During Sotheby’s sale of Important Watches on 12 November 2017, IWC will offer a special edition of its Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”(Reference IW502705, Lot 183). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the watch will benefit the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, whose charitable work is dedicated to supporting young people and children in need all over the world.
This wristwatch in 18-carat white gold is a homage to author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Its timeless design brings together the poetry and much-loved narrative of The Little Prince, with technical features demonstrating Iwc Watches Canada Replica Schaffhausen’s exacting standards in precision watchmaking.
This timepiece features a midnight blue dial with rhodium-plated luminous hands, inspired by the glowing dials of cockpit instruments. Located at “12 o’clock” on the dial, IWC’s annual calendar shows the month, date and day in three separate windows. Its complex mechanism takes into account the differing lengths of different months, with the exception of February; once a year in March, it requires a simple manual correction using the crown.
Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition © IWC
The striking conical crown of the Pilot’s Watch harks back to the pioneering days of aviation, when pilots had to face the elements in unheated cockpits. The large size of the crown allowed pilots to set and wind their watch even when wearing thick gloves and a padded flight suit.
The case back of the watch in sapphire glass reveals IWC’s sophisticated and innovative blue movement, which took IWC nearly two years to perfect. The Little Prince of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s is shown gazing into the sky from his tiny planet. The planet in its entirety forms the rotor and revolves around its axis. Also made of 18-carat gold, the rotor is decorated with detail of blue flowers, inspired by the original illustrations in The Little Prince.
Starting with the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Heritage, the new piece is quite similar to previous Big Pilot’s Watches with the exclusion of case material, which is now either bronze or titanium, and the inclusion of the very striking IWC 52110 in-house manufacture caliber. IWC’s automatic winding 52110 features a shocking 168 hour (seven day) power book, Côtes de Genève and perlage completing, and 31 stones, all ticking along at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4Hz) interior of a soft iron inner case to withstand magnetic fields found in aviation environments. The standard major Pilot’s 51111 quality features more stones at 42 but beats at a significantly slower 21,600 vibrations per hour (3Hz). The 46.2millimeter case, touch crown, and classic inspired leather strap stay similar in style to previous major Pilot’s. For those with more regular wrists and bank accounts, IWC have also produced the Mark XVIII in a particular Heritage edition. The brand new IWC Pilot’s Mark XVIII Heritage retains the aviation fashion dial and hands in addition to the small 40mm case size from previous models. New is using titanium as a case material which lends the piece a utilitarian feel in addition to a much lighter overall weight reduction. The inclusion of IWC’s 35111 caliber also differentiates this new model from it is forebears and while it isn’t a completely in-house caliber like those in the Heritage Big Pilot’s, it’s still a competent 25-jewel movement dependent on the Sellita SW300 instead of the 21-jewel, ETA 2892 base motion located in the normal IWC Mark XVIII. A marginally less striking caliber like the 35111 using a more approachable 42-hour power reserve also helps keep the price somewhat reasonable.
Case back view © IWC