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At long last, the highly-anticipated revival of one of Glycine’s rarest and most sought-after vintage timepieces becomes a reality with the relaunch of the historic Glycine SST collection in a fascinating modern re-release. The Glycine Airman SST “Pumpkin” GMT Black Ref. GL0309 draws strong inspiration from the highly-collectible vintage Airman SST “Pumpkin” while packing some appealing contemporary upgrades in its design and mechanical prowess.
|Glycine Airman SST “Pumpkin” Black Ref. GL0309|
First introduced in 1967 alongside the original Airman in Glycine’s golden years, the Glycine SST or “SuperSonic Transport” drew inspiration from the supersonic “Jet Age” in the 70s during the advent of turbojet-powered supersonic airliners such as the Concorde and the Russian Tupolev. Equipped with Felsa Bidyanator automatic movements in a tonneau style case, the watch featured an ingenious AM/PM 24 hour dial and the ability to track a second time zone through an inner-rotating bezel, a convenient feature utilized by both pilots and business travellers that undeniably led Glycine to their massive success following the release of the Airman. It was a timepiece that was distinctively different from the original Airman, however its charming retro futuristic nuances led vintage watch collectors to take notice of this truly historic icon from Glycine.
Bearing a close resemblance to the case shape of the original, the Glycine Airman SST “Pumpkin” GMT Black Ref. GL0309 is presented in a stainless steel case, in a case geometry that rests between a cushion style and tonneau case shape. Case finishes are executed impeccably with brushed surfaces at the top and the side of the case, with the addition of a refined polished chamfer for a beautiful transition. Measuring with a bold case diameter of 43mm, the watch wears slightly smaller than its diameter suggests with a relatively short lug to lug distance of only 46mm and a thickness of 11mm, resulting in an exceptionally comfortable fit on the wrist. The watch comes paired with a 22mm steel bracelet alternating between brushed and polished surfaces, bringing a cool touch of presence on the wrist.
|Unique Curved Lugs for a Comfortable Fit|
Zooming in on the black dial underneath the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, it immediately becomes obvious why the famed Glycine Airman SST was affectionately nicknamed the “Pumpkin” by watch collectors. Identified by its bright orange inner rotating world time bezel (operated by the secondary crown at the 2 o’clock position), the Glycine Airman SST “Pumpkin” GMT Black Ref. GL0309 deviates from the dial design of the 60s original with large SuperLuminova-treated Arabic hour markers accompanying the bi-colored 24 hour track. Adopting a broad arrow style handset seen on the ‘purist’ model, an additional GMT hand, in a striking red color, assists in reading the time in a second time zone for a modern touch and a delightful pop of extra color.
While the original model is driven by vintage Felsa Bidyanator automatic movements, the Glycine Airman SST “Pumpkin” GMT Black Ref. GL0309 gets a modern upgrade with a Glycine cal. GL293 Swiss-made automatic GMT movement, which is essentially the Swiss ETA 2893-2/Sellita SW330 at its core. Operating at 28,800 bph (4 Hertz) with hacking and hand winding capabilities, this workhorse movement is equipped with 25/26 jewels with a healthy power reserve of 38 hours. With this movement, the Airman SST follows a more contemporary style of reading by driving the main hour hand around twice per day, having the red GMT hand doing the 24-hour duty. Secured with a screw-down caseback, the watch boasts a massive water resistance of 200m, providing ample protection against water.
It is certainly lovely to see Glycine embracing their rich heritage to explore past references that the fans are eagerly waiting for. The return of this vastly iconic Glycine model in an attractive modern formfactor will definitely excite a whole lot of vintage watch enthusiasts, especially with such a well crafted design from Glycine.