A watch for the aviation hero “Saint-Ex”
Pilot’s Watch Chrono-Automatic
Edition Antoine de Saint Exupéry
His name: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,
who later became famous throughout the world for his “Little Prince”. But, in 1931, he created a literary memorial to the difficult early days of the airmail service in South America and to all his fellow aviators of the time. A more perceptive story about the struggle of mechanized man against the forces of nature and the relentless passage of time has not been put down on paper since his novel “Night Flight”, which describes the loss of an aircraft from Patagonia en route for Buenos Aires.
IWC Schaffhausen, a specialist in the construction of professional pilot’s watches since the mid-1930s, has taken this occasion to create a limited edition of its new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph with an automatic winding system: The Pilot’s Watch Chrono-Automatic Edition Antoine de Saint Exupéry. This professional timepiece with stop function and aggregate time recording up to 12 hours, a new 42 mm diameter case, classic protection of the movement against the effects of magnetic fields up to 24,000 A/m provided by an inner case made of soft iron, water-resistance to 60 m, a coated anti reflective and convex sapphire glass, screw-in crown and tobacco-coloured dial, which has not been offered previously by IWC in a pilot’s watch.
Edition limited by history
The horological tribute by IWC to “Night Flight” takes the year of publication, 1931, as the basis for a limited edition comprised of 1,630 examples in stainless steel, 250 in rose gold and 50 in white gold. This makes 1,930 watches in total. The missing digit from the publication date of 1931 will be a single Special Edition watch in platinum. This is not for sale, however, and it will be auctioned for charity together with a copy of the first edition of “Vol de nuit”in French and a handwritten page from the original manuscript plus a drawing by the author.
Every one of the 1,931 watches will be accompanied by a copy of the novel “Night Flight”.
This marks the start of a three-year trilogy in honour of Saint-Exupéry’s literary tributes to aviation. “Southern Mail” and “The Aviator” were also strongly inspired by his life as a professional pilot and will accompany the corresponding watches in the following years.
A further joint activity between IWC Schaffhausen and the Société Civile pour l’Œuvre et la Mémoire d’Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is an exhibition with the theme of time, aviation and pilot’s watches. The exhibition will open on 29 June 2006 and cover an area of 1,000 m2 at the Air and Space Museum at Le Bourget near Paris. Its historic content is a valuable addition to what is already regarded throughout the world as one of the oldest and best-endowed museums of aeronautics.