Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s charming hero, Le Petit Prince (or small prince), has been inspiring a range of luxury watch brands in the design of themed luxury watches for a variety of fans of combining watchmaking art and other artistic forms – in this case, literature. IWC launched a special edition of watch series titled “Le Petit Prince” to celebrate, in its designers’ words, the finest hour of that fictional character and his role in the worldwide literary heritage. The present event was arranged to coincide with the 70th anniversary of “The Little Prince” novel’s publication by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. As a commemoration of this eternal work of literature, IWC designers created two models in limited numbers: the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” and the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince”.
Such close attention and high awe to the legacy of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is not strange from the side of IWC, since this writer possessed many other talents, being a pilot and an outstanding, unrestrained adventurer. The close, hearty relationship between IWC and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s family established in 2006 when both started collaborating within the framework of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation. Now, the time to embody the figure of the Little Prince, the iconic literary figure that made de Saint-Exupéry famous, in IWC luxury watches has come, since IWC has long been famous for manufacturing high-end watches for pilots. Hence, both models of “Le Petit Prince” watches by IWC launched in 2013 pay tribute to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s both literary and piloting experiences.
IWC watch producers have repeatedly noted that their company felt many links with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, both in terms of piloting and life philosophy – seeing with one’s heart, not eyes. Hence, the “Le Petit Prince” models of luxury watches produced by IWC were strongly inspired by the personal endeavors of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who experimented with technology and obtained his first aeronautical patent in 1936, coinciding with IWC’s launch of Special Pilot’s watch model.
There is much to admire in the “Le Petit Prince” watch models of IWC; the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” is an item of luxury watches produced only in 270 pieces, featuring the elegance of red gold and the functionality of the new IWC-manufactured 51613 caliber with Pellaton automatic winding. The powerful mechanism of this watch fuels its elegant perpetual calendar, displays of date, day, and months, and other technical wonders IWC has inserted in it.
However, it is not necessary to be rich to afford an item of “Le Petit Prince” luxury watches. for fans of laconic masculinity, IWC designers have made the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII Edition “Le Petit Prince” model made of stainless steel. It is a less rare item because 1,000 pieces were produced, so its price will obviously be lower than that of its more limited and more precious counterpart – Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince”. Nevertheless, its value will still be enormous for those still admiring the humanism, naivety, and genius of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.