Glycine Airman

Glycines Airman model introduced in 1953 became the companies most well known watch. Glycines chief sales director Sam Glur, on a Thai Airways flight listened closely as the pilot he was flying with described his requirements of the ideal pilot’s watch. When Sam returned from his trip he mentioned his conversation to Glycines owner Charles Hertig Sr. and almost immediately development began, remarkably the whole process only took four months for the watch to be completed. It was rolled out in the American market first and was an instant hit, with its 24hr dial and unique hacking feature which stopped the seconds hand exactly on the 24hr marker. Early watches used the Felsa 692 calibre movements until 1960 when they were replaced by A. Schild movements. This particular example is a pre 1960 model and came in for a service and to sort a problem with the winding and handsetting. The owner also wanted the green lume changed on the hands for something less jarring.

Glycine Airman

The caseback is a 10 sided affair, the extra crown you can see locks the rotating bezel in position, unscrew it a turn and you can rotate the bezel, screw it back in and it locks it back in place.

Glycine Airman

With the caseback removed you can see the signed rotor atop the Felsa 692 movement.

Glycine Airman

Once the rotor is removed you can see more of the movement.

Glycine Airman

With the movement out you can see the dial is in very good condition for a watch that is between 55 and 62 years old. I presume some lume must have been lost on the hour and minute hands as they’ve bothe been relumed along with the 2hr markers on the dial. Odd that the seconds hand wasn’t done!

Glycine Airman

With the dial and handset off you can see the calendar work below. The little wire at the 12 o’clock position is part of the hacking mechanism for the watch which stops the seconds hand at the 24hr position, more about this later.

Glycine Airman

The rest of the dial side was stripped….

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

….then the movement was turned over and the motion work was stripped.

Glycine Airman

The autowind mechanism has a floating lever which wig wags between the the ratchet wheel and transmission wheel ensuring the watch is wound no matter which way the oscillating weight is turning.

Glycine Airman

The movement itself is an automatic, hand windable, low beat (18,000bph), 23 jewelled affair with a weighted balance.

Glycine Airman

The upper crown wheel is attached to the underside of the train bridge.

Glycine Airman

Here you can see the indirect drive seconds pinion, the split fourth wheel and the barrel whose arbor is actually part of the lid.

Glycine Airman

The watch was now stripped and ready for cleaning and inspection.

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

The problem with the winding and date setting was due to a broken set lever spring. A new one (and mainspring) was sourced in the USA.

Glycine Airman

The rebuild began with the new mainspring.

Glycine Airman

The rebuild was basically the reverse of the strip down.

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

The hands were relumed to match the seconds hand, then the seconds hand was also done.

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

A little more in keeping with what the original lume would look like by now.

Glycine Airman

This component is the hacking lever, when hacked it pokes the little wire on the end through the dial to physically block the seconds hand!

Glycine Airman

It fits on the movement ring and is activated by the stem.

Glycine Airman

The watch in the hack position….

Glycine Airman

….and released! An ingenius idea that more manufacturers could adopt, it saves waiting for the seconds hand to reach the top before hacking the watch.

Glycine Airman

The movement was recased….

Glycine Airman

….the caseback was replaced and it’s once again ready for service. What a fantastic looking watch, I’d love one 🙂

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

Glycine Airman

 

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