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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. Today, we introduce to you the Glycine Airman “The Chief” Purist Black Ref. GL0474.
|Glycine Airman “The Chief” Purist Black Ref. GL0474
The GL0474 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 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.
|Bezel locking system done by the crown at 4|
True to its origin, its matte 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.
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.
In short, you can combine both retro and modern-day vibes in this singular timepiece. Besides, both men and women can wear it on their wrists in various settings, for this timepiece is meant to be a “Chief” both on land and in water. Certainly, it is a good idea to add this watch to your collection.