Spending a weekend with royalty by the sea? Yes, I had the privilege of testing out the waters around Spetses island in very good company, that of an IWC Schaffhausen Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince”. A Pilot’s watch near saltwater? Yes, Sir. Whoever said that a pilot was only made for flying, is clearly not a part of my squad.
For three years now, IWC has returned to the theme of Saint-Exupéry’s little prince with special editions. Last year, four Pilot’s Watches featuring the typical midnight blue dial and brown calfskin strap with beige-coloured ornamental seams came to life and became instant favourites to many.
Engraved on the back of the case is the little prince with his coat and sword, just the way Saint-Exupéry drew him back in the 1940s. And the midnight blue dial and the brown Santoni calfskin strap make the timepiece an unusual eye-catcher. While a soft-iron inner case provides the stainless-steel outer cases with optimum protection against the external effects of magnetic fields.
The 46-millimetre Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Le Petit Prince” has an IWC-manufactured 51111-calibre movement that supplies an impressive 7-day power reserve – and, in terms of precision, fully meets the requirements of a professional pilot’s watch.
In both form and function, the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Le Petit Prince” closely adheres to the ideal of the classic Pilot’s Watches. Like cockpit instrumentation, the clearly arranged dial is reduced to the essentials because legibility is the top priority.
The watch, which is water-resistant to 6 bar, is powered by an automatic 30110-calibre movement and has a 42-hour power reserve. It takes up the tradition of the Mark 11 and, like its predecessor, is the epitome of an observer’s watch with down-to-the-second accuracy: precise, robust, temperature-resistant, water-resistant, protected against magnetic fields and extremely service-friendly.
Sleek and elegant, sporty and chic, with the perfect size (40 mm diameter) it took this watch one weekend to become one of my all time favourites. Yes, it definitely rises up to any given occasion. Clearly made to be adored, to me it’s not just a collector’s mechanism, but a family member to cherish life’s moments with. A brave Prince even, as meant to be.