70 years ago Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who could have been IWC’s best ambassador for pilot watches, took off on a reconnaissance flight over France and never returned. It was the 11 August 1944. IWC, which always had a strong link with aviation and military-inspired watches, pays tribute once again to this great man, both a famous novelist and trained aviator. In a previous edition of its pilot watch, the brand was giving honors to the author, with the IWC Pilot Watch Chronograph Edition «Le Petit Prince» and the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar and Mark XVII Limited Special Edition “Le Petit Prince”. It is now the appropriate day to celebrate the pilot, with a new limited edition of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph.
This limited edition of the IWC Pilot Chronograph comes in an unusual full-brown colour combination. The 46mm case is made of brown silicon nitride ceramic. Both the dial – with a sun-burst finish – and the strap are also using that same colour. The dial comes with a typical pilot-style layout, including large luminous hands and indexes – surrounded with mirror-polished rings and applied on the dial – allowing a very high legibility and contrast.
Behind the engraved caseback – with a commemorative representation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery – ticks the in-house Calibre 89361. It is the same movement as the IWC Portuguese Chronograph Classic that we reviewed a few weeks ago. It comes with a self-winding mechanism, 68 hours of power reserve and a unique feature: hour and minute counters combined in a totalizer at 12 o’clock. It also has a flyback function that is known to be quite helpful for pilots, as we’ve seen with the Breguet Type XX.
This new ‘The Last Flight’ limited edition of the IWC Pilot Chronograph is in reality a collection of 3 watches, using different metals for the crown, pushers, caseback and sub-dials to create contrasting accents:
- The first one uses titanium for the crown, pushers and caseback. Sub-dials come in black. It is limited to 1.700 pieces.
- The second one uses 18K red gold for the crown, pushers and caseback. Sub dials and hands are plated with red-gold. It is limited to 170 pieces.
- The last one uses platinum for the crown, pushers and caseback. Sub dials and hands are rhodium-plated. It is limited to 17 pieces.
With this Pilot Chronograph, IWC strengthens its long- standing partnership with Saint-Exupéry’s descendants. Moreover, all proceeds from the sale of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” in platinum at an auction later this year (in November, auctioned by Sotheby’s Geneva) will benefit the charitable Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, which is involved in projects aimed at improving literacy among children and young people across the world. On this occasion, the money is destined for the Hospital Pequeno Príncipe in Curitiba. Brazil’s largest children’s hospital is a respected centre specializing in highly complex heart operations, organ and bone transplants and cancer treatment, and is able to count on the help of over 500 volunteers.
More infos on IWC Official.