IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” Watch IW377714
Monday - 21 September 2020
For some time IWC Schaffhausen has been creating Le Petit Prince special editions for various models within its premium catalogue. The IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” ref: IW377714 has been around for 4 years now, yet its timeless design hasn’t budged in popularity. Its distinct Pilot watch design shares some prominent characteristics that have formed the backbone to the collection. Despite being a special edition (albeit not a limited number one), the model isn’t overly decorated, nor does it venture too far from the style of the standard Pilot’s Watch Chronographs of the past. Saying that there’s more than one good reason to add this iteration to your collection, and the clues lie in some small redesigns to the dial and its desirable price tag.
Looking at the display of this IWC Pilot’s Chronograph “Le Petit Prince watch”, you’ll note the chronograph scales (30 minutes at 12 o’clock, 12 hours at 6 o’clock and 60 seconds at 9 o’clock) are all beautifully proportioned and well laid out. If you’re familiar with the iconic design of IWC Schaffhausen’s Pilot’s Watches, you’ll have already noticed that the minute markers have been redesigned and the date aperture simplified. A rich dramatic blue coloured dial, however, is a new offering. The triple date window has been removed to make way for a cleaner look. The day and date can be referenced together against a striking white background at the 3 o’clock location. The watch wraps around the wrist with a smooth brown calf leather strap from Santoni. Furthermore, a specially engraved depiction of the prince with his cape and sword can be admired on the watch’s steel caseback.
As mentioned before, it’s not the first time the Schaffhausen-based watchmaker has created a “Le Petit Prince” edition. The rich midnight blue colour of the dials seen in these special commemorative pieces are a signature look – the designs paying tribute to author Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “The Little Prince” novel. CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, George’s Kern, describes the driving force behind these collectables, explaining how exquisitely crafted timepieces and storytelling are intrinsically linked.
“Today, people do not buy a luxury watch because it tells the time. They buy it because it inspires them because it tells a story.”
Thus, the design of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph “Le Petit Prince” watch reference: IW377714 has never been more poignant. When IWC Schaffhausen ventured into a partnership with Saint-Exupéry-d’Agay Estate, both the heirs to the estate and the watchmaking company agreed to collaborate in several ways to support the foundation’s goal in keeping the author and aviation enthusiast’s vision alive. Designs like this one evoke concepts of history and boast refined finishes that cannot be matched anywhere else within the industry. The watch showcases some incredibly beautiful angled bevelling, and for its price point promises the rarity of one of IWC’s special “Le Petit Prince” iterations combined with a more affordable price tag compared to some previous models.
The thickness of the case measures 15mm deep, which sits nicely on the wrist, balanced with a 43mm diameter. Inside this robust 60-meter, water-resistant stainless steel casing is its beating heart, propelling the hands around the dial with a sense of effortlessness. The Calibre 79320 automatic chronograph movement is a work-house that provides a useful 2-day power reserve. Although its performance is not showcased through the likes of a transparent caseback, the movement is protected in the brand’s proprietary anti-magnetic soft-iron inner case.
It’s clear that IWC Schaffhausen’s history-steeped past in creating reliable timepieces for the aviation industry has earned it a very reputable position within the industry, taking ownership of the pilot watch style by welding a comfortable case design with legible features.
You may already be lucky enough to own a watch from this popular collection that may not need replacing per se. But should you be hooked on that captivating midnight blue dial, finished in true IWC style, you’ll likely find an easy excuse to add this delightful companion to your collection. Without a premium price tag but equally as refined in its design, and with a generous helping of rare hand-finishes - the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” watch is as practical and functional as it is stylish. You can take a closer look at the model, along with some more detailed spec information here.