In 2016 IWC will launch the new Pilot models. One of our favorite models of all IWC models of Le Petit Prince is certainly this Annual Calendar.
Sooner or later, anyone who turns their attention to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry realizes that this is a man of two talents: on the one hand, the world-famous poet and author of the fabulous tale of “The Little Prince”; on the other, the pragmatic pilot, technician and owner of patents relating to flying. For Saint-Exupéry, writing could not exist without flying, and vice versa. For him, flying was a school that taught discipline. In the cockpit, every move had to be just right. In direct contrast to writing, one false manoeuvre here could be fatal. At the same time, formulating his ideas gave him the far-sightedness, imagination and poetic perspective essential for flying. For literature back in those days, the link between writing and flying was a new phenomenon – and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry mastered it with aplomb.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le PetitPrince” (Ref. IW502701) likewise connects the two worlds of flying and writing, technology and poetry, in a breathtakingfashion. The result is an elegant special-edition timepiece featuring a red gold case, which is available in a limited edition of 250 watches.
THE FIRST PILOT’S WATCH WITH AN ANNUAL CALENDAR
On the front of the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”, the feature that stands out first and foremost is the attractive colour combination. Combined with the red gold of the case, hands and appliqués as well as the dark brown of the Santoni calfskin strap, the shimmering blue sun-pattern finish on the dial underscores the exclusive character of this timepiece. If we look more closely, we discover three separate windows, arranged in a semicircle at “12 o’clock”, which show the month, date and day of the week. A year after the launch of the annual calendar, this is the first Pilot’s Watch to feature this particular complication. The advance mechanism requires correction just once a year, in February. And that is unfortunate, one is tempted to say, because the big, chunky, cone-shaped crown simply cries out to be used for resetting the watch. And with a 7-day power reserve – the display is in the subdial to the right – there is little opportunity for winding the watch. The counter to the left shows the seconds. The exquisite appearance of the watch is underpinned not least by thoughtful details such as the white and red gold outlines of the hands, numerals and appliqués, the polished bezel on the satin-finished case and the beige-coloured ornamental seams on the strap. The hands and indicators are coated with white Super-LumiNova®* and guarantee excellent legibility even when visibility is poor.
MOMENTUM FROM THE LITTLE PRINCE AND HIS PLANET
“The Little Prince” is one of the world’s most widely read books. Millions of young and older readers have been enthralled by the fairy tale. Now, for the seventh time, IWC Schaffhausen is producing a special edition of the bestseller and immortalizes the little prince on the reverse side of the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”. Through the big sapphire-glass back, the little prince can be seen standing on his tiny asteroid – the rotor – and staring at the heavens with wide-open eyes. The tiny, flower-bedecked asteroid is the weight that revolves eccentrically around its own axis. Free-standing, and acting to a certain extent as a counterweight, the hero of the tale rotates too, the movement an image reflecting the little prince’s odyssey. It takes him from one unusual inhabitant to the next, until finally he lands back on his home planet with his beloved rose.
Based on a drawing by Saint-Exupéry himself, the rotor involved an enormous amount of intricate design and was finally crafted in solid red gold. The interplay of sandblastedand polished surfaces on the rotor brings every single detailof the sketch to life.
The IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre has twin barrels to deliver the higher torque needed to drive the annual calendar’s three display discs. In addition, when fully wound, the two barrels supply enough energy for a full week’s power reserve.
Pellaton automatic winding
Power reserve display Annual calendar with date, day and month displays
Small hacking seconds at “9 o’clock”
Indexless Glucydur®* berylliumalloy balance with high-precision adjustment screws on the rim
See-through sapphire-glass back
Glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure
18-carat gold rotor
Limited edition of 250 watches
IWC-manufactured calibre 52850
Frequency 28,800 A/h | 4 Hz
Power reserve 7 days (168 h)
Materials 18-carat red gold case, blue dial, dark brown calfskin strap by Santoni, 18-carat red gold folding clasp
Glass Sapphire glass, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant 6 bar
Diameter 46 mm
Height 15.5 mm