To celebrates the 70th anniversary of the highly popular novella “Le Petit Prince” written by a legendary writer, pilot and adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupery, IWC Schaffhausen are launching two special edition timepieces: the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition Le Petit Prince. For the past seven decades, Exupéry’s book “Le Petit Prince” has become a classic and is read all over the world, in many languages.
Since 2006, the Schaffhausen-base watchmaker has partnered with the Saint-Exupery’s heirs and their charitable organization, the Antoine de Saint-Exupery Youth Foundation. IWC launched several special edition models in honor of the passionate French writer, such as Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Antoine de Saint Exupéry and the Big Pilots Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The first moon phase complication in the Big Pilot’s model
The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition ”Le Petit Prince” with the referent number IW502802 is the very first Big Pilot’s model to feature a moon phase indicator. This exquisite timepiece is issued in limited series of 270 pieces.
This watch comes with two rarities produced exclusively for IWC: the first one is a reproduction of the original first edition in English entitled “The Little Prince”, and the second one is a reprint of the original handwritten manuscript of “Le Petit Prince” in French.
The latest Big Pilot’s timepiece is equipped with the in-house made caliber 51613 mechanical movement with Pellaton automatic winding. The 62 jewels movement generates enough energy for 7 days of power reserve (or 168 hours) and oscillates at the frequency 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz).
All the displays on its midnight blue dial are easily adjusted via the crown and advance automatically. The beautiful blue dial contrasts perfectly with an 18-karat red gold case and an over-sized diamond-shaped red gold crown. Hands and indices are gold-plated and coated with Superluminova.
Date and power reserve indicator are set in a single counter at the 3 o’clock position; a month display is located at the 6 o’clock position, while a small seconds and a day display are shown in the sub-dial at the 9 o’clock position. A very cool detail is the Little Prince which is set on the moon phase indicator at the 12 o’clock position. The Little Prince stares at the star-studded night sky from his own tiny planet. The perpetual calendar will not need intervention by a watchmaker until 2100, the year that breaks with the conventional 4-year cycle and will not be a leap year.
The case is shielded on both sides with convex, sapphire crystals with antireflective coating and it is constructed to resist water pressure of up to 60 meters (about 200 feet). The case back of the watch is transparent and it shows the inner beauty of the mechanism together with a rotor with 18-carat gold medallion featuring an engraving of the little prince, yet another tribute to Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s book.
This limited edition timepiece is attached to a brown calfskin strap with quilted stitching, ending with a red gold folding clasp.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince”
The second novelty dedicated to the one of the best-selling books in literary history is the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (ref. IW326506). This special edition model is produced in the limited quantity of 1,000 pieces.
The watch is housed in a round stainless steel case which measures 41mm in diameter and 11mm in thickness. In form and function, this newcomer follows the classic IWC’s Pilot’s Watches. The case is protected with antireflective convex sapphire crystals and it is water resistant up to 60 meters (200 feet).
The heart of the new Mark XVII timepiece is the mechanical self-winding caliber 30110 that can store enough power to keep the watch ticking for about 42 hours. The mechanism is built on 21 jewels and has a beating rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz). This special edition watch features a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields and a front glass secured against sudden drops in pressure.
Just like the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”, it features a midnight blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and indices which are coated with Superluminova. The cockpit-style design is especially visible on its dial, such as propeller-like hour and minute hands and a date aperture in a style of a board instrument which gives the impression of an altimeter. The tip of the seconds hand has a small star which is yet another detail that subtly recalls that the boy from “The Little Prince” was the prince of a minuscule star before he started to explore the earth. The Little Prince is also engraved on the case back of the watch.
The new Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” is attached to a brown calfskin strap with quilted stitching, fitted with a steel pin buckle. We do not have information about the price, but I assume that it will be slightly above the price tag for the normal stainless steel Mark XVII model.