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Since its founding by Eugène Meylan in 1914, Glycine has been producing watches at its factory in Bienne, Switzerland.
Meylan was an uncompromising watch engineer who strove for perfection and nothing less. He had a profound understanding of both the market demands and the possibilities offered by the technological advances of the time. Today, offering excellent value at reasonable prices is an essential part of Glycine's philosophy. The company's strong foundation, coupled with its emphasis on rugged and reliable products, make Glycine a respected name in Swiss watchmaking today.
|Glycine Airman Vintage NOON White Ref. GL0376
The 1950s was dubbed the Golden Age of Flying when commercial air travel was in its early days with limitless booze and a thick stench of cigarette smoke filling the plane. Having lobster was the norm for an in-flight meal. Oh, those were the good old days. Alongside the massive boom of the aviation industry, wristwatches inspired by aviation were also flourishing in that era. Legendary watches such as the Breitling Navitimer and the Zodiac Sea Wolf GMT were later introduced with the advent of transcontinental travel.
While there are many big names that manufacture aviation-inspired timepieces today, the Swiss watch manufacturer Glycine was the first to produce a watch with a 24-hour rotating bezel, the Glycine Airman, in 1953. The birth of this historic timepiece resulted from a conversation that sparked between one of Glycine’s employees, Samuel Glur, and a pilot during one of his flights. The pilot expressed his interest in a watch that had a 24-hour bezel feature, a function much needed by pilots to track multiple time zones. This was a feature that became well known around the watch world with the release of Rolex’s GMT-Master a year later in 1954.
|24-hr “purist” time reading format
The Glycine Airman Vintage NOON White Ref. GL0376 is the new edition based on their original and famous watch from the 50s. It features an attractive aviation vintage white dial, the original red date which is read through the magnifying cyclops. Further, featuring vintage triangular markers, period-correct hands with vintage SuperLuminova lume, doing things the Glycine way. This iteration of the Airman is an horologically accurate ‘Purist’ variation, suggesting it being a pure 24-hour watch with the hour hand only sweeping once per day around the 24-hour track on the outer edges of the dial. All in the name of a sweet-spot 40mm case.
Made from 316L stainless steel, The Airman Vintage NOON White Ref. GL0376 bears nostalgic yet with a distinctive vintage aesthetic. It’s classic aviator case style measures at 40mm and 12.5mm thin for unsurpassed comfort on all wrist sizes. The slender lugs with lugs to lugs length of 49mm, help the watch to wrap around the wrist like a pair of gloves while glamouring on one’s wrist. Glycine’s airman collection are all based historically from their 1950s tool watches, this particular model, known as “NOON,” is traditionally styled to the Airman No. 1 watch - the very first edition of the 1950s. It is a faithful reproduction from aesthetic wise through and through.
|Bezel locking system done by the crown at 4
Entirely hand finished and Made in Switzerland, the watch is satin brushed on the top, and high polished on the sides to a very high standard, again synonymous with Glycine. The transitions between the brushed and polished parts are very well defined.
The bezel is true to the 50s Airman design through and through; featuring the hallmark 24-hour bezel of the original Airman. Furthermore, the only way to rotate it is through manipulating the retained locking feature on the thumbscrew crown at the 4 o'clock position on the case. Once it is unlocked, the friction bezel can rotate in both directions at ease — absolutely pure charming 1950s technology. The crown at 3 o’clock features all the necessary time, date and GMT adjustments.
The Airman Vintage NOON White Ref. GL0376 stayed faithful to the original, coming with a sapphire crystal with three layers of anti-reflective coating on the inside, and topping off the OG red-colored date. The watch is supplied with a stunning 22mm black NATO strap, complimenting the overall vintage style.
The highlight of Airman continues onto the stark white, military-format dial. It seems like Glycine has brought everything from the 50s Airman without tweaking anything. For an instant, it features the original 24-hour format, With a double 24 hours markings on both the dial and bezel, this allows one to track up to two different time zones still, even without a new GMT hand. The sword handset filled with a right amount of vintage SuperLuminova for superb glow-in-the-dark.
Under the hood, the Airman Vintage NOON White Ref. GL0376 runs on Glycine’s Cal. GL293 Swiss automatic movement. Based on the ETA 2893-2/SW330, this 25/26 jewel movement is renowned for its reliability as a ‘workhorse’ movement with a 4Hz beat rate of 28,800 BPH and a healthy power reserve of 42 hours.
Without a doubt, the Airman Vintage NOON White Ref. GL0376 stays true to its roots as a functional pilot’s tool watch. The combination of the purpose-built design and its exceptional value puts this watch high up the list when it comes to selecting an aviation timepiece at this price point. Whether you are up in the sky as a pilot, or rocking this piece to the office, the Airman brings a little piece of history on your wrist that will look incredibly timeless for many years to come.