IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII and Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Editions Le Petit Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince is probably one of the most beloved children’s books ever penned. As a matter of fact, it is the most translated French book. There is something about that Little Prince, that golden-haired boy in a scarf, and the wonderfully childlike way he views the world (or in his case worlds) that speaks to everyone and teaches us to see snakes digesting elephants and sheep in a box. And, it is also the 70th anniversary of that novella. (Surprise! Another major anniversary for 2013!)
What you may not know is that there is a charity, the The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, founded by de Saint-Exupéry’s heirs to help to give children “practical support by helping them build their own future and encourage them to take an active part in society”.
And, you also may not know that in addition to being an author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a pilot. So, it would appear that a partnership between The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation and IWC would be a match made in heaven (or at least on Asteroid B-612).
Every year, since 2005, IWC has partnered with The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation to create a special edition watch, raising money for the charity. This year, since it’s the 70th anniversary of Le Petit Prince, IWC has created not one, but two special editions: IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition Le Petit Prince and IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince. Each of the Editions Le Petit Prince hearken back to the story in slightly different ways.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition Le Petit Prince
From the front, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition Le Petit Prince is all business. You can’t really tell it apart from the regular IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII apart from the brushed metallic midnight blue dial, slightly pointier hands and the de Saint-Exupéry-style star on the second hand. The high contrast between the blue dial, white hands and the white indices makes it supremely easy to read. At 41 mm, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition Le Petit Prince’s stainless steel case is a fairly reasonable size to wear every day.
Flip the watch over and you see a nicely engraved caseback with the Little Prince, himself, and an individualized number. The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition Le Petit Prince is a limited edition of only 1,000 examples. Under that caseback is IWC’s 21-jewel, automatic calibre 30110 with a 42-hour power reserve. Each of the 1,000 pieces are priced at $5,400 with a leather strap and should hit U.S. retailers in November.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince
Where the Mark XVII is subdued in its reference to Le Petit Prince, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince is Little Prince through and through. For starters, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince and it’s 18k rose gold case is huge at 46 mm. That’s like 1.8 inches.
The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince has the same brushed midnight blue dial and pointy hands as the smaller Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition Le Petit Prince, but this one is chock-full of registers and indicators. At the heart of the Perpetual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince is IWC’s in-house, 62-jewel calibre 51623 automatic movement. Which means, this watch has a full perpetual calendar with a year indicator (accurate through the year 2299) and a moonphase indication featuring the Little Prince standing on the moon (or asteroid).
On the obverse side, the movement is on full display. The winding rotor is decorated with a carving of the Little Prince and the particular watches number out of the limited edition of 270 pieces (also available in U.S. boutiques in November). Of the two Editions Le Petit Prince, this is the one I would want. It is so cool. But, with an edition of 270 and a price tag of $51,200, it is a bit out of my reach. Anyway, there both for a good cause. For more information on the Editions Le Petit Prince, visit IWC. And, for more info on the The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, visit here.