It's early morning and I'm sitting outside drinking my coffee and trying to fend away dawn's dirty rosy fingers from my Airman No. 1.
The GL0162 Airman No. 1 is a "caller" GMT with a Sellita SW330-1 beating at 28800 bph inside. It's quite faithful in looks to the original Airman but in a more modern 40mm diameter. The long and thin lugs gives the impression of fragility, and it's one that is about right because with its period authentic acrylic crystal, thin case and 1ATM WR rating, this is not the watch that I'll consider taking to the beach or to some adventure in the wilderness.
It's a pilot watch, and a pilot worrying about the WR of his watch might have other and more pressing concerns to attend.
It's also an icon. Some of us may remember that the Airman was the first watch with a GMT function, but few will realize that it's also among the first watches in space.
Its case with its locking crown and 24 hour dial is unmistakable and while I opted for a more conventional 12Hr movement with a GMT hand, the GL0165 "purist", that was also offered when I made my purchase, is even closer to the original.
But I wanted a black dial and I was not sure if I could adapt to a 24Hr movement so that's why I got the GL0162 instead.
It's an unusual and very retro looking watch, which is exactly why I bought it, and now that I'm about to finish my coffee I also think about its obvious alternative and why I didn't get it instead.
I think its because of the idea of wearing an authentic re-creation of something that reminds me of a long gone age. But it's also a question of value. I value the Airman more than I do it's much more expensive alternative because in my opinion the Airman remained true to its origins while the other, well...didn't.
And that's basically it. For me the Airman is the GMT of choice because of an ideal that can really be justified objectively, but isn't this exactly the reason why we buy and collect watches?