Introducing The Glycine Airman No. 1, A Remake Of The First 24 Hour Dual Time (With Live Photos And Price)

In 1953 Glycine created the Airman, the world's first 24 hour, twin time zone watch. Now Glycine has recreated the original as the Airman No. 1, in a remake so faithful it feels like a vintage timepiece.

Conceived for pilots of the then nascent transnational airlines, the Glycine Airman emerged from a conversation between Sam Glur, then the company’s sales director, and the pilots on his flight from Bangkok to Calcutta, back in 1953. The Airman was a dual time zone watch with a twist. Instead of the typical 12 hour scale, it indicated the time on a 24 hour dial. This not only showed the time in two time zones simultaneously, the 24 hour dial also easily distinguished between day and night in each time zone.

A near exact replica of the original, the Airman No. 1 has a polished steel, 36 mm case with a domed Hesalite crystal, while the case is a slim 10.75 mm. And the lugs are set fairly widely apart at 20 mm, as with the first Airman. Unlike the original the modern remake has a practical 100 m depth rating.

The dial is a slightly glossy black with legible white markings, while the SuperLuminova has a slight green tint, almost like the colour of fresh tritium as it was back in 1953. Glycine has done a commendable job in recreating the feel of the original. Overall the feel is almost like that of a new-old-stock timepiece.

But this is a functional timepiece as well. The bezel can be rotated to show an additional timezone, with a locking mechanism at four o’clock. Interestingly, two versions of the Airman No. 1 are available. The first is pictured here: known as the GMT, it has four hands – hours, minutes, seconds and GMT – that is capable of displaying up to three time zones. Local time, home time, and a third time zone via the rotating bezel.

The screw that locks the bezel

The second version is the purist version with only three hands and two time zones. This is in essence a pure 24 hour watch with the rotating bezel serving to show the second time zone. Inside both versions is the tried and tested ETA 2892. It is covered behind a solid, screwed case back, but there is rarely anything to admire about the movement except its reliability and ease of service.

Available on a black leather strap or canvas NATO-style band, the Glycine Airman No. 1 retails for 2900 Singapore dollars with 7% tax, equivalent to about US$2320.

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