In 2016, the annual calendar makes its debut appearance in the Pilot’s Watches from IWC Schaffhausen. The Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” is dedicated to the leading gure in the eponymous fairy tale. On the reverse side of the watch, the original design of the rotor illustrates a leitmotif in the work of writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: the inseparableness of technology and poetry.

Sooner or later, anyone who turns their attention to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry realizes that this is a man of two talents: on the one hand, the world-famous poet and author of the fabulous tale of “The Little Prince”; on the other, the prag- matic pilot, technician and owner of patents relating to ying. For Saint-Exupéry, writing could not exist without flying, and vice versa. For him, flying was a school that taught discipline. In the cockpit, every move had to be just right. In direct contrast to writing, one false manoeuvre here could be fatal. At the same time, formulating his ideas gave him the far-sightedness, imagination and poetic perspective essential for flying. For literature back in those days, the link between writing and ying was a new phenomenon – and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry mastered it with aplomb.

The Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW502701) likewise connects the two worlds of flying and writing, technology and poetry, in a breathtaking fashion. The result is an elegant special-edition timepiece featuring a red gold case, which is available in a limited edition of 250 watches.

The first pilot's watch with an annual calendar

On the front of the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”, the feature that stands out first and foremost is the attractive colour combination. Combined with the red gold of the case, hands and appliqués as well as the dark brown of the Santoni calfskin strap, the shimmering blue sun-pattern finish on the dial underscores the exclusive character of this timepiece. If we look more closely, we discover three separate windows, arranged in a semi- circle at “12 o’clock”, which show the month, date and day of the week. A year after the launch of the annual calendar, this is the first Pilot’s Watch to feature this particular complication. The advance mechanism requires correction just once a year, in February. And that is unfortunate, one is tempted to say, because the big, chunky, cone-shaped crown simply cries out to be used for resetting the watch. And with a 7-day power reserve – the display is in the subdial to the right – there is little opportunity for winding the watch. The counter to the left shows the seconds. The exquisite appearance of the watch is underpinned not least by thoughtful details such as the white and red gold out- lines of the hands, numerals and appliqués, the polished bezel on the satin- finished case and the beige-coloured ornamental seams on the strap. The hands and indicators are coated with white Super-LumiNova®* and guarantee excellent legibility even when visibility is poor.

Momentum from the little prince and his planet

“The Little Prince” is one of the world’s most widely read books. Millions of young and older readers have been enthralled by the fairy tale. Now, for the seventh time, IWC Schaffhausen is producing a special edition of the bestseller and immortalizes the little prince on the reverse side of the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”. Through the big sapphire-glass back, the little prince can be seen standing on his tiny asteroid – the rotor – and staring at the heavens with wide-open eyes. The tiny, ower-bedecked asteroid is the weight that revolves eccentrically around its own axis. Free-standing, and acting to a certain extent as a counterweight, the hero of the tale rotates too, the movement an image reflecting the little prince’s odyssey. It takes him from one unusual inhabitant to the next, until nally he lands back on his home planet with his beloved rose.

Based on a drawing by Saint-Exupéry himself, the rotor involved an enormous amount of intricate design and was finally crafted in solid red gold. The interplay of sandblasted and polished surfaces on the rotor brings every single detail of the sketch to life.

The IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre has twin barrels to deliver the higher torque needed to drive the annual calendar’s three display discs. In addition, when fully wound, the two barrels supply enough energy for a full week’s power reserve.

IWC Schaffhausen and the fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

IWC Schaffhausen has been a partner of the Fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry since 2005. The foundation works closely with Sipar in Cambodia, a non-governmental organization that equips school and mobile libraries with reading material, and supplies literature to remote areas. Through this cooperation and thanks to the commitment of IWC Schaffhausen, two school buildings with libraries were opened in 2014 and offer an education to 1,200 chidren. On top of this, a school building with its own library has also been constructed in the village of Roluos in Siem Reap province. Last year, new recreation rooms and a modern library were inaugurated at the children’s hospital in Curitiba, Brazil.

IWC Schaffhausen and the "Le Petit Prince" Special Edition

For 3 years now, Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has taken up the theme of the little prince in special editions. With these, IWC pays tribute to one of the bestselling books in literary history, written by legendary writer, pilot and adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It all started in 2013, when the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW502802) and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW326506) were launched in honour of the world-famous story’s 70th anniversary. A unique example of the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW502801) in platinum was auctioned by Sotheby’s in Geneva. The record sum of CHF 173,000 it raised went to the Fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which used it to further the humanitarian heritage of the Frenchman. The series of special limited editions of “Le Petit Prince” continued in 2014 with the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW377706) and the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW500908). In 2015, IWC Schaffhausen presented the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW500909) in red gold in a limited edition of 250 watches. That same year, IWC Schaffhausen launched the new Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW371807) with an innovative day display in the form of a circle comprising seven stars.