24-hour marker with a rotating 24-hour bezel as its breakthrough innovation -- specially made for the aviation industry yet a great companion for travel. So, how does Glycine Airman work? 

Taking a closer look at the watch dial, you'll notice the words AM and PM are printed on it. Due to those words, the Airman was more known as the AM/PM watch. Glycine mentioned that the indication of AM and PM would help the wearer to indicate time easily. In addition to that, the word "Noon" is also added at the bottom for an easier time reading. By this means, the watch would only make one full cycle in a day. 

Among many of Glycine’s Airman watch production, some made highlights for its story. The year of the 1960s could be considered the most successful one for the Airman collection. The company introduced the Airman military call-up equipped with the 12-hour call. Next in 1967, the collection of Airman SST made a milestone for the era of Supersonic Transport. The orange dial of the watch is the impeccable feature that until now it's still remembered as the "pumpkin button".

Following the period when quartz season was coming, the company also tried to join the wave. In 1978, it decided to produce the Airman quartz watches replacing its mechanical collections. However, many say that this collection was quite regrettable. In the 1990s and 2000s, Glycine started to introduce another interesting collection of Glycine Airman watches. The watches feature multiple time zones, such as the Airman 7. Presented in 2002, the Airman 7 comes with three mechanical movements for displaying its four-time zones at the same time. 

Ever since its first debut in 1953, Glycine has never stopped making the Airman. Throughout this long journey, lots of upgrades are made as mentioned above, especially in the watch design. Many watch collectors write Glycine watch reviews as part of an appreciation for the impressive craftsmanship and innovative upgrades. In 2014, for the first time, the company made a reissue for its first Airman edition of the 1950s -- making its vintage piece come into modern reinterpretation. 

Glycine Airman watch reviews

The Airman collection comes in a variety of options for delightful features and designs. Yet, here I share my Glycine Airman watch collection along with reviews for each of them.

Glycine Airman No. 1 Cream GMT 36 Ref. GL0372

Glycine Airman No. 1 Cream GMT 36 is the true rebirth of the first-ever Airman introduced to the world. It carries an iconic design and features yet the resemblance is resonated in the watch. At a first glance, the watch displays a delightful cream dial that becomes the highlight of its original. Additionally, the 24-hour rotating bezel is still there as the hallmark of the original watch. This feature is considered the first-ever in the world of horology and Glycine has marked this innovation since the 1950s.

Daring the usual design, Glycine makes two watch crowns for the Airman collection. The one is at the 3 o'clock position for time adjustment and the additional crown at the 4 o'clock position. The second crown functions as a locking mechanism that holds the bezel in place and prevents accidental bumps that may move the bezel out. Simple yet extremely thoughtful for the wearer's comfort. If you're intrigued with the story of the Airman, then this watch is the perfect one for you. 

Movement: GL293 Swiss automatic movement

Dimensions: 36mm in diameter. 11.6mm thick. 44mm lug to lug.

Water resistance: 30m

Case Material: Stainless steel

Power Reserve: 42 hours

Glycine Airman 42 "Double Twelve" Horizon Ref. GL0062

Looking at the dial, you might already guess why this timepiece is one of my Glycine watch reviews here. The Glycine Airman 42 "Double Twelve" Horizon sets its dial appearance distinct from the other Airman watches. It is the original DNA of Glycine Airman watches to have a 24-hour format dial for a pilot to be easy in reading the time. However, as the name suggests, the watch features conventional 12-hour markers. Not only one but two -- one on the dial and the other is on the bezel.

Glycine Airman 42 "Double Twelve" Horizon Ref. GL0062

Moving on to the watch design, it packs a modern beauty with the dial in a gradient blue paired with a matching blue leather strap. The watch dial can change its color depending on the lighting condition. It goes from dark blue at the top into a lighter blue to the bottom. Thanks to this, many people call it the degrade-style dial. A complete look for a modern stylish style. Adding to that, Glycine also managed to add a contemporary style to the watch. That way it perfectly blends to create a charming sophisticated look with heritage design. Truth to be told, a heritage or vintage has always won a certain place for watch enthusiasts. 

Movement: GL224 Swiss automatic movement

Dimensions: 42mm in diameter. 12.4mm thick. 49mm lug to lug

Water resistance: 100m

Case Material: Stainless steel

Power Reserve: 38 hours

Glycine Airman 44 Horizon GMT Bronze Ref. GL0167

An attractive color scheme with gradient blue color. The unique combination of light blue and bronze makes the watch appear fascinating and surely intrigues you to watch over it again and again. As the name mentions, the Glycine Airman 44 Horizon GMT Bronze is highlighted with its bronze appearance. The 24-hour marker, watch logo, hands, lugs, crown, and even the entire watch case (except the caseback) are also in bronze, resulting in an elegant watch to strap on your wrist.

Glycine Airman 44 Horizon GMT Bronze Ref. GL0167

In addition to that, this timepiece is upgraded with a more high-quality domed sapphire crystal. This is equipped with three layers of anti-reflective coating, allowing the wearer to have better clarity under different lighting conditions. That way, the watch offers impeccable durability and readability. Looking unique, this watch would look great if you want people to look at what you're wearing. It stands out and definitely will elevate your style with a retro-looking watch. 

Movement: GL293 Swiss automatic movement

Dimensions: 44mm in diameter. 12.2mm thick. 51mm lug to lug.

Water resistance: 100m

Case Material: Bronze

Power reserve: 38 hours

Closing notes

Starting from a little conversation with a pilot, Glycine Airman was born to be one of the special collections in horology. Throughout the company’s long journey, this watch collection has been through upgrades for a full potential performance. The 24-hour format is the main breakthrough yet Glycine consistency to keep the production running is also something to be appreciated. After all, Glycine Airman watches are worth being in the collection.

See also: Fly High with Oris Pilot Watch in Big Crown Collections

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