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Established in 1914 by the inventive Eugène Meylan in Bienne, Switzerland, Glycine has come a long way. At first, Glycine focused on miniature movements, bedecked with precious metals and armed with platinum cases for women. Later in the 1930s, Glycine unveiled its self-winding watches and chronometer watches. Today, Glycine is most well known for its Airman models. First launched in 1953, the Airman was the first watch to introduce multiple time zones.
The original Airman “The Chief” timepiece was manufactured in 1956 for Türler, a large multi-store Swiss retailer of watches and jewelry. Glycine advertised them as “for the Navy.” Therefore, the watch’s nickname apparently hails from the US Navy grade of Chief Petty Officer. As only 25 watches were ever made, this original watch is very rare.
|Glycine Airman “The Chief” GMT Black - Nato Ref. GL0472
Today’s Airman model, the GL0472 one, bears testament to Glycine’s terrific watchmaking history. The GL0472 has a crystal made of box sapphire, a push crown type and a case made of stainless steel. Its case size is 40mm in diameter. 12.5mm thick. 49mm lug to lug. 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.
The steel 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.
|Aged treated case that looks like its from yesteryears|
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.
A solidly screwed case back ensures the durability of the watch as time passes. This Glycine is also waterproof for up to 30 meters, and is versatile enough to wear on daily basis and able to withstand some splashes on it. The Glycine Airman stayed faithful to the original, coming with the OG red-colored date.
True to its origin, its matte black dial made of brass wonderfully contrasts with the military-format. 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 green SuperLuminova for superb glow-in-the-dark.
|Bezel locking system done by the crown at 4|
Furthermore, the timepiece’s 22mm single-stripe NATO strap gives the watch a sporty vibe, while the buckle on the strap ensures that it remains fastened and secure on your wrist.
Used to be powered by vintage movement Felsa Bidyanator automatic movements, the Airman got its upgrade by having a Glycine GL293 movement which is essentially an ETA2893-2/SW330, operating at 28,800 bph (4 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 25/26 jewels with a power reserve of 42 hours. With this movement, the Airman follows a more current style time reading by driving the main hour hand around twice per day, having a slim GMT hand doing the 24-hour duty.
This new timepiece alludes to a nostalgic past while guaranteeing up-to-date Swiss movements. Besides, the watch’s unique 24-hour layout is a major bonus and makes it a good value-for-money timepiece to add to your range.
It can be said that this new timepiece preserves the nostalgic feel of a Glycine GMT watch while assuring the wearer a contemporary Swiss movement. Additionally, the watch’s unique 24-hour layout is a major plus point and makes it a good addition to your increasing watch collection.