INTRODUCING: Enjoy a vicarious travel experience through the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince”Zach Blass
IWC make some incredible watches and are particularly known for their pilot creations with their crisp and highly legible dials. The IWC Timezoner is one such watch with a large case and dial, 24-hour time display and corresponding world timer rotating bezel. The watch, in its standard production configuration, is actually a chronograph – with a 24-hour hand instead of a window. The previous Timezoner without a chronograph complication was a 2019 limited edition, the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “The Longest Flight”, which had a black dial with fauxtina coloured SuperLuminova® and a 24-hour time display window uniquely tied to and controlled by the ceramic bi-directional bezel. They have now introduced a second and limited entry into the Timezoner collection: the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince”.
This watch shares the same diameter and case profile of the “Longest Flight” edition at 46mm in diameter in stainless steel. It’s as large as their iconic Big Pilot watch, but is half a millimetre thinner at 15mm thick. This is kind of surprising when you think about it, as bezels normally result in a thicker timepiece. It has a depth rating of 60 metres and a screw-down crown – all very respectable for a pilot’s watch. The lug hoods have a horizontal diagonal satin brush, with hairline bevel edges for a little vintage flair. The caseband of the watch is also satin brushed, and its dominance of the case finish caters to the professional tool watch purposes of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince”.
Speaking of the bezel, it features a world timer complication with white location indicators etched into the blue ceramic of the rotating bezel. The 24 hour display window is actually synched and controlled by the bezel, allowing you to adjust the watch to your desired time zone without having to interrupt its timekeeping. Once the correct local time is set, to display the time in another city simply turn the bezel until the corresponding location reaches the 12′ position in line with triangle at 12′ on the dial. Like mechanical magic, the hour hand and 24 hour indicator will adjust themselves in synchronization as you rotate the bezel. For areas with DST, dots filled with the letter “S” signify where you need to align the bezel in order to factor in daylight savings. Really neat and easy to use after a bit of practice.
Throughout IWC’s collections, blue dials are typically reserved for limited or boutique-only editions. Yet one collection is known for its different and consistent shade of blue: Le Petit Prince editions. The collection is named after the work of author and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. His beloved story The Little Prince tells the journey of the little prince to seven planets, and of the inhabitants of these planets: the king, the vain man, the drunkard, the businessman, the lamplighter, the geographer and the rose to which the little prince returns after his odyssey. The book has been translated into over 300 languages.
In honour of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his work, Le Petite Prince edition watches have midnight blue dials that have a very nice shade and a rich sunburst texture that radiates out from its centre. The IWC logo has been moved from the 12 o’clock position to 9′, with the 24-hour time display window taking its place at the top of the dial below the applied white triangle and two pips that represents the 12th hour index. The remaining applied hour indices are white Arabic numerals, with every fifth minute represented by an applied rectangle. All of the indices are filled with SuperLuminova®, as well as the diamond-shaped hour and minute hands.
At the 3′ position is a date window with a white disc and black numerals, the same as the 24 hour window at 12′. While some may have preferred a blue disc with white numerals to better blend into the dial, the legibility (a pillar of IWC design) of the black on white is undeniable. At the 6′ position reads the text “Timezoner Automatic” with Timezoner printed in red.
The strap is dark brown leather, with a stainless-steel folding deployant clasp. Due to its larger case profile, the lug width is 22mm which means if you can find other straps with that width the watch has the potential to be quite a strap monster. The factory strap supplied does have a distinct profile, with an initial 22mm width that abruptly tapers – leaving the majority of the strap actually much thinner in width than where it meets the case.
Inside the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” is the 82760 Calibre IWC-manufactured automatic movement – comprised of 284 components. Aside from the previously mentioned timezone adjustment complication that links the rotation of the bezel to the gears of the movement, the 82760 has 22 jewels, a beat rate of 28,800 vph, and 60 hours of power reserve. The movement is nicely decorated with both Côtes de Genève and perlage, and features a skeletonised winding rotor that has an engraved Le Petite Prince gold medallion that adds useful mass to its centre.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” pricing and availability:
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” is a limited edition of 1,500 pieces, and is available now via IWC boutiques and authorized dealers. Price: $21,700 AUD.