Antoine de Saint Exupéry was an acclaimed French poet, journalist, and writer who is best known for writing the novel The Little Prince. He was also a heck of a pilot. In honor of this impressive character, IWC has a collection of limited edition Pilot’s watches that pays tribute to both Antoine de Saint Exupéry as well as his most famous work. The latest one to do so is the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” watch.
This latest model of the watch was inspired by the previous “Le Petit Prince” variations and shows off a superb 46.2 mm 18k red gold case. It retains the large conical screw-in crown that has become a signature of IWC’s Big Pilot’s watches and is 60-meter water resistance.
The big change is on the dial. While watches in IWC’s “Le Petit Prince” collection have a deep and rich blue dial, the “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” watches distinguish themselves by having a rich tobacco brown dial that seems to match the red gold case. Another notable feature of the dial is the stylized “A” under the annual calendar readouts that represents the author’s name.
The thick hands and beefy Arabic numeral hour indices feature red gold accents, and the luminescent material used should help users tell time, be it day or night. A matching brown calfskin strap, with white stitching, is what the leather specialists at Santoni have brought to the project.
Powering the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” is the IWC Caliber 52850, which is visible through a sapphire display caseback. It beats at a standard 4Hz and features a 7-day long power reserve thanks to two mainspring barrels.
It also features the latest version of IWC’s Pellaton winding system, which has recently been upgraded with ceramic components to provide years of wear-free operation. It has also been handsomely decorated with Côtes de Genève and blued screws. However, the standout feature of the display has got to be the large 18k red gold winding rotor, which has been partially skeletonized to create a Lightning P-38 plane.
The decision to use a Lightning P-38 plane is a sentimental one as Saint Exupéry disappeared over the Mediterranean sea in one when flying on a reconnaissance mission.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine De Saint Exupéry” is limited to 250 pieces, each of them being priced at $32,400.