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The Beginning: The history of a passion
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. Very soon, he succeeded in producing extremely precise, small movements for ladies watches, enabling Glycine to put on the market the finest miniature movements, clad in precious gold and platinum cases, often studded with diamonds.
Glycine became a supplier to the wealthy people who valued highly these works of fine craftsmanship. However, Meylan did not stop there. Around 1931, he presented to the world market a well-functioning self-winding watch, entirely of his own invention, a sensational performance that, for lack of capital, could not be exploited commercially. Some of these GLYCINE Eugène Meylan SA self-winding watches can still be found in the collectors' market.
The year 1934 saw the launch of a chronometer range, a line of watches passing the exacting tests of the Official Swiss Quality Control. The depression years of the 30s and the approaching world war took a heavy toll on the company as Switzerland was cut off from nearly all its traditional export markets.
Yet Glycine survived and even managed to be one of only 29 exhibitors at the Basel Fair in 1938, an annual event the firm has not missed since.
After WW II In 1945, with the war over and access to world markets again possible, the industry took a deep breath.
Immediately, Glycine geared up production and rapidly presented a complete range of automatic (self-winding) watches, making use of the most advanced technologies.
1952 saw the birth of the famous VACUUM chronometers, watches known for their incredible resistance to water and shocks, designed for long-term use under hostile conditions. They performed well beyond expectations.
First launched in 1953, the AIRMAN was a joint project between Glycine and the new generation of professional pilots. The line was presented to the world market and immediately received an enthusiastic welcome. Now, in addition to regular local time, world time was available at a glance.
The steadily growing class of professional pilots, jet-setters and frequent travellers readily took to the convenience of having two time zones on their wrist.
The AIRMAN line has never been absent from the Glycine selection, and is, today more than ever, the spearhead of the range.
For 100 years, Glycine has stayed true to its roots, as a privately owned company and is still based in Switzerland.