110 Big Pi­lot Lit­tle Prince

For the man who was an avi­a­tor as well as an au­thor, IWC made a fit­ting trib­ute à la the Big Pi­lot’s Watch An­nual Cal­en­dar Edi­tion “Le Petit Prince”

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IWC’S Big Pi­lot’s Watch An­nual Cal­en­dar Edi­tion “Le Petit Prince”

An­toine de Saint-ex­upéry is best known for his en­thralling novella, The Lit­tle Prince, al­though many also re­mem­ber him dearly as a pi­o­neer­ing avi­a­tor. Hav­ing col­lab­o­rated with the An­toine de Saint-ex­upéry – d’agay Es­tate for more than 10 years now, IWC is per­fectly aware of the man’s twin tal­ents, and as a mat­ter of fact, has been craft­ing time­pieces that bind these two rather di­choto­mous sides of Saint-ex­upéry.

This part­ner­ship be­tween IWC and Saint-ex­upéry’s foun­da­tion may have be­gun in 2005, but it was only re­cently that the man­u­fac­ture made spe­cial edi­tion mod­els fea­tur­ing mo­tifs in­spired by The Lit­tle Prince. These cre­ations in­clude the Big Pi­lot Per­pet­ual Cal­en­dar Edi­tion “Le Petit Prince” with the Prince in the moon phase in­di­ca­tor and the Pi­lot’s Watch Mark XVII Edi­tion “Le Petit Prince” with a picture of the Prince en­graved on the solid case back. But whether they’re de­signed with or with­out the Prince, IWC would, for ob­vi­ous rea­sons, only use watches from the Pi­lot’s Watches line to pay trib­ute to Saint-ex­upéry.

For 2016, IWC has re­leased a trio of new mod­els fea­tur­ing the Prince al­though the stand­out piece is un­doubt­edly the Big Pi­lot’s Watch An­nual Cal­en­dar Edi­tion “Le Petit Prince”. For a start, the move­ment used here is the new Cal­i­bre 52850 launched just one year ago in the Por­tugieser line and to much crit­i­cal ac­claim. This is also the very first Pi­lot’s Watch to be equipped with the an­nual cal­en­dar func­tion – not that this com­pli­ca­tion has par­tic­u­lar per­ti­nence to avi­a­tors, but con­nois­seurs of the IWC Big Pi­lot would no doubt recog­nise the col­lectabil­ity of such a time­piece. Still, Cal­i­bre 52850 prof­fers a tad bit more: the fa­mous Pel­la­ton au­to­matic wind­ing, seven- day power re­serve on dis­play at three o’clock, and small hack­ing sec­onds at nine. But there’s more.

IWC has made a spe­cial os­cil­lat­ing weight for the Big Pi­lot’s Watch An­nual Cal­en­dar Edi­tion “Le Petit Prince”. In­stead of the typ­i­cal semi-cir­cu­lar style seen in most self-wind­ing watches, the ro­tor here is cut in the shape of the tit­u­lar Prince as he stands on his flower-be­decked as­ter­oid num­bered B-612 – the ex­act im­age used on the cover of the book that is drawn by Saint-ex­upéry him­self. Crafted of solid red gold, the ro­tor is fin­ished with sand­blasted and pol­ished sur­faces in or­der for all of its de­tails to be clearly high­lighted. As it swivels around the cen­tral axis, the Prince moves along in tan­dem, as if em­bark­ing on his own odyssey through space.

But it’s not all about the move­ment with this watch; the red gold case, shim­mer­ing blue dial fin­ished with a sun­burst pat­tern, and sump­tu­ous dark brown San­toni calf­skin strap make a po­tent com­bi­na­tion few se­ri­ous watch col­lec­tors can re­sist. And as a nod to its avi­a­tion roots, the nu­mer­als, in­dexes, and hands, as well as the tri­an­gle and two dots at 12 o’clock, have been coated with white Su­per-lu­mi­nova for max­i­mum leg­i­bil­ity. MOVE­MENT Self-wind­ing Cal­i­bre 52850 with an­nual cal­en­dar and seven-day power re­serve

CASE 46mm in red gold, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 60m

STRAP Dark brown San­toni calf­skin leather with red gold fold­ing clasp

PRICE $49,600

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