The connection between IWC Schaffhausen and Saint-Exupéry’s heirs and their charitable organisation, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, dates back to 2006. And since then, we’ve seen multiple editions dedicated to one of the most important characters of literature, Le Petit Prince. While the Saint-Exupéry editions are characterised by their warm colours and tobacco brown dials, the Petit Prince models display midnight-blue dials, stylised numerals and a certain vintage vibe. Today, the collection is enlarged with the new Big Pilot Annual Calendar Le Petit Prince IW502710, which is now available in stainless steel.
The Annual Calendar complication appeared first at IWC in 2015, within the Portugieser collection. And it has been within the Pilot’s Watch range since 2016. But keep in mind that this practical display of the calendar remains sort of a rarity and not many Big Pilot watches have been equipped with this complex movement. We’ve seen it in the 150-year edition of 2018 and in another Petit Prince version, however, with a white gold case (under the reference IW502703).
Today, it’s a pretty cool watch that we’re looking at, the latest edition of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar in a Petit Prince attire, and now in a stainless steel case. Visually, there’s no doubt that this new reference IW502710 is a Big Pilot with an oversized 46.2mm case. Yes, it’s large and thick – over 15mm – but that’s the whole concept of this collection. The case, in steel, is mostly finished with brushed surfaces, with some polished accents on the bezel and on the signature diamond-shaped crown. It features sapphire crystals on both sides and is water-resistant to 60 metres.
The dial of this new Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar has all the characteristic traits of the Petit Prince collection. This means a sunray-brushed dial in midnight blue and the stylised, slightly Art Deco Arabic numerals found on all watches of this range. Note that these markers are not applied here, but printed on the dial. All the elements of the dial are generously covered in white Super-LumiNova.
Another important feature of this new model is its calendar display. First of all, the month, date, and day are exposed in three separate semi-circular windows on the dial, bringing a very intuitive read of the indications. This American date format is a nod to Florentine Ariosto Jones, the American watchmaker and engineer who founded IWC. Second, it’s a so-called annual calendar. As such, it only requires one correction per year and automatically considers the lengths of the months with 30 or 31 days. You’ll just need one manual correction via the crown every year at the end of February.
Powering this oversized and bold Big Pilot Annual Calendar Le Petit Prince IW502710 is the automatic calibre 52850, made in-house by IWC. This movement is as large as the watch housing it and boasts a solid 7-day power reserve when fully wound. It also features the automatic winding system developed by Albert Pellaton. Through the sapphire caseback, it reveals a nice architecture with opened bridges and, something unique to this edition, a specific rotor that takes the shape of the Little Prince on his asteroid B-612.
Strap, Availability & Price
The Steel IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince IW502710 is worn on a riveted brown pilot’s strap, closed by a steel folding clasp. It is released as a limited edition of 250 pieces and is now available through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners or online on the brand’s website. It is priced at EUR 23,100.
For more details, please visit www.iwc.com.