Glycine - Airman Special Automatic - Model Ref: 323.1119 - PAT. 314050 - c.1960s
A Handsome Glycine Airman 'Special' Automatic Model Ref: 323.1119, in Superb Condition with Stunning Black Dial and Big Arrow Hour Hand with Beautifully Aged Lume, c.1960s. With its Original Wooden Box and Paperwork!
Glycine is a well-known watch brand from Switzerland. The brand is still popular today, and its vintage models are also very in demand. From its creation in 1914 until mid-'30s Glycine specialized in small-caliber manufacture. However, in 1953 they introduced the Airman line to the world after a conversation took place between Glycine's sales manager and a pilot during a flight in which he received feedback on what would comprise the perfect pilot’s watch.
The most desirable feature was to be a 24-hour dial complete with an hour hand that only rotated around the dial once per 24 hours. A rotating 24-hour bezel was also part of the request as well as a hacking feature for synchronization. This means that when you pull the crown out on the Airman, the seconds hand will tick along and stop at 12, allowing for greater accuracy/ synchronisation.
As well as pilots, the Airman was popular with frequent international travellers who appreciated the convenience of quick access to two timezones, once the second timezone is set, the bezel is locked in place by the crown at 4 o’clock. The case itself is a Compressor style with a snapback and features the synonymous crosshatched crown.
It is interesting to note that prior to the very late 1960s, the USA imposed a tariff on imported watches based upon the number of jewels in the movement. Therefore, the brand produced the Glycine Airman "Special" with 17 jewels, allowing them to pass under the tariff bracket.
The Airman became very representational of the Glycine brand and as such has a substantial following across the globe.
What’s On Offer
This handsome Glycine Airman is in really nice condition with its striking black dial boasting a big arrow hour hand complimented by a syringe style minute hand and lollipop sweep seconds hand, all with luminous inserts which have aged to a beautiful buttery hue. The lume on the hour plots is also intact as are the sharp Arabic numerals and completing the dial is the date wheel at 3 o'clock with cyclops. The case, locking bi-directional GMT bezel, and lugs are also in superb shape, original and unpolished with no concerning signs of wear.
This watch is running well and keeping good time after having a full service, it also comes with original box and papers, and the all-important hack mechanism is working as it should! A rare opportunity to purchase such a collectible piece that was uniquely, solely produced for the American market.
Case: Stainless Steel
Bracelet: Brown Leather Strap with Pin Buckle
Movement Type: Mechanical
Power reserve: 44hrs
Model Reference: 323.1119
Date of issue: c.1960s
Guarantee: 12 Months by VWS
Width (without crown): 36mm
Lug width: 20mm
Lug height: (lug to lug) 46mm
Wrist size: Adjustable