Glycine Watches

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About Glycine

Established in 1914 by Eugene Meylan in Bienne, Switzerland, the Glycine watch company stepped into the horological world with the development of extremely small movements that fit well with the aesthetics of women's watches. Even though their first 15 years of work were devoted mainly to wealthy individuals interested in the fine craftsmanship of their delicate watches -- which were usually made from gold and platinum and commonly adorned with diamonds -- the company was still an innovative one. In 1931, they unveiled a well-functioning self-winding movement, the brainchild of Meylan himself; however, they could not exploit this design commercially for a lack of capital. Glycine did launch a chronometer line in 1934 and was one of 29 presenters at Basel Fair in 1938, surviving despite the economic depression of the 1930s. It was 1953 when the company released their flagship watch, the Airman, showing multiple time zones simultaneously; the Airman has been a staple of the brand ever since. Like most other mechanical watch manufacturers, Glycine took a major economic hit in the 1970s at the industry was inundated with quartz watches. The acquisition in 1984 by Hans Brechbuhler signaled the start of a reversal in fortune, as the company then began producing watches for sale in Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, Belgium and Holland, as well as introduced their own line of quartz watches. Brechbuhler's daugher Katherina joined the company in the early 1990s and began reintegrating more mechanical products into Glycine's collections, a move that was encouraged by Germany's large scale acceptance of wound watches. The diameters of Glycine's watches began to increase in the late 1990s, with their larger pieces now coming to 53mm.