Luxury watches are often imbued with rich narratives. Some manufacturers have even created limited-edition timepieces, inspired by famous literary works or authors. These watches often incorporate design elements that pay homage to the themes, characters or symbols found in specific books. The idea is to merge the worlds of literature and horology, offering unique and meaningful timepieces for collectors, who appreciate both craftsmanship and storytelling. IWC’s Le Petit Prince models are a perfect example of literature-inspired horological creations. Much to the delight of watch buffs, the brand has come up with yet another riveting tribute to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s world-famous novel, The Little Prince. The new 300-piece limited-edition Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Tourbillon Le Petit Prince (Ref. IW329502) now comes in a downsized case though.
The Little Prince has been translated into more than 250 languages to date. It is considered one of the most famous literary works by French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The story describes the journey of the Little Prince, who comes from a small asteroid, called B-612, and travels from one tiny planet to another, meeting various inhabitants with unique personalities and quirks. As the Little Prince recounts his adventures, the story delves into such themes as love, friendship, loneliness, and the importance of seeing the world through the eyes of a child. The author uses the encounters with the inhabitants of different planets to explore human nature and complexities of relationships.
Marking the tenth anniversary of its Le Petit Prince editions, IWC’s new Big Pilot’s timepiece comes in a 43 mm 18 ct Armor Gold® case. The same material can be found on the lugs, the bezel, and the diamond-shaped crown. The timepiece gets a deep blue dial with a radiant sunray finish, featuring the large stylised gold-plated Arabic numerals of the Le Petit Princeeditions; the hour markers are filled with Super-LumiNova®. On the outer periphery of the dial is a 60-minute track; there is a triangle at 12 o’clock.
The dial also has a flying minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock. Derived from the French word for ‘whirlwind’, the tourbillon involves the balance wheel rotating around its axis in a small cage. This constant rotation reduces the influence of gravity on the watch’s oscillating system, thereby increasing accuracy. Thanks to the integrated tourbillon stop, the mechanism can be brought to a complete stop and the watch set with down-to-the-second accuracy. The pallet lever and the escape wheel are treated with Diamond Shell® technology, a special coating that reduces friction and improves the flow of energy in the movement.
The Big Pilot’s Watch 43 Tourbillon Le Petit Prince is powered by the IWC-manufactured 82905 calibre movement, featuring a Pellaton winding system, reinforced with ceramic components. Using movements of the rotor in both directions, the calibre delivers a power reserve of 80 hours. Turning the watch over showcases the sapphire glass caseback with an 18 ct gold peripheral rotor, which takes the shape of the Little Prince standing on his asteroid. The watch is fitted with a brown calfskin strap with an 18-carat Armor Gold® folding clasp.