The Glycine Airman 46 Automatic GMT was presented in 2017, the latest version of what has become a classic model for the brand. It looks more like a diving watch than an aviator, with its 24-hour bezel and hour and minute hands with a shape normally seen on divers watches. It has some unusual features, with a crown at 4 o’clock that locks the rotating bezel, based on a feature dating back to the first appearance of the Glycine Airman in 1953, and a degradé dial that instead of the usual radial gradient, varies in shade along the vertical axis. It’s an attractive way of treating the dial, which becomes a bit like the night sky, or a sky seen from high up in the atmosphere, Baumgartner-style.
Local time plus two time zones
The 24-hour GMT hand, with a scale on the dial, and the second 24-hour scale on the bezel, enables the watch to indicate the time in two different time zones in addition to the local time. This may seem an arbitrary feature – why two time zones? – but in fact in the 1950s, when intercontinental air travel was becoming commercially important, it was considered as de rigueur for pilots, who could see local time, GMT reference time, and home time, at a glance.
Case and dial
The Airman 46 has a large stainless steel case, 46 mm in diameter, relatively slim at 12.2 mm, with alternating brushed and polished finish. The bezel doesn’t have the usual ratchet, but is simply locked into position using the screw crown at 4 o’clock. The dial is in a graded matt blue colour, with luminescent SuperLuminova on numerals, indices and hour and minute hands. The crown is screw-in which enables a water resistance rating of 10 atm, 100 metres. Definitely an all-weather watch and one that you could take for a swim without any problems, even though the water wouldn’t be good for the leather strap. It has a tang buckle.
The Airman 46 is powered by the GL293 self-winding movement, which is in fact made by Sellita. It can be seen through the sapphire caseback, and it has a Glycine personalized rotor. Power reserve is 42 hours, and the balance runs at 4 Hertz, 28,800 vibrations per hour. It has the stop-seconds function.
Price and reference
The Glycine Airman 46 Automatic GMT, reference GL0060, costs €1,490 as list price, available less on some mail order websites. Further information from the Glycine website.