GLYCINE WWII
Glycine is a Swiss wristwatch manufacturer formed in 1914 in Bienne, Switzerland by Eugène Meylan.. Meylan was an uncompromising watch engineer who strove for perfection and produced extremely precise, small movements for ladies watches. Glycine would combine these fine miniature movements with cases fabricated from gold and platinum with with diamonds. Glycine became a supplier to the wealthy.
1915-18 The Glycine Company Hype above would lead one to believe that Glycine s was kicking’ butt. But in fact, W.W.I nearly broke the Glycine bank and, their market was entirely in the battle zone.
In 1931, Glycine developed a self-winding watch, but due to limited capitol, it was never exploited commercially ….. because once more, a outside force was holding down the company; that force was the DEPRESSION.
In 1934 Glycine introduced a chronometer line. These passed the exacting tests of the Official Swiss Quality Control. But the depression also kept sales to a minimum.
Thus W.W.I and the Depression took a heavy toll on Glycine as Switzerland was cut off from nearly all its traditional export markets.
Here is the time that collectors sometimes miss out on. With the depression in force, Glycine, a 15 year old new born, was on the ropes through the early 1930’s. After the 1936 Olympics in Germany, Glycine began to make inroads selling to Germany. Rather than produces a series of new movements, they opted for complete movements [not ebauches] and non-signed spring bar and wire lugged steel and chrome plated cases purchased from outside companies. The case quality [steel vs chromed] depended on the sale and on the year.
NOTE: GLYCINE PRODUCED WATCHES FOR ALL SIDES OF THE WWII CONFLICT. THOSE SOLD TO THE GERMANS (WHETHER INDIVIDUALLY OR DIRECTLY TO MILITARY) ARE HIGHLY COLLECTIBLE. THEY CAN BE FOUND IN 30/31MM SIZE WITH & WITHOUT “DH” BACK, IN SPRING BAR OR WIRE LUGGED UNSIGNED STEEL OR CHROMED CASES WITH THE [Adolf Schild] AS 1130 MOVEMENT OR C-72.
NOTE: THEN THERE ARE LARGE 35MM VERSIONS THAT APPEAR WITH LESS FREQUENCY. THEY MEASURE 34/35 MM IN USUALLY NON-SIGNED STEEL CASES. THEY HAVE A CALIBRE 215 MOVEMENT THAT SOMETIMES HAS A WINDING WHEEL SIGNED OR NOT.
In the early 1950s, Glycine introduced the Airman model, a 24 hour watch favored by both commercial and military pilots– including U.S. Air Force pilots during the Vietnam War.
NOTE: GLYCINE DID NOT BECOME AN OVERLY FAMOUS, COLLECTIBLE OR DESIRABLE BRAND UNTIL THE RELEASE OF THE AIRMAN. THE AIRMAN PROPELLED THE GLYCINE BRAND IN THE U.S.A.
In 1952 Glycine introduced the famous VACUUM chronometers, which were known for their incredible resistance to water and shocks.
In 1953, the AIRMAN line was presented to the world market and immediately received an enthusiastic welcome. Now, in addition to regular local time, world time was available at a glance.
NOTE: GLYCINE DID NOT BECOME AN OVERLY FAMOUS, COLLECTIBLE OR DESIRABLE BRAND UNTIL THE EARLY 1950’s RELEASE OF THE AIRMAN. THE AIRMAN PROPELLED THE GLYCINE BRAND IN THE U.S.A. AND EUROPE.