Man’s fascination with defying gravity and exploring the skies is as long as time. There have been many pioneers and enthusiasts in the field of aviation, and one in particular that we at IWC continue to pay tribute to is French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
As an air mail pilot over the Saharan desert
It was 100 years ago that twelve year old Saint-Exupéry took his first flight, an experience that would lead him to a life of exploration and imagination as he circled the globe. After serving as a pilot in the French Army Air Force, he began conducting air mail delivery to far flung locations in the Saharan desert. Flying this service in the late 1920’s involved combating desert sandstorms, navigating unknown routes, and encountering local cultures unknown to many.
With a nod to the avid pursuit of his dreams and his passion for adventure, we at IWC took the anniversary of Saint-Exupéry’s first flight to release the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A limited edition red gold version was released last Spring, but the latest comes in stainless steel, serving as a nod to the glistening nose of the aircraft he flew.
The special edition Pilot’s Watch Chronograph, in stainless steel
A tobacco-colored dial and calfskin strap harken the well-known Saint-Exupéry image, for those acutely familiar with our previous tributes to the flying ace. A sun pattern finish on the dial speaks to that bright spot in the sky guiding the pilot’s way; the anti reflective coating on the watch’s face ensures the sun will not interfere with using the instrument.
The back of the Chrono showing the engraved Lightning P-38
With a 89361-calibre movement the Chronograph can display long periods of time on one subdial, a necessity for aviators. And the back is etched with a tribue to Saint-Exupéry and the last aircraft he ever flew, the Lightning P-38. Leaving on a World War II reconnaissance mission in 1944 he never returned. It was not until 2003 that the wreckage was recovered in the waters near Marseille.
We hope you enjoy this special timepiece, as it is a showcase of our admiration for Antoine Saint-Exupéry, and for all those who have come after him in an attempt to conquer the skies.