Finds Vintage

The Forgotten Pilot: Glycine Airman 1


Glycine were among the first to offer a GMT complication, right on the heels of Rolex and Omega. Their pilot offering quickly gained favor with military and civilian aviators alike. It featured a 24-hour dial and lockable bezel with hacking seconds. The design was tool watch to the core. Perhaps that is what appeals so strongly even today. We all know (and love) the B-Uhr, Mark XI, Weems, and Broad Arrow series. Perhaps it’s time collectors consider that not all great military watches were issued.


While the original airman dates to 1953, this example is one of the 1960s run. In period, the watch quickly gained favor with US military personnel in the Korean Vietnam wars. Its 24-hour dial and bezel allowed pilots to track local and GMT times accurately. That little locking bezel meant no one was worrying about bumping their wrist and ruining an accurately set time zone. Small innovations won the market over. The Airman is a very handsome tool watch that deserves a little more love than it receives from the community today.


This example has it where it counts. Importantly, the dial and hands are perfect and original. Although the hands look lighter, that’s just how these age. The hands are always lighter. In fact, often matched hands are the ones that have been refinished. Its case has seen light polish undoubtedly but retains its shape. The crowns are correct with cross hatching visible. Some of these have seen bezel restoration where the worn black paint is reapplied. I like mine worn metal, just like this. The back engravings are still visible. It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect to wear.

Find this Airman I here from Craft & Tailored for 2600.

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