A look at a vintage Glycine Airman

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A look at a vintage Glycine Airman

Post by koimaster » June 29th 2020, 10:17am

Founded in Bienne in 1914 by Eugène Meylan, for a company whose modern history has been closely tied to functional and “tool” watches, it is interesting to note that Glycine’s early commitment was to create the smallest movements possible for women’s watches in gold and platinum cases, often highly jewelled, and to target the luxury market.

The company continued in this way, even presenting an automatic movement in 1931 (although it did not eventuate into long term production because of lack of capital) and launching a chronometer range in 1934, but it wasn’t until 1953 that their iconic model the Airman, was born.

During a Bangkok to Calcutta flight, Samuel W.Glur from Montres Altus S.A. (which merged with Glycine in 1960) somehow got into a dicussion about the usefulness of a 24-hour watch with the pilots operating on that flight. As a result, he wrote a letter to Charles Hertig Sr., then head of Glycine, outlining the criteria for a 24-hour watch that could be useful to pilots. This formed the genesis for the Airman.

It turned out to be a stroke of genius, and the Airman became popular with both military and commercial pilots, worn by so many USAF pilots during the Vietnam War that it was the number one selling pilot’s watch in the US.

https://horologium.com.au/2011/06/27/a- ... ne-airman/
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