Today, IWC will officially present two “Le Petit Prince” models and an “Antoine de Saint Exupéry” special edition as part of their SIHH 2019 releases. The two models are an extremely important part of IWC’s Pilot’s Watches collection, honouring the great writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; which has time and again been a real inspiration for the Schaffhausen based watchmaker. Since 2006, IWC has honoured the pioneering spirit of the French aristocrat and this year things are about to get a lot more interesting.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” is the first pilot’s watch from IWC with a constant-force tourbillon. For the first time, IWC has used hard gold for the watch case – a significantly harder and more wear-resistant version of red gold. On the other hand, the Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince”, combines a perpetual calendar with a chronograph function, once again a first for the brand.
IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince”
Limited to 10 pieces each, the new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” is available in either a 46.2mm hard gold (Ref. IW590303) or platinum (Ref. IW590302) case. The patented constant-force tourbillon is the IWC engineers’ answer to a centuries-old challenge in the field of watchmaking: As the tension in the spring of a mechanical wristwatch slackens over time, less force is transferred to the escapement via the dial train, which in turn decreases the amplitude of the balance. This has a negative impact on the precision of the watch. The patented constant-force mechanism separates the escapement from the direct flow of force from the dial train and with every second re-tensions a balance spring, which serves as temporary energy storage and transfers absolutely even force pulses to the escape wheel. Integrated into a tourbillon, which also eliminates the influence of gravity on the oscillating system, the result is extraordinary precision.
Beating inside the watch is an IWC-manufactured calibre 94805 that combines a constant-force tourbillon with a perpetual moon phase display, which takes 577.5 years to require adjustment by one day. The “Petit Prince” stands on the moon. Two barrels store enough power for 96 hours. A power reserve indicator between 4 and 5 o clock notifies the wearer of the remaining power reserve.
Both models feature a blue dial and come with a brown calf leather strap.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (Ref. IW392202)
The new 250 piece limited edition IWC Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (Ref. IW392202) combines a perpetual calendar with a chronograph. Developed by Kurt Klaus, in the 1980s, with just 80 or so parts, this perpetual calendar automatically detects the different number of days in the month as well as leap years. The mechanism will work until 2100 without needing to be adjusted. The displays for date, day, month, moon phase and year are perfectly synchronised and can be easily adjusted via the crown if the watch is not worn for a prolonged period. The IWC-
manufactured calibre 89630 also features a chronograph function. The moon phase display for the calendar is
therefore integrated into the chronograph counter at “12 o’clock”.
This model features a blue dial with gold plated hands and come with a brown calf leather strap.