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Since its founding by Eugène Meylan in 1914, Glycine has been producing watches at its factory in Bienne, Switzerland.
|Glycine Airman Vintage "The Chief" GMT Grey Ref. GL0251|
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. Since the early 60s, Glycine has served the market with this line of sturdy and captivating watches, made for severe conditions of wear and use. The precise automatic and chronograph movements are housed in a high-grade steel case of rugged construction, offering excellent value for money.
Whenever the subject of aviation comes up, the name of Glycine mentioned as one of the pioneers of watchmaking for pilots and frequent travelers. Beginning in 1953, Glycine started production of the Airman, a watch that became legendary for introducing multiple time-zone watches to the market. Since then, Glycine has developed an unbroken chain of aviation watches, ranging from successively more complex world timers to unique collector's items. Examples in their archive are like during the Gemini 5 and Apollo 12 flights in 1965 and 1969. Both these missions, astronaut Charles “Pete” Conrad wears a Glycine Airman on his wrist throughout.
|Aged treated case that looks like its from yesteryears|
Glycine Airman Vintage "the Chief" GMT Grey Ref. GL0251 made from 316L stainless steel with a distinctive grey colored sunburnt dial. It's classic aviator case style measures at 40mm and 12mm 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 "The Chief," is traditionally styled to the Airman No. 1 watch, the very first edition of the 1950s. It is a faithful reproduction alright.
Entirely hand finished and Made in Switzerland, further being true to its predecessor, the watch uses a traditional satin-brushed and polished finishing, resulting in a rugged yet sophisticated look. It has the classic tool watch finished which consist of satin brushed is seen on the top, and high polished on the sides (including the beveled 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.
|Bezel locking system done by the crown at 4|
The Airman Vintage "The Chief" GMT Grey Ref.GL0251 stayed faithful to the original, coming with a domed acrylic crystal, resulting in having a certain charm that a sapphire glass can never will.
The highlight of Airman continues onto the vintage-themed sunburst grey dial. It seems like Glycine has brought everything from the 50s Airman without tweaking anything. For an instant, it features the original 24-hour on the outer-track that flanks the cream-colored lume plots and internal60 minute markers. With a double 24 hours markings, this allows one to track up to three different time zones, The hour markers and handsets filled with a right amount of C1 SuperLuminova for superb glow-in-the-dark.
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 38 hours.
With this movement, the Airman follows the so-called "Purist" version. It is a pure 24-hour watch where the hour hand that sweeps the dial only once per day. Therefore, during noon Tim, the hour hand will be pointing to the bottom of the dial, where 12 o'clock is located, and while during midnight (stated as 2400hr), is at the top.
The Airman comes with a Glycine signed cognac brown leather strap and on its buckle.
Overall, the Glycine Airman Vintage "The Chief" GMT Grey Ref. GL0251 exhibits very great value given the history and built of the watch. The unique grey sunburst treatment on the dial provides the vintage touch of the aviation watch, without compromising a sleeker look, while still being in congruence with the original Airman No. 1, merely a sense of nostalgia on many wrists. The unique Glycine looks thoroughly purpose-built and radiating its origins in the cockpit of many airliners back in those days, make this an exceptional bargain and hard to beat. The Airman fits Glycine's philosophy that Mr. Eugène Meylan set out in 1953.