IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition ‘Antoine De Saint Exupéry’ Watch

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition ‘Antoine De Saint Exupéry’ Watch

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition 'Antoine De Saint Exupéry' Watch Watch Releases

IWC shares a close relationship with the heirs of Antoine de Saint Exupéry that stretches back to 2006 with the launch of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “Night Flight.” Antoine de Saint Exupéry was an acclaimed French poet, journalist, and writer who is best known for writing the novel The Little Prince. He was also a heck of a pilot. In honor of this impressive character, IWC has a collection of limited edition Pilot’s watches that pays tribute to both Antoine de Saint Exupéry as well as his most famous work. The latest one to do so is the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” watch.

The new Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” is based closely on last year’s Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” but with a few changes. The Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” comes in a hefty 46.2mm 18k red gold case and retains the large conical screw-in crown that has become a signature of IWC’s Big Pilot’s watches. Water resistance is a handy 60m, which means it should be good enough for the occasional swim.

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition 'Antoine De Saint Exupéry' Watch Watch Releases

The big change is on the dial. While watches in IWC’s “Le Petit Prince” collection have a deep and rich blue dial, the “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” watches distinguish themselves by having a rich tobacco brown dial, as we saw in the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph hands-on here. Judging from the press photos, the dial seems to match the red gold case nicely. Another notable feature of the dial is the stylized “A” under the annual calendar readouts that represents the author's name.

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition 'Antoine De Saint Exupéry' Watch Watch Releases

At 12 o’clock, you have three apertures that display the month, date, and day. Also, at 3 and 9 o’clock, you have the power reserve indicator and subsidiary seconds respectively. The thick hands and beefy Arabic numeral hour indices feature red gold accents and look to have been generously applied with luminescent material so legibility, whether in the day or night, shouldn’t be an issue. The Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” also comes with a matching brown calfskin strap with white stitching made by leather specialists Santoni.

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition 'Antoine De Saint Exupéry' Watch Watch Releases

Powering the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” is the IWC Caliber 52850, which is visible through a sapphire display caseback. It beats at a standard 4Hz and features a 7-day long power reserve thanks to two mainspring barrels. It also features the latest version of IWC’s Pellaton winding system, which has recently been upgraded with ceramic components to provide years of wear-free operation. It has also been handsomely decorated with Côtes de Genève and blued screws. However, the standout feature of the display has got to be the large 18k red gold winding rotor, which has been partially skeletonized to create a Lightning P-38 plane. The decision to use a Lightning P-38 plane is a sentimental one as Saint Exupéry disappeared over the Mediterranean sea in one when flying on a reconnaissance mission.

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition 'Antoine De Saint Exupéry' Watch Watch Releases

Obviously, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” will appeal most to fans of The Little Prince and admirers of the author. However, there’s a lot to like about the watch even if you are not familiar with Saint Exupéry and his works. The tobacco brown dial and the red gold case look like a great match and I especially like the watch’s winding rotor that is shaped like a Lightning P-38 plane. The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” is limited to 250 pieces and is priced at $32,400. iwc.com

What do you think?
  • Thumbs up (18)
  • I love it! (8)
  • Interesting (5)
  • I want it! (5)
  • Classy (1)
  • Yan Fin

    Aside from the size, dream watch, pure watch porn. Come to think about it, any porn has some disproportions. ?. Great write-up, thanks Kenny.

  • Pete Pete

    the design sensibility of the dial feels like a combination of Bremont and A. Lange & Söhne – both excellent brands to be associated with

    • simon

      First time anyone in the comment section has written that Bremont is an “excellent brand to be associated with”.

  • Ranchracer

    Gorgeous.

  • simon

    When did IWC become cartoonish? That oscillating weight is ridiculous. I would want my IWC to be a tool watch (like they use to be), rather than looking like a tool wearing one.

    • Sheez Gagoo

      Around 2005.

    • Chaz

      Two words: Georges Kern

      But he delivered…for a while. Let’s see how he does with Breitling now…

  • SuperStrapper

    This would have been a great watch but the ridiculous size (compounded heavily by that massive crown not accounted for in the 46mm dimension) and completely unnecessary co branding bring me to an easy decision on what lane to take:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5c036f30c09031c9797add8df3b6bf73f7a6cd36a22d0a553bf2c149ef648887.jpg

    • My wrist is already in pain from the 46+ mm case coupled with the huge crown – and I haven’t even tried on one. Just thinking about it causes pain.

      • egznyc

        Need the LHD.

  • Tea Hound

    If anyone from IWC ever reads these comments, the good news is that this watch can be fixed with three simple changes:

    1. Ditch the idiotic rotor. This is the sort of crap that even Bremont might hesitate over.
    2. Remove the words ‘Annual Calendar’ from the dial. Oh, and the childish ‘A’.
    3. Remove the white edge line around the three annual calendar openings. The line visually jars.

    • simon

      Cant remove the “A”. There is almost a ten year lineage for the Exupery models that all have this. I agree on everything else.

  • WINKS

    Another IWC paperweight.

  • Marius

    This is not a bad watch — excepting the awful Annual Calendar inscription –, but $33,000 is a huge price considering that for the same amount you could buy timepieces from more prestigious brands, featuring better-finished calibers as well as a higher level of fit & finish such as a Patek Philippe Worldtimer, or a Patek Annual Calendar, or a JLC Duometre a Quantieme Lunaire, or even a Lange 1815 Annual Calendar (for around $6,000 more).
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c84c32056a72ca3ee9bd5f9e71e6b2f4e1a52bbdc7d54af20387f9fc8140c067.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5fe49e8c5bc720fd1fb68a3438c71695d429a91053b1b070fcdcf467aefd675f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c34be3bfe9d1fe904a510be6a90f629de86a1a084aa2b0ebde917aa820938489.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7275e7b30bd5219b23196c7ba4f919d87fcba58231d92e7581c08f3e7bbd1181.jpg

    • simon

      While everything you wrote and suggested is correct, you are looking at this watch from the view point of an enthusiast. IWC no longer targets those clients, mainly because they will never win against the brands you mentioned. IWC has become a brand for the masses, which targets entry wealthy people who want something cool and recognizable. They will never be able to distinguish the differences in movement finish and architecture…and they also just don’t care. Nevertheless, there is a much bigger segment of people out there who have the money, but are not into watches seriously, than there are of people who are both. Clearly if this watch was targeting the enthusiast they wouldn’t put Annual Calendar on the dial. Educated watch collectors already know what it is.

    • Chaz

      For the same amount?? Well used perhaps…

  • awildermode

    I noticed the piece is “ONE OUT OF 250”, as marked on the caseback. So, for higher numbered pieces are they continuing the same format?

    For example: “ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN OUT OF 250”

    • Tea Hound

      No, they just label all of them “ONE OUT OF 250”. A bit tacky, really. Old IWC BP and Port limited editions used to get proper sequential numbering on the side of the case, but somewhere along the line, the accountants won.

  • Mark1884

    Just a little too “hokey” for me, with the author tie in and Bremont style rotor.
    This is my 2nd IWC pass in a row……. don’t like that.
    Polite pass.

    • Chaz

      He was a better writer than pilot, right? So what’s with all this worship by issuing countless “Pilot” watches with his name stamped on them??

      • Mark1884

        I don’t get it. This watch would be better without the added nonsense.

  • IG

    That ANNUAL CALENDAR text set with Courier-like font and the A. below that looks like set with Comic Sans make me hysterically laugh and vomit at the same time which is an unpleasant experience, I can tell you. And I don’t even look at the rotor with Bremont-like design sensibilities.

  • Yanko

    46.2 mm commemorating the LITTLE Prince? And the crown looks as if it was supplied by Home Depot. Nice move IWC.