A complicated pilot’s watch with perpetual calendar and tourbillon, made of luxurious 18k Armor gold, and decorated with the little prince of Antoine Saint Exupery.
One thing is to associate a series of watches with famous air squadrons and even specific types of aircraft, but when IWC came up with the use of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved character When the idea of the little prince (Le Petit Prince), it flew directly to the hearts of many watch lovers. Not only is the author of “The Little Prince” a pilot and adventurer, but his character and humanistic values have inspired generations of readers. Since the IWC and the heirs of Saint-Exupéry consolidated their partnership in 2006, the “Little Prince” special edition has become the brand’s favorite. The latest model Big Pilot’s Watch IW504803 is a limited edition of 50 pieces, made of luxurious 18k gold, which perfectly combines the perpetual calendar and flying tourbillon.
The little prince
With the model, from the simple time and date power reserve indication all the way to the complication ladder GMT watch, chronograph, perpetual calendar, combined split-second chronograph and perpetual calendar, a constant force tourbillon and today, impressive gold QP and tourbillon When it comes to flywheels, the “Little Prince” series provides collectors with a wealth of diversity and complexity. The iconic features of the “Little Prince” series are the blue dial, the elegant interpretation of the classic Flieger watch, the stylized Arabic numerals and the relief of Prince Saint Exupéry on the back cover or dial – depending on the complications involved .
Perpetual calendar and tourbillon
IWC is famous for its perpetual calendar watches, thanks to the ingenious movement developed by IWC chief watchmaker Kurt Klaus in the 1980s. A complex mechanical device that recognizes the different lengths of months and leap years, and (if kept on the chain) does not need to be adjusted until 2100, while the perpetual calendar moon phase display only needs one day adjustment in 577.5.
IWC’s first pilot’s watch equipped with a tourbillon is the 2018 “Little Prince” model. In the same year, the combination of perpetual calendar and tourbillon also appeared on the 150th anniversary edition of IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon. Therefore, in order to further expand the scope of complex functions, what we are showing today is the precision perpetual calendar and flying tourbillon in the large pilot watch of the “Le Petit Prince” series.
Like IWC’s other proprietary material, Ceratanium (a special titanium alloy that is as hard and scratch-resistant as ceramic), Armor gold is a new type of gold alloy that is harder and more wear-resistant than traditional 5N gold. Armor gold, which was first used in Big Pilot’s Watch Constant Force Tourbillon “Le Petit Prince”, once again appeared on the case of this perpetual calendar tourbillon. The case and the oversized tapered crown are made of 18k Armor gold, with a diameter of 46.2 mm and a height of 16 mm. The finish reveals a brightly polished crown and bezel, while the lugs are brushed to create contrast.
Although the layout of the complications on the dial is similar to the Portuguese series, the watch still retains the soul of its retro pilot’s watch. The one-minute flying tourbillon adds vitality to the noon scenery because its balance wheel rotates around its axis in the cage to reduce the influence of gravity on the adjustment mechanism. The tourbillon that adjusts the movement is cantilevered from the main board, and there is no splint on the top to interfere with the field of vision. A little regret, because the QP of this Big Pilot IW504803 is a module, the tourbillon is located in the lower position of the dial…
Three sub-dials with snail-shaped outer orbits are located on a blue dial with a sun-brushed finish and have a calendar function: the date and power reserve indicator is at 3 o’clock; the moon phase and the moon are displayed at 6 o’clock. Month; day of the week at 9 o’clock; four-digit year is displayed in the rectangular hole below the eight o’clock position. As Brice explained in his article on Portugieser, the tourbillon at 12 o’clock determined by the 51950 movement means that the moon phase function must be repositioned in the sub-dial of the month.
Surprisingly, despite the large amount of information conveyed on the dial, it is very balanced and legible. Like other “Little Prince” watches, the stylized Arabic numerals give the watch a distinctive personality. It is made of 18K gold and painted with luminous paint. The propeller-shaped gold-plated pointer with a slender tip is also an iconic feature of the series, in sharp contrast with the red arrow pointers used to display the date, month and week. used watches for sale
However, the first thing most of us will look for is the little prince, and for fans of the series, the good news is that he appears not once but twice. Depicted as part of the moon phase complication and surrounded by stars, he also appears on an 18k gold rotor, standing on his flower-filled asteroid. Like other “Le Petit Prince” watches, the strap is made of brown calfskin with white stitching and folding clasp.
The tourbillon and perpetual calendar movement 51950 is automatic. It is powered by an 18k gold oscillating weight, which beats at a frequency of 19,800vph, and provides a powerful 7-day power reserve, distributed in two barrels. With the charming decoration of the prince on its asteroid, the rotor of this model can still see a glimpse of three-quarters of the large plate and moving parts.
Technical specifications-IWC BIG PILOT’S WATCH PERPETUAL CALENDAR TOURBILLON EDITION “LE PETIT PRINCE”
Case: Diameter 46.2 mm x Height 16 mm-18k Amor gold, brushed and polished-Convex sapphire crystal with AR coating, sapphire crystal glass back to prevent displacement due to air pressure drop-100 meters water resistance
Dial: Sun-brushed blue-18k gold applied hour markers and Arabic numerals with luminous-gold-plated hour and minute hands and power reserve hands with luminous-red hands for calendar function-flying tourbillon at 12 o’clock-power Storage indicator and date at 3 o’clock, month and moon phase at 6 o’clock, day of the week at 9 o’clock, and 4-digit year at 8 o’clock
Movement: Caliber 51950, self-produced-automatic winding-2.75Hz/19,800vph-168 hours/7 days power reserve-perpetual calendar, perpetual calendar and tourbillon
Strap: Brown calfskin, white stitching-gold folding clasp