IWC “Le Petit Prince” watch

Invitation to a voyage…

IWC manufacture, partner of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, completes its special collection “Le Petit Prince” with a Pilot’s Watch Timezoner: a limited edition made for great travellers.

By Nicolas Yvon
Portrait of the pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

One thousand five hundred examples, and not one more, will be made by the IWC manufacture. The new Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” (€15 100) is indeed a beautiful instrument, which will catch many eyes with its stately stainless steel case of 46 mm diameter.

La nouvelle Montre d’Aviateur Timezoner Le Petit Prince est une édition limitée à 1 500 exemplaires
IWC equipped the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” with a rotative blue ceramic bezel marked with the names of 24 cities around the globe.

Pilot’s Watch Timezoner IWC “Le Petit Prince” Edition, for vintage lovers

On a brown calfskin strap with stitching in perfect harmony with its vintage style, the watch features at 3 o’clock a diamond-shaped, oversized crown. A particular shape that enabled pilots to easily set the hour and date – even with their thick leather gloves.

La Montre d’Aviateur Timezoner Le Petit Prince possède une couronne conique surdimensionnée
Crown, hands, indexes… the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” draws inspiration from former IWC pieces designed for pilots in the 1940s.

This historical feature, along with the propellers-like hands, Arabic numerals and triangular marker at 12 o’clock are unique to the instruments conceived by the Schaffhausen manufacture in the 1940s – which are the main inspiration of the Pilot’s Watches collection.

Midnight blue dial: signature colour of Le Petit Prince” editions

On the dial side, the midnight blue satin-brushed– signature of today’s special editions “Le Petit Prince” – is an aesthetic success and offers great readability.

La Montre d’Aviateur Timezoner Le Petit Prince d'IWC indique l'heure du second fuseau dans un guichet en arc de cercle
IWC equipped this Pilot’s Watch Timezoner with a blue dial and bezel: the signature colour of “Le Petit Prince” editions.

Protected under a convex sapphire glass secured against drop in air pressure, the dial is contrasted by hands and indexes covered in white luminescent material.

Draw me a Pilot’s Watch for great travellers

Exemplifying the expertise of IWC in the conception of “tool” watches equipped with additional functions as technical as intuitive, this model features the Timezoner function patented by IWC.

La Montre d’Aviateur Timezoner Le Petit Prince possède un fond transparent
Front or back, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” by IWC is a beautiful mechanism.

However, be careful: despite its appearance, this edition is not strictly speaking a “world-time” … even though it boasts rotative complementary functions: a circular engraving with 24 cities across the world and a 24-hour graduated disc.

Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” by IWC: readability and functionality above all

Indeed, the watch clearly shows two different time zones at the same time (one with the hands, another in the arched window below the triangle marker). But it cannot display simultaneously the time in the 24 time zones.

Technically it could, but its configuration (the central place of the 24-hour disc) would impede the readability. IWC therefore made the right choice, since it also enables an easy use of this Timezoner feature.

IWC’s Pilot’s Watch Timezoner: how does it work, exactly?

Setting the Timezoner is incredibly easy. You only have to press on the blue ceramic bezel and turn it until the desired city is above twelve o’clock. The 24-hour disc is synchronized with the bezel and follows along. This simple operation has no effect on the central hands rotation that indicate the local hour.

La fonction Timezoner d'IWC est très intuitive
The bezel of the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner “Le Petit Prince” indicate the cities’ daylight saving time, with an intuitive display.

Useful bonus: IWC clarified which cities follow the daylight saving practice – which is why some of them are accompanied by a small “s”. By way of anecdote, the hour is the same in Cairo and Paris when France is in summer time. Got it?

A strengthened IWC calibre with extended warranty

A see-through back flaunts the gears of a movement decorated with “Côtes de Genève”. Pretty and powerful, since it is equipped with a strong bidirectional Pellaton self-winding system. A pawls-using mechanism that IWC reinforced by making it in high-tech ceramic, a very light material so resistant it virtually never wears out.

IWC a doté la Montre d’Aviateur Timezoner Le Petit Prince d'un fond transparent pour voir le mouvement
On the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner “Le Petit Prince” Edition, the transparent case back allows to admire at leisure the self-winding calibre.

Another pertinent detail, the rotor is ornated with an 18-carat yellow gold medallion depicting the character invented and drawn by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Sur la Montre d’Aviateur Timezoner Le Petit Prince, la masse oscillante est décorée d'un médaillon représentant le personnage imaginé par Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The rotor is ornated with a yellow gold medallion depicting the small character imagined by St Exupery. On the right: the famous aviator and author in the beginning of the 1930s (photo – All rights reserved).

For any engraving you will benefit from an important warranty extension on the purchased instrument, increasing from two years to eight.

To learn more on the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation:

Presentation of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation.

Read also:

Our detailed data sheets on Pilot’s Watches and other past and actual models of the “Petit Prince” collection.

Our previous articles on IWC’s partnership with the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Foundation:

See also:

Exhibit “Antoine de Saint Exupéry – A Little Prince among Men” at L’Envol des Pionniers – Toulouse.
IWC and the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation set up a pedagogic garden and a media room for the Hospitality and Catering Training Centre in Mae Sot in north-western Thailand.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation: