With the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince”, IWC Schaffhausen continues the tradition of complicated Pilot’s Watches in honour of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s world-famous novella. A horological tour de force, this Big Pilot’s Watch in 18-carat Armor Gold® combines a perpetual calendar with a tourbillon, and is limited to 50 pieces.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” impresses with a deep blue dial with a sunray finish – the trademark feature of the special editions paying tribute to “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The 46-millimetre case and conical crown are manufactured from 18-carat Armor Gold®. Thanks to an improved microstructure, this material has considerably higher hardness values than traditional 5N gold alloys. The blue dial is complemented with 18-carat gold appliques and gold-plated hands, all coated with luminescent material to facilitate readability at night.
The undisputed star on the dial is the flying minute tourbillon. The “whirlwind” is an ingenious horological invention and involves the balance wheel rotating around its axis in a cage. On the one hand, this provides a visual spectacle on the dial. On the other, the constant rotation reduces the influence of gravity on the oscillation system and improves the accuracy of the watch. Assembling a tourbillon is highly challenging as the delicate mechanism consists of 82 parts and weighs only 0.635 grams.
For the tourbillon to be visible at 12 o’clock, the calendar module’s advance ring was opened, and the moon phase integrated into the month display at 6 o’clock. IWC’s perpetual calendar was conceived during the 1980s by former head-watchmaker Kurt Klaus.
The intricate mechanical program automatically recognises the different lengths of the months and the leap years. It will continue to function without any adjustments until 2100. Its perpetual moon phase display is so precise that it will only need to be adjusted by one day after 577.5 years.
The tourbillon and the perpetual calendar are integrated into the IWC-manufactured 51950 calibre movement. The automatic winding system uses an 18-carat gold oscillating weight. It takes the form of the Little Prince standing on his asteroid and can accumulate a power reserve of 168 hours. This 7-day autonomy is even more impressive considering that the tourbillon has a high energy demand. The beautifully decorated movement can be admired through the sapphire glass back.
Fitted with a brown calfskin strap with a folding clasp, the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” is available immediately through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners or online on IWC. com. In addition, the timepiece is eligible for registration under the My IWC care program and can benefit from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.