Although the Timezoner concept isn’t something new at IWC, it remains one of the most practical functions the brand has patented. With its effortless system to change time zones without stopping the movement, the Timezoner relies on a clever mechanism making the bezel and movement interact. After being unveiled in 2016 along with a flyback chronograph, the concept returned in 2019 in a simplified “Spitfire” version. And this year it is time for the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner “Le Petit Prince” to surface, now all dressed up in blue with classic St Exupery design cues.
With most world time or GMT watches, switching time zones means an adjustment at the crown, and sometimes that means unscrewing it too. There are some exceptions where the adjustments are executed via pushers. Not particularly deal-breaking, but clearly there was room for improvement. The answer of IWC to this problem is named Timezoner, a concept first presented in 2016 where everything is done without using the crown and without disturbing the good run of the movement. As a reminder, this system was developed by watchmaker Michael Vogt who equipped watches with this bezel-set GMT system under the brand Vogard and then sold the patent to IWC that refined the mechanism. In this watch, the interaction is performed by the bezel, which has a direct impact on the movement itself. IWC’s Timezoner works this way: press on the bezel, turn it to the desired time zone (according to the cities indicated on the ceramic insert) and release, and then the hour hand for the local time will be positioned to the correct time.
The new Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” IW395503 is basically the same watch as the Longest Flight edition of 2019, yet updated with the classic theme found on all St Exupery watches. This means the large 46mm case with brushed surfaces highlighted by polished accents. Being a pilot’s watch, it features an oversized diamond-shaped crown, that screws down and provides 60m water-resistance. The crystal is secured against displacement by a drop in air pressure. Not a dress watch by any means, but a classic look for IWC’s pilot’s models.
The Petit Prince theme is visible both on the bezel, which is executed in blue ceramic with white cities, and on the dial. Here, it is presented with a dark blue dial, with a sunray-brushed pattern, stylized applied numerals and polished hands – all contributing to a slightly more elegant look than the Longest Flight edition. In addition to the three central hands for H-M-S, the dial is also equipped with a date at 3 o’clock and, the main specificity, an arched window for the home time. The watch is worn on a brown leather strap with folding clasp.
Under the sapphire crystal – new to this model – is an in-house automatic movement, the calibre 82760. Running at 4Hz, and boasting 60 hours of power reserve, it is wound by the brand’s distinctive Pellaton system. The decoration is typical IWC with circular graining and Geneva stripes, as well as an 18k gold medallion on the rotor depicting St Exupery’s Petit Prince character.
Availability & Price
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” IW395503 is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces. It will retail for EUR 15,000. More details at iwc.com.