Glycine airman - issues to look for?
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  1. #1
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    Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    I might have an opportunity to pick up one or two tomorrow. I am not that familiar with these. Is there anything in particular I should look for that is an indicator of quality or problems, beyond the obvious such as functional bezel, running, etc? Are these ever faked? Thanks
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  2. #2
    Member Dan S's Avatar
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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Great watches that are really fun to wear. The lugs are really long and the watch feels bigger than 36mm when you are wearing it.

    Good reference here: https://andres55.home.xs4all.nl/fram...man25years.htm

    The crowns and the hack mechanism are the main issues. Hands also. Sometimes hands are replaced with period-incorrect hands or just the wrong hands altogether (the hands are very distinctive). Different versions have different seconds hands (lollipop vs straight). Sometimes they have the wrong crystal (some have magnifier some versions have no magnifier). Sometimes the date wheel has been replaced with a later version (some are all black, some red). Sometimes the case-backs have been swapped. There are a lot of different versions and sometimes parts get swapped.

    I would not buy one if it didn't have the proper cross-hatched crown unless the price was really, really good and the watch is amazing otherwise. Those crowns can be really hard to find and you might have to troll eBay for months. If the hacking mechanism isn't working that's not great, but there is an excellent watchmaker in Nevada who can repair that (Jim Sadilek, Vintage Glycine Airman Watches Repair Price List), but it can be expensive depending on what exactly is broken. If the lower clamp is missing its clamping piece (clamps the bezel to keep it from rotating), that's not great either since somebody will have to fabricate it for you. Jim can also do that, but again it can be expensive. The lower crown is not crosshatched. Don't let someone tell you that a particular version didn't have the hacking mechanism. If the hack isn't working, it's because it's broken. Pull out the crown and wait until the second hand gets to 12, it should stop. If it doesn't, the hack is broken.
    Last edited by badbackdan; April 20th, 2018 at 03:17.
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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Dan, very informative and helpful. Thanks you for describing the red flags. That website is a goldmine! I will let folks know what happens. The seller also has some "chronometers" though don't know what make/model.

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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    What years are they?
    Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Seconding Dan's recommendation of James Sadilek in Carson City. He replaced the crystal and hacking mechanism in my mid-60s Airman and serviced it for a very reasonable price. I was lucky in that he had a hacking mechanism handy and didn't have to fashion a new one.

    I subsequently got an earlier 50s Airman with a champagne dial and working hack. I really love both watches. Neither of them have hatched crowns, incidentally. Sources I've seen say the hatched crowns didn't come into being until the 1960s.

    A lot of old Airman examples have lume that looks terrible in photos—smeared, missing, whatever. I got my first Airman on eBay and when it arrived it looked so much better than the photos that I thought I might have been sent a reissue instead. If you can eyeball the watches you're thinking of buying you'll feel a lot better about your choice. Good luck!

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  7. #6
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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Krogerfoot View Post
    I subsequently got an earlier 50s Airman with a champagne dial and working hack. I really love both watches. Neither of them have hatched crowns, incidentally. Sources I've seen say the hatched crowns didn't come into being until the 1960s.
    Very nice examples, and you're right about the hatched crowns. The link I posted previously clearly indicates which models should have hatched crowns, red date-wheels, crystals with magnifiers, arrow-hands, etc.
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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Thanks guys. I drove out there today, and the older Glycine airmans had not arrived. I guess they are in a safe somewhere. I am going to head back out later to see what he's got. There was an unworn, modern tribute Glycine, but I have no interest in these.

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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceankid View Post
    Thanks guys. I drove out there today, and the older Glycine airmans had not arrived. I guess they are in a safe somewhere. I am going to head back out later to see what he's got. There was an unworn, modern tribute Glycine, but I have no interest in these.
    Well, that's a little frustrating. Maybe he can send you some photos next time so you can judge whether it's worth your time.
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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oceankid View Post
    There was an unworn, modern tribute Glycine, but I have no interest in these.
    I like the way you think.

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    Re: Glycine airman - issues to look for?

    Quote Originally Posted by badbackdan View Post
    Well, that's a little frustrating. Maybe he can send you some photos next time so you can judge whether it's worth your time.
    Yeah, no kidding. He seemed a little disorganized. About to text him now.

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