IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”
2013 marks the 70th birthday of the renowned children’s book “The Little Prince” by French aviator and author Antoine De Saint-Exupery. IWC has launched the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII in a “The Little Prince” special edition to celebrate this momentous occasion. Both special edition watches feature a depiction of the little prince standing on his tiny planet. IWC has chosen to release the Big Pilot’s Edition in a limited, numbered series of 270 pieces worldwide. The watch comes with two collectibles produced for IWC – a reproduction of the original first edition in English, and a reprint of the original manuscript in Antoine De Saint-Exupery’s native tongue of French.
Le Petit Prince
This Big Pilot’s Watch, ref # IW502802, is manufactured in 18kt red gold with a brown calf skin leather strap with white contrast saddle stitching. This model carries a case diameter of 46mm, and a relatively thick case height of 16mm. The thin bezel is polished, whereas the rest of the case is satin finished. The prominent, screw locked main crown is textured for the easy winding of the movement, and modifications to the time.
The dial comes in midnight blue and it features rose gold toned, sword shaped hands, and Arabic numeral hour markers. Both of these elements are generously coated with Super-LumiNova for nighttime readability. The minute track is located on the flange using white demarcations. This timepiece indicates the day, date, and month in subdials at 9, 3, and 6 respectively, and also carries a 4 digit year display at the 7:30 position. The subdials at 9 and 3 are shared with the small seconds and a power reserve indicator counting down from 7 days. At the 12 position is a moonphase featuring the Little Prince standing on his planet, gazing upwards to the stars. The perpetual calendar is set until the year 2100, as that year does not conform with the traditional 4 year cycle, as it is not a leap year.
The IW502802 is outfitted with an in-house movement Caliber 51613 with Pellaton winding system. The Pellaton winding system allows the oscillating rotor to wind the main spring is both directions, resulting in more accurate timekeeping. The movement also features a Breguet spring, and a Glucydur Beryllium alloy balance wheel with a high precision adjustment cam on the balance arms. The oscillating rotor features a gold medallion with an engraving of “The Little Prince”. The movement can be viewed through the exhibition sapphire crystal case back.