When most people think of Glycine Watches, they probably think of the Airman series. And with that, I get to talk about the newest variation, and for the most part, quite a departure from the Airman series line, in terms of case construction and chronograph operation. Enter the Glycine Airman Airfighter. The Airfighter debuted at Basel World 2014, and since then the have come out with a few different dial color combos and some limited edition models as well. The one I am reviewing today is the blue dial model, with rose gold accents.
The case shape and size remind me of another line of Glycine Watches, the Lagunare series, specifically the L1000. If you take a look at that model, I think you can see what I mean. Both are large, chunky watches, with similar (not exact), lugs and crowns. The crowns used on this Airfighter model, especially the pushers themselves, remind me of the Glycine Airman Sphair, another watch that I reviewed here on WatchReport. Sphair Review.
The Airfighter is quite a large and chunky watch at 46mm wide and 56mm long, so it is not for the guys who like a more modest sized watch. If you do like a large (could say massive), watch, the Airman is right in your wheelhouse.
- Stainless steel case
- Blue and black chronograph dial
- Black bezel
- Black leather strap
- Date display at the 3 o’clock position
- Exhibition case back
- Screw-down rubber crown
- Anti-reflective sapphire glass crystal
- Swiss Automatic GL754 movement
- Water resistant to 200 meters (660 feet)
- Case width 46mm
- Case Length 56mm
- Case Thickness 15mm
- Lug Width 24mm
- Retail Price Approximate $4800
In the video, I go over many aspects of the Aifighter, along with all of its specs. Here, I would like to discuss many of the things I love, and the few of the things I do not. And why it might be weird, I’m actually going to start off discussing the few things that I do not.
One of those things would be the dial. It is just a very busy dial, and because of the dual textures and colors, it makes seeing all of the details and functions a little difficult. Actually it makes seeing them a lot difficult, especially at a glance. You have your regular time hands, a GMT hand, a chronograph and the date. All against that dual textured dial. The hands are outlined in black and rose gold, and though when looking close they are well finished and striking, they do not pop against the dial enough, and somehow just blend in. They are not distinct and standing out, and let’s be honest, it’s a watch, which its main purpose is to tell time.
My other issue, would be the size. Now this is purely subjective on my part, but with the large case size, and the chunky bezel and large crowns, this watch stretches out to 50mm, all things included. Is it as monstrous as some of the oversized watches from certain fashion brands? No, but it wears very large, and I think some of that is the long lugs as well, which give it the appearance of an even larger watch. If you like a large watch, than of course this should be no issue, but for me, I think it is a little too big overall.
Lets get to the things I do like. The bezel. While it is chunky and wide, much like some dive watches, it is a good looking bezel that is easy to grip and slide for using with the gmt and hour hands, for tracking another time zone (up to 3). The bezel is stainless steel, and is PVD coated, and then given two different finishes, satin brushed on top and high polished for the coin edge. And as typical with a lot of the Airman models, you do not have to worry about accidentally moving the bezel, as the 4 o’clock crown is used to lock the bezel.
Another of my favorite features would be the chronograph actuator. At first I thought it would be somewhat gimmicky, but after using it a few times, I found it useful, and found it to be just as easy to use as standard chronograph pushers. One thing to probably question would be its long-term durability, and if the sliding button will hold up to daily use, or if the mechanism is built to endure. One would think that a watch with this price tag should have quality components, so I do not doubt the build. Since this is a new type of mechanism for Glycine, you just don’t know. Please make sure to check the video to see how the actuator operates, if you are not familiar with it.
When it comes to the high price tag, part of that can be attributed to the movement. I am admittedly not a movement snob, but a movement that has all these capabilities is of course not cheap, and the GL754 caliber is a base Valjoux 7754 automatic movement. With 25 jewels, a power reserve of about 44 hours, unidirectional winding, 1/8-seconds counter, 30-minutes counter, 12-hours counter, it is certainly a capable movement. And if you are one that likes decorated movements and rotors, take a look at the beautiful skeletonized rotor of the Glycine Airfighter.
One thing that surprised me was the lume of the Glycine Airfighter. I had not seen pics of the lume before hand, so I did not know it was dual colored (green and blue) and that “Airfighter” was also lumed. Now, that aspect does nothing to help see the time better in the dark, but it is part of that “cool factor” that we all look for with things of this nature. And while it does look cool, the lume is not the greatest, as it does not last for very long. After an hour I found it was completely gone.
Perception is a funny thing sometimes. I normally am in love with Glycine Watches; unfortunately this is not one of them. That is just me being honest. I don’t hate it by any stretch, and appreciate many aspects of it. My fellow reviewer Michael Wolfe is in absolute love with the look and style of the AirFighter and in the few months leading up to this review with posts I made on social media, many others shared the same opinion.
The watch is quality throughout. I love the screw in lugs, the different finishes used, the high quality leather strap (though the buckle could use an upgrade, can we say deployant clasp?). Can I pull off the size on my 7 ½ inch wrist? Yeah, I feel I can, and think while it is large, does not look massive on my wrist. It is just that I do not wear watches of this size normally. Despite its large dimensions, it is comfortable and is well balanced.
There are a multitude of features packed into the Glycine Airman Airfighter, and while it is not a watch that sets my world upside down, it might be for you. If you like something large, stands out, quality movement full of complications and a beautifully decorated movement with a see through caseback, you should check this one out. And don’t forget the chronograph actuator that looks like something James Bond would shoot lasers out of. Your friends will ask what it does, and you can have fun showing them the practical application. Or they will just think you are weird with “yet another watch”. If the latter is the case, you may need to rethink your friends…..
Thank you to Glycine for providing this model for review. Please leave your comments below.