There’s a new prince in IWC’s palace.
The Swiss watchmaker updated its line of pilot’s watches with a new addition to its ‘Le Petit Prince’ sub-category, named for the French children’s novel The Little Prince. (The book’s author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, was a famed turn-of-the-century aviator as well as an accomplished writer.)
The latest model to join the fleet is a new blue-dial Timezoner. The patented function was previously reserved for the brand’s steel Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph with a black dial and bezel. The new version is essentially the same movement as the caliber 89760 of the black dial model, except stripped of its flyback chronograph function.
Unlike its predecessor, the new caliber 82760 of the new ref. IW395503, which comes with an 18-karat gold rotor that is visible through the caseback, is operated via an oversized onion crown, keeping true to old-fashioned aviator gear, when pilots wearing bulky gloves needed larger appendages to more easily adjust the time. The automatic movement also features a bi-directional Pellaton winding system and has a power reserve of up to 60 hours thanks to components made from zirconium oxide ceramic that is more resistant to wearing down. Extra functionality is provided in the setting of the time zones. The wearer simply presses down the bezel and turns it to the desired zone according to the cities indicated. The adjustment works without ever having to stop the movement, even when crossing the dateline.
Its midnight-blue dial (which has been treated in a sunray finish and features a 24-hour Worldtimer indicator at 12 o’clock), shiny ceramic blue city ring and absence of the chronograph feature, presents a slightly more dressed up proposition than the Timezoner Chronograph. The ‘Le Petit Prince’ range of pilot pieces has, typically, been reserved for more elegant versions of the aviator’s essential, including high complication models. The new 46 mm ref. IW395503 is the first Timezoner in this particular category.
It is limited to just 1,500 pieces and is almost $2,000 more than the steel chronograph version at $13,800.