“A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Wise words from the lauded writer, pilot and adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and words that must be well known by the designers at IWC when they were conceiving The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” – a stunning timepiece that pays homage to the timeless classic novella, The Little Prince.
It is launched alongside a second model, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince”, and both celebrate the 70th birthday of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s enchanting story that has been translated into more than 270 languages, still sells over a million copies per year, and has totalled in excess of than 140 million copies worldwide – making it one of the best-selling books ever published.
Unveiled in Hong Kong at the Watch and Wonders watch fair, which is the Asian equivalent of the SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), the watch features a golden sculpture of the little prince on the moon phase indication – the first of IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watches to feature the classic moon phase display.
Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen said, “With our long tradition of manufacturing Pilot’s watches, we feel bound to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in many ways. 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.”
Support doesn’t only come in the form of a tributary watch, IWC have also had a partnership with Saint-Exupéry’s heirs and their charitable organisation, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, since 2006.
The watch is powered by an in-house calibre 51613 with Pellaton automatic winding and 7-day power reserve. This remarkable timepiece is limited to 270 watches in red gold and comes with two rarities produced exclusively for IWC: first a reproduction of the original first edition in English entitled The Little Prince, and secondly a reprint of the original handwritten manuscript of Le Petit Prince in French.