Glycine Airman
$ 2,125.00

Glycine Airman

Why We Love It

Thanks to Glycine, the world was introduced to the 24 hour time format in 1953. 

Time only, no-nonsense watches field watches were fine for the boots on the ground - but chopper and airplane pilots needed something that more thoroughly suited their needs. Many of them found exactly that in this watch, the Glycine Airman.

The watch features a 36mm steel case with a remarkable matte black dial. Oversized tritium plots sit adjacent to an arrow handset. The bi-directional 24-hour bezel was revolutionary when it was introduced because it allowed pilots to know the correct time at all times.

For a watch that was extremely impactful for the Aviation community, it's unfortunate that these Glycine's are overlooked.  

The Story

Glycine has amassed a plethora of amazing pieces in its century of existence. It was established in 1914 by Eugene Meylan, whom the brand’s website calls “an uncompromising watch engineer.” With a keen understanding of both the technical and marketing aspects of the watch industry, Meylan specialized in miniaturized movements for ladies’ watches.

While this might be deemed an odd career choice today, back in 1914 Meylan could not have made a better one. Wristwatches for men were still regarded as something of a novelty, although World War I did much to change that, while sales in ladies’ watches were booming. Moreover, rather than being viewed as mere accessories, ladies’ watches were a perfect way for a watchmaker to display his skill, due to the expertise required to make them. Soon Glycine’s reputation was based on the beauty and technical precision of these mini-machines. Although Glycine started small, they were poised to do great things.

The 1950s saw steady advancements, including the creation of perhaps Glycine’s most famous watch, pre-Airman: the Vacuum. The name came from the vacuum pump in which each Vacuum watch was placed, to be sealed. Elegant and beautifully crafted, inside and out, they were the flagship of Glycine’s collection.

Then came the Airman, which changed the face of watchmaking forever—quite literally, as it happens, due to its being the first watch to feature a 24-hour dial. The success of the Airman ushered in a new era for Glycine, in which the brand released sporty watches to meet the changing needs of the post-war Jet Set. With SCUBA diving becoming a popular sport, Glycine met that need with dive watches like this one.


SKU: AS03613

Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding the crown). Automatic-winding movement. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: The case is in fantastic condition overall showing normal wear consistent with age and use. Luminous matte black dial is in excellent condition with puffy patinated indices and arrow handset. Unsigned crown. 

Includes HODINKEE brown leather strap with steel pin buckle.

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