For the fifth time, IWC pays tribute to an outstanding aviator and author, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, with a limited edition timepiece from the Pilot’s line of watches. It is also the first time that the rarely produced Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar joins the limited Pilot’s Watch collection.
Big Pilots Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is available in the limited quantity of 500 pieces housed in 18-karat rose gold cases. This limited edition timepiece features the imposing in-house manufactured Caliber 51614 with Pellaton winding system and the amazing seven days of power reserve. The other outstanding features include a mechanically programmed perpetual calendar showing the year in four digits, as well as the moon phase display for both hemispheres. One of the most important things about this watch is the simplicity with which it can be operated.
This IWC masterpiece houses a round, rose gold case that measures 46 mm in diameter and it is 16 mm thick. Traditionally, on the right side of the case, there is an eye-catching onion-shaped screw-in crown. Its case is constructed to resist water pressure up to 60 meters (200 feet). The watch which is recognizable to connoisseurs and collectors as an exclusive “Saint Ex” is domed on both sides by convex sapphire crystals with antireflective coatings and it has a see-through sapphire-glass case back. Thanks to the mechanical movement with a highly effective Pellaton winding system, the mainspring is fully charged in less than two days of normal wear. The fascinating interplay of two pawls can be seen perfectly through the transparent case back.
The rotor has the engraved lettering “EDITION SAINT EXUPERY” and an 18-karat gold medallion with the initial “A” taken from the famous Frenchman’s signature. On the left side of the case, at the 9 o’clock position, you can found the serial number of this exquisite wristwatch. That will always remind you that only 500 people worldwide owns this masterpiece. The watch is secured to the wearer’s wrist with a boldly stitched brown calfskin strap with a folding clasp in rose gold.
A Cockpit-Style Design of the Dial
The tobacco-brown dial of Big Pilots Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupéry combines the watch’s characteristic cockpit-style design with the filigree display of the perpetual calendar. At the 12 o’clock position, there is a moon phase indicator. The silhouettes of two little airplanes indicate the state of the moon in northern and southern hemispheres. The moon phase display deviates by only 12 seconds from the actual course of the moon in a given lunar period. To show you how much it is accurate, I must say that this deviation is equivalent to only one day in 577 years. Quite amazing!!!
Even two of four sub-dials provide double functionality. A power reserve indicator and a date display share the same counter which is located at the 3 o’clock position. A shorter sub-dial hand with white luminous material is used for power reserve, while a longer one with a red tip shows the right date. The sub-dial situated at the 6 o’clock position displays a month, while the right day of the week and small hacking seconds are displayed at the 9 o’clock position. There are also two sub-dial hands; the shorter one shows seconds, whereas the longer hand displays the month. The year in four digits is available in a small black-on-white window located between 7 and 8 o’clock positions.
All calendar displays are based on an ingenious synchronization system. Each of them is automatically advanced and will take into account every single leap day in the Gregorian calendar until 2100, without any required adjustments.
The dial also features a luminescent arrowhead index at the 12 o’clock position, hour markers at the quarter hour and Arabic numerals. The propeller-like hour and minute hands are also filled with luminous materials for the best legibility in low light conditions, even in deep darkness.
The retail price of this exceptional limited edition watch is $49,800.
Tribute to the Author’s Outstanding Literary Oeuvre
I must say that if aviation has a literary patron saint, then he will definitely be the passionate French pilot and poet.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a legend in his own lifetime. In 1931, he wrote Night Flight, a classic tale of early flight. He secured his place in the hearts of a worldwide readership as the author of The Little Prince and Southern Mail. The Frenchman with impressive mind dedicated almost his entire life to flying. His successors established the society to preserve the great adventurer’s spiritual legacy. In 2005, IWC sealed its partnership with the Succession Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – d’Agay. The Swiss manufacturer also spread the cooperation with the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation to insure that the well-known Frenchman’s humanist ideas remain alive.