The moon phase on the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”

The moon phase on the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”

As probably many others, I discovered the beautiful world of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry through “Le Petit Prince”. The philosophy of Saint-Exupéry marked my young adult years. While an art student, I would always have on me a copy of either “Le Petit Prince” or that of the “Terre des hommes” (English title: Wind, Sand and Stars).

Provably no other writer came close to write about flying, as Saint-Exupéry did and it’s not surprising that IWC, famous for its pilot’s watches, is inspired by the work of the French writer and pilot. Keep reading to learn more about two new pilot’s watches, IWC’s tribute to Saint-Exupéry’s masterpiece.

Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” and Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince”

IWC Schaffhausen celebrates the 70th anniversary of the highly popular novella “The Little Prince” with the launch of two limited special editions: the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince”. With these, the Swiss watch manufacturer pays tribute to one of the best-selling books in literary history, written by legendary writer, pilot and adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Since 2006, the Schaffhausen luxury watch manufacturer has maintained a cordial partnership with Saint-Exupéry’s heirs and their charitable organization, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation.

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” in red gold, limited to 270 watches.

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Seventy years ago, this quotation and others like it literally enchanted the world when illustrious author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry published his parable “The Little Prince”. This profound tale about the little boy with the wheaten hair is one of the bestselling books in world literature and has been translated into more than 270 languages. “With our long tradition of manufacturing Pilot’s Watches, we feel bound to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in many ways,” explains Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “We were inspired by a man who was also a passionate designer and who obtained his first aeronautical patent in 1936, the very year IWC unveiled its first Special Pilot’s Watch. We have enormous admiration for a pilot who was prepared to risk his life in the name of technological progress. And we are honouring Saint-Exupéry, the great writer and humanist, with whose works many of us grew up.”

Schaffhausen’s Tribute to The Little Prince

For generations, this modern fairy tale about friendship and humanity has fascinated young and old from the most diverse cultures, religions and parts of the world. “The Little Prince” is timeless and universal: the sensitive nature of the little blonde boy from another planet teaches adults to see the world through the eyes of children and at the same time gives children an insight into the world of grown-ups. In 2013, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella in praise of humanity celebrates its 70th anniversary. Watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen, partner of the charitable Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, is using the occasion to present two special editions devoted to this classic of literary history: the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW502802) in red gold, limited to 270 watches, and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW326506) in stainless steel, limited to 1,000 watches.

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW326506)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW326506) in stainless steel, limited to 1,000 watches.

A Tribute to Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

Since the start of its cooperation with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s heirs, IWC has used its Pilot’s Watch special editions to commemorate the immortal French author and pilot. In the initial years of the partnership, limited-edition Pilot’s Watches with unusual engravings were dedicated to his literary works with strong ties to the pioneering age of aviation.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph launched in 2006, for example, was a tribute to the novel “Night Flight”. This was followed in 2007 by the Pilot’s Watch Automatic, which paid homage to his gripping work “Southern Mail”, and in 2008 by the Pilot’s Watch UTC, to mark his poetic novel “Wind, Sand and Stars”. In 2009 and 2010, IWC launched the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Antoine de Saint Exupéry in honour of his outstanding life’s work. The special edition selected for 2011 was the rarely manufactured Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar. In 2012, the year of IWC’s Pilot’s Watches, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Antoine de Saint Exupéry was a reminder of how the aviator, poet and humanist discovered his great passion. In 2013, we turn our attention to perhaps the best-known little blonde boy on the planet.

Even now, 70 years later, the little prince continues to find enthusiasts prepared to embark with him on an unforgettable journey.

Technical specifications

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” (REF. IW502802)

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” (REF. IW502802). Please not the 18-carat gold medallion with an engraving of the little prince on the rotor

FEATURES
Mechanical movement
Pellaton automatic winding system
7-day power reserve when fully wound
Power reserve display
Perpetual calendar with displays for the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase
Single moon
Small hacking seconds
Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance
Breguet spring
Rotor with 18-carat gold medallion featuring an engraving of the little prince
Screw-in crown
Limited to 270 watches

MOVEMENT
Calibre: 51613
Frequency: 21,600 A/h / 3 Hz
Jewels: 62
Power reserve: 7 days (168 h)
Winding: automatic

WATCH
Materials: case and folding clasp in 18-carat red gold, midnight blue dial, gold-plated hands and indices, coated with Super-LumiNova®, brown calfskin strap with quilted stitching
Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 6 bar
Diameter: 46 mm
Case height: 16 mm


IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW326506)

IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW326506)

FEATURES
Mechanical movement
Self-winding
Date display
Central hacking seconds
Soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields
Screw-in crown
Glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure
Engraving of the little prince on the case back
Limited to 1,000 watches

MOVEMENT
Calibre: 30110
Frequency: 28,800 A/h / 4 Hz
Jewels: 21
Power reserve: 42 h
Winding: automatic

WATCH
Materials: stainless-steel case, midnight blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and indices, coated with Super-LumiNova®, brown calfskin strap with quilted stitching, stainless-steel pin buckle
Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 6 bar
Diameter: 41 mm
Case height: 11 mm