Swiss watch brand Glycine is renowned for sturdy high-quality watches with large diameters. The 100-year-old traditional company Glycine Watch SA is a renowned specialist in mechanical aviators’ and diving watches with sales outlets in over 30 countries. Founded in 1914 by Eugène Meylan, this dynamic Biel/Bienne-based Company is headed up today by proprietor Stephan Lack.
Hans Brechbühler (1927-2010)
Hans Brechbühler was an enthusiastic achiever who loved his work and relished contact with other people.
During the Swiss watchmaking crisis in 1984, Hans Brechbühler took over Glycine and saved it from bankruptcy. At that time, he had already been working in the industry for 30 years following initial training in business management. He rebuilt Glycine and strongly influenced the brand, later together with his youngest daughter Katherina. In 2005, following 15 years of joint management and ownership, Katharina Brechbühler assumed sole control of Glycine.
However, her father’s broad knowledge and wide experience continued to benefit the company and he remained a constant pillar of support and a valued advisor.
Hans Brechbühler was fascinated just as much by the technical side of watch manufacture as he was by the commercial aspects. At the same time, it was not just the business that interested him but also the people behind it. His exceptional language skills allowed him to communicate easily with them. Consequently, many of them regarded him not just as a business partner but also as a friend. He was born in Zurich on 23 August 1927 and died at home in Mörigen near Biel on 19 June 2010.
In 2011, Altus Uhren Holding AG took over the Glycine Watch, and Stephan Lack was appointed as the new CEO. Katherina Brechbühler, daughter of Hans Brechbühler continues to look after the design department.
In 2014, Glycine celebrated its 100th Anniversary.
In 2016, DKSH sold Glycine Watch S.A. to the Florida-based watch manufacturer Invicta Watch Group.
A Summary of Glycine Milestones
1914: Founded by Eugène Meylan in Biel / Bienne, Switzerland.
1938: Glycine takes part in the first watch trade fair in Basel.
1953: The first AIRMAN series. AIRMAN original: The first series to feature the legendary Felsa 692 movement and a 24-hour display. The last series was produced in 1978 and was succeeded by the quartz era of the Swiss watch industry.
1967: AIRMAN SST – Also known as the Pumpkin, this model was inspired by the first supersonic passenger aircraft flight. The last series was produced in 1978. Today the SST is a highly sough after collectors’ timepiece.
1968: AIRMAN SST Chronograph – Manufactured in a limited series of probably no more than 100 pieces. Today, the SST Chrono fetches the highest prices in the collectors’ market.
1978: AIRMAN Quartz – A quartz watch in keeping with the spirit of the time, which features an exceptionally strong pacemaker motor. Available in steel and in bi-coloured versions.
1990: AIRMAN Quartz Worldtimer – Features city coats of arms on the rotating bezel. The Worldtimer is available in steel or in two bi-coloured versions; it is water resistant to 200 m and is still being manufactured today.
1998: AIRMAN 2000 – A follow-on in the style of the original 1953 model, but designed with today’s quality features, which include a sapphire glass, screw crowns, water resistance to 200 m, and a high performance automatic movement. Available with two or three time zones.
2001: AIRMAN 46 mm – With its 46 mm diameter, this is a big-size trend-setter that is particularly popular in Italy, the USA and Germany. Available with two or three time zones.
2002: AIRMAN 7 – With a diameter of 53 mm, this is one of the biggest wrist watches ever made, and is the first watch in the world to simultaneously show four time zones using three independent movements. This is one of Glycine’s most well known watches.
2002: AIRMAN 8 – A remake of the 1953 classic using state-of-the-art technology, with a 24-hour display and a 36 mm diameter case.
2004: AIRMAN 9 – An all-round world time watch with three time zones and chronographs, and a diameter of 44 mm. The watch’s ambassador is acrobatic pilot Pascale Alajouanine.
2004: AIRMAN MLV – Featuring a fluorescent dial and named after the Mauna Loa Volcano, this 42 mm diameter model is manufactured in a 500-piece limited series.
2004: AIRMAN Special – A 24-hour model featuring two time zones, just like the first world time watches. The Special’s upper dial is in dark blue and the lower in light blue.Manufactured in a 200-piece limited edition, today this model is sold out.
2005: AIRMAN 7 Gold – The masterpiece of the AIRMAN tradition, featuring an 18-carat rose gold case, and launched to pay homage to the cherished AIRMAN 7. Manufactured in a limited edition of only 50 pieces.
2014: Glycine celebrates its 100th Anniversary.
2016: Invicta Watch Group takes over Glycine SA.
Official website: http://www.glycine-watch.ch