April 9, 2017 by Allen George
I like a substantial watch. I realized this the moment I worked the crowns on my Glycine Airman Base 22 GMT. It’s not that they felt…cheap exactly, (though the cross-hatching on the GMT crown was less refined and impressive in the metal) just, over-light; insubstantial. In general this was my biggest complaint with the Base 22: that something about its overall construction – the crowns, the bezel – made it feel cheaper, less machined, less tool than my Seiko divers at a third of the price. I felt it over-delicate: like I’d to baby it and protect it from the random indignities of life on wrist – quite unlike the feeling from my Monsters: that they could take out a mugger, a concrete block and stop a bullet – all while keeping time.
In other ways the Base 22 was exactly as advertised. Everything was PVD’d – even, amazingly, the movement. The entire dial was lumed, creating an immersive cockpit-at-night feel unmatched by the other watches I own. The red GMT hand is visually striking, adding a welcome contrast to the black hands and pistachio-green watch face. It is a very pretty watch.
Incidentally, its operation is a little confusing at first: even though the dial is notched with 24-hour markers, only the GMT hand makes use of them; the main hour hand uses the standard hour positions! This makes the watch dramatically easier to read (you can use your visual memory, trained through years of reading analog faces) but can confuse the heck out of you when you’re setting it for the first time. Also, a PSA: do not set the GMT hand or the date while the main hour hand is between 8 and 2 – it’s at this point that the date gears are being repositioned, and you risk doing serious damage to the movement.