IWC Pilot’s Special Edition – Le Petit Prince12:29 pm
Playing upon the theme of a book you probably read in your childhood, IWC Schaffhausen have crafted a watch that will make you rediscover your inner child again with the Le Petit prince Double Chronograph. “The Little Prince” or “Le Petit Prince” as they call it is a watch inspired by France’s most lauded pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery and his most famous book.
A Tribute to a pilot, poet and a pioneer:
A writer, poet, aristocrat, journalist, and pilot of the highest rank. A laureate of several of France’s highest literary awards and also a U.S. National Book Award winner, IWC’s relationship with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry dates back in 2006 when they launched a unique Pilot’s edition called “Night Flight,”.
IWC has since used many of their Pilot’s Watch special editions to commemorate the French author and pilot. It was only in 2013 that they shifted their attention to one of his greatest and most popular literary works: The little prince or in Saint-Exupéry’s native tongue, “Le Petit Prince.” Since then, the Le Petit Special editions have been admired by all and well received among connoisseurs across the globe. This watch though is their newest take with many subtle and unique changes which we will get to now.
The Dancing Stars:
It’s hard not to find this watch attractive. Having a striking blue dial with three sub-dials: a running seconds at 9 o’clock, 30-minute counter at 12 and a 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, but the unique complication of the watch is the seven cut out stars at the center of the dial. Underneath the dial lies a gold disc, that jumps across those seven stars each day- each week, though the order in which the disc jumps across is random, it’s up to you to mentally assign a star to a day and from thereon you’ll know which day of the week it is. You can, of course, use the crown to make the star jump to another position. A rather whimsical and unique feature which might otherwise seem impractical but adds to the overall tribute and style of this piece.
The dial is inspired by cockpit instrumentation of the legendary JU-52 from the 1930s, similar to most IWC Pilots watches. Hour indexes have been generously sized and clearly arranged. The brilliant white hands and indices on the bright blue background have a luminescent coating which give the watch superior legibility. The overall design of the watch is playful, keeping the tribute in mind, but that doesn’t change the fact that is watch is a pure instrument timepiece
“The Midnight blue dial with its characteristic cockpit design has a surprising feature: A Jumping star display is arranged inside the faint line of the circle at its center.”
The Special Caseback:
Keeping in tune with all of IWC’s Le Petit Prince watches so far, the case back of the double chronograph features seven stars (that are there on the dial), each representing one of the planets that the Little Prince visited: the king, the vain man, the drunkard, the businessman, the lamplighter, the geographer, and the rose. (P.s if you haven’t read the book yet, we strongly recommend you do!)
What beats Inside:
The Le Petit is powered by a modified version of IWC’s Calibre 79420 (one that also powers the Ingenur), a self-winding movement with a frequency 28,800vph (4Hz), 29 jewels and a healthy power reserve 44 hours, modified to include the jumping stars mechanism, though the main complication is the double chronograph i.e. two stopwatch seconds hands mounted one on top of another which allows you to record intermediate times within the same minute, a feature often used often by pilots. So despite keeping to the tribute theme, they haven’t compromised on what makes this a useful tool watch.
Limited Edition (Of course):
The watch is secured by a genuine calfskin leather strap and a solid 44mm stainless steel case which is also protected by crystal sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, and because this is a special edition its limited to just a thousand pieces for the world, numbered individually on the case back.
Far away from the conventional IWC Pilots watches we’ve seen so far, but does the job well in delivering a tool watch with a handsome, playful twist.
Available for a limited time on Ethos Watch Boutiques!
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
Rahul is a watch and sports lover currently living in New Delhi. Having worked as a journalist and a copywriter previously, he is now thrilled to be a part of a team that loves, lives and breathes wristwatches. After joining Ethos and The Watch Guide team, his interest for the world of horology grew and is now completely and hopelessly hooked on watches.