Since 2005, IWC has been in collaboration with the family of French aviator and author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. This partnership has already seen a variety of special editions launched within the Pilot’s Watches collection. While some pay tribute to the life and accomplishments of the great humanist himself, others are dedicated to his most famous literary work "The Little Prince" —Le Petit Prince. These timepieces, characterized by their distinctive midnight blue dials, have been a highly regarded addition to the Pilot’s Watch collections since 2013. At the SIHH 2019, added some exclusive models to this line including the new Big Pilot’s Watch Constant Force Tourbillon Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’ ref. IW590302 in platinum —also available in hard gold. This is the first pilot's watch from IWC to feature a constant force tourbillon and available with a hard gold case as well. The new IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant Force Tourbillon Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’ ref. IW590302 in platinum is available in a limited edition of 10 pieces only.
While the hard gold model is extremely attractive with its warm tones, there’s something about a massive watch like this in platinum that we just can’t describe. Exquisite and grail status for sure. This is the first time IWC has produced a watch with hard gold, a special new version of red gold. The micro-structure of the alloy is modified in a sophisticated manufacturing process. Hard gold is therefore significantly harder and around 5 to 10 times more wear-resistant than conventional red gold. As a result, the material is perfectly suited to the large case —measuring 46.2 mm in diameter— and the crown of a Big Pilot’s Watch.
In this particular tourbillon, the patented constant force mechanism disconnects the escapement from the direct flow of energy transmitted through the wheel train and, second by second, increases the tension in a balance spring. The latter stores the energy temporarily before dispensing it in absolutely even impulses to the escape wheel. In combination with the tourbillon, which offsets the influence of gravity on the watch's balance and spring, it serves to deliver extraordinarily high precision.
The IWC in-house manual wound calibre 94895 composed of 341 parts and 41 jewels combines a constant force tourbillon with a perpetual moon phase display and a power reserve indicator. Additionally, the moon on the moon phase indicator has been designed in a way were it resembles one of the illustrations from the book with the ‘Petit Prince’ standing on top of the moon. The movement provides a power reserve of four days thanks to two barrels.
Details About the Watch
Reference: IW590302 Big Pilot’s Watch Constant Force Tourbillon Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’
Case: 46.2 mm Platinum case.
Movement: IWC in-house manual wound calibre 94895 composed of 341 parts and 41 jewels combining a constant force tourbillon with a perpetual moon phase display and a power reserve indicator. When fully wound, the movement provides a power reserve of 96 hours —4 days.
Dial: Midnight blue dial with luminous Arabic numerals and markers, power reserve indicator between 4 and 5 o’clock, moon phase aperture between 12 and 2 o’clock and constant force tourbillon at 9 o’clock.
Strap: Brown calf Pilot’s strap with folding clasp.
Limitation: 10-piece limited edition.
Sticker Price $248,000 USD —not final and subject to change. As a reference pricing for Hard Gold model is $235,000 USD. For more info on IWC click here.