June 3, 2015
by Kenny Yeo
As part of IWC’s ongoing collaboration with the heirs of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, IWC has just released a new watch: the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince.” This limited edition watch of just 1000 pieces is based on IWC’s regular Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph, of course, but apart from the obvious visual changes, it has a mechanical twist up its sleeve.
IWC’s relationship with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry stretches back to the 2006 with the launch of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “Night Flight,” which was a tribute to Saint-Exupéry’s novel of the same name. Saint-Exupéry, if you are unaware, was a famous aviator and novelist, and is responsible for works like the aforementioned “Night Flight,” as well as “Southern Mail” and “Wind, Sand and Stars”. However, he is probably best known for “The Little Prince,” or, in Saint-Exupéry’s native tongue, “Le Petit Prince.”
Before getting to the mechanical twist, let’s see the visual changes: as one can clearly see from the photos, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” watch has a striking blue dial typical of IWC’s other Saint-Exupéry special edition watches. It also has the three sub-dials, found on the regular IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph, with running seconds at 9 o’clock, and 30-minute and 12-hour counters at 12 and 6 o’clock, respectively.
Look more closely, and one can spot stars on the dial, and if you are really eagle-eyed, you might notice that around the center of the dial are seven cut-out stars with one of them in gold. Underneath is actually a gold disc that jumps randomly across the seven stars each week. Although the order in which the disc jumps across a week is random, it will repeat this random order every week. As a result, the wearer can use this whimsical mechanism to tell the day of the week. The only problem is that he or she would need to mentally assign a particular star to a day of the week to be able to do so.
Following in the tradition of IWC’s limited edition Saint-Exupéry watches, the caseback features a unique design. In this case (pun unintended), the case back of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” features seven stars, each representing one of the planets that the Little Prince visited and its inhabitant: the king, the vain man, the drunkard, the businessman, the lamplighter, the geographer, and the rose.
Inside the watch beats IWC’s caliber 79420, which is a modified version of the venerable Valjoux 7750. The movement beats at 28,800 bph and features a split-second chronograph complication with a power reserve of 44 hours.
Those who found the regular IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph watches a tad too big will be happy to learn that the case of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” is slightly smaller at 44mm wide in diameter. The case is rendered in stainless steel and has a water resistance rating of 60 meters. The crystal is sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides. Finally, the watch comes with a matte brown calfskin strap with beige stitching and a matching buckle in stainless steel.
As mentioned, the the IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” is limited to just 1000 pieces and is priced at $12,700 and only available through IWC boutiques. iwc.com