For pilot watch fans, Glycine represents something special. Their watches, always defined by function and legibility are unique amongst the herd, and stay very true to their original design and principles. Their watches are bold and masculine, often quite large (though this year they seem to be changing that) with clear military roots and a penchant for vintage styling. Simply put, they are quite handsome and while they aren’t cheap, most over the 2k mark, they do represent a decent value in the retail Swiss mechanical watch market, compared to other brands famous for their pilot’s watches.
With lock down bezels, multiple timezones, 24-hour movements and dials, the Glycine Airman, the most famous of their offerings, is a true pilot’s tool watch that has barely changed over the last 60 years. To emphasize this fact, Glycine has released the 1953 Vintage Airman, a remake of their original and famous watch. Sporting an attractive cream dial, a 24-hr “purist” movement, red date with cyclops, vintage triangular markers, vintage hands with orange lume and am/pm/noon indication, the 1953 exudes classic style. This limited edition of 600 comes in at 2,350 CHF (about $2,500 US).
If the heritage looks aren’t quite your thing, don’t worry, Glycine has new Airman offerings with very modern details. The Airman 17 and 18 SPHAIR models, which are available in massive 46mm (the 17) or a svelte 38mm (the 18) cases, offer interesting color and material options. The clear star was the new and very different steel with black rubber inlay bezel. The matte black rubber adds an aggressive edge to the watch that brings it into somewhat tactical territory as it lacks reflection.
The rubber is not only utilized in the bezel, but in the crowns as well, adding grip and function. The new 38mm case is also very welcome, not only for those of us with smaller wrists, but those who enjoy more compact proportions and tighter dials. Differently, there are options with more elegant dress styling that includes rose gold inlays and color-faded dials. Available in 24 or 12-hour versions with GMT complications for up to 3 time-zones (when using the bezel for a 3rd) the Airman 17 SPHAIR will cost 1990 CHF ($2,100) and the 18 will cost 1,890 CHF ($2,000).
Next year is 100th anniversary of Glycine, so expect some very interesting new developments from this brand. We know for a fact they have some innovative chronographs planned that will definitely turn some heads.
by Zach Weiss