IWC, one of the best-known brands of the Classic Pilot Watch concept, was the guest of our pages with the Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” model, which brings together the cult Big Pilot design with Tourbillon feature.
The classic pilot watch concept exists in the world of watches nearly for a century. This concept, which was born and developed in line with the needs of military aviation, finds its place in the product group of many brands that continue their activities in different segments today. The first name that comes to mind among these brands is undoubtedly IWC Schaffhausen.
IWC, which offers pilot watches as one of its main product groups for a long time, is considered one of the most important representatives of this concept in modern watchmaking. Offering a very rich product alternative in different sizes, features, materials, and themes, the brand does not break its bond with Le Petit Prince, the unforgettable novel of adventure-loving French pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The model we have here for review is a very important model for both the brand and the cult model family Big Pilot. Big Pilot, which has a unique fan base with its large case, perfect legibility, classic pilot watch style dial, and onion-shaped characteristic crown, is hosting the Tourbillon complication for the first time with this model. Moreover, with its Le Petit Prince themed azure dial and platinum case.
Designed using the Big Pilot platform, the model comes with a mighty case measuring 46.2mm in diameter and 13.5mm in height. The case is made of platinum. This precious metal, which draws attention with its colder tone and high specific gravity compared to steel and white gold, combined with the oversized dimensions of Big Pilot, results in a very bold timepiece. The case is equipped with anti-reflective coated sapphire crystals on both sides and is water-resistant to 60 meters, which is a slightly intermediate figure. It is impossible to hide the case, which is accompanied by a thin shiny bezel and a conical crown with the IWC logo, from prying eyes.
Although the dial of the model is designed according to the classic pilot watch concept, the indicators of the functions and the Tourbillon have changed the layout. The dial, which is finished in a vibrant blue tone, the signature details of Le Petit Prince themed models, features a Tourbillon balance at 9 o’clock that stands out immediately with its long bridge and wide cage. A small seconds indicator is placed in the center of the Tourbillon. Another feature of the model, the moon phase indicator, is placed between 12 and 2 o'clock and close to the outer part of the dial. It is not possible to read the moon phase indicator efficiently due to this settlement, which was chosen inspired by an illustration in Le Petit Prince, and the disc lacking contrast. Fortunately, it’s not the same for the power reserve indicator positioned between 4 and 5 o'clock. The long power reserve time offered by the model can be easily followed by the indicator.
Let’s get to the movement... IWC Big Pilot's Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” beats with the manufacture Caliber 94805. The 41-jewel/341-parts hand-wound caliber operates at a frequency of 18000vph (2.5 Hz) and offers 96 hours (4 days) power reserve when fully wound. In addition to the hour, minute, small seconds, moon phase indicator, and power reserve indicator, the movement also hosts the Tourbillon feature with constant power transmission. The vertical applied Côtes de Genève patterned main body and caliber, which offers a stylish appearance with other components, can be through the sapphire crystal display case back.
The model, which is limited to only 10 pieces, is accompanied by a brown calfskin strap with punches and a platinum folding clasp with IWC emblem.