The bezel-activated multi-time zone watch extends on IWC Schaffhausen’s traditional Pilot’s Watch range but with an interesting mechanism. The limited-to-1500-pieces IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” is primed for travel. Sitting alongside other sub-collections from the Pilot’s Watch series like the Spitfire and the Top Gun – the “Le Petit Prince” watches boast a signature blue dial and commemorate the life and work of the French author and aviator, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Timezoner Edition, however, features an ingenious complication that is both robust and easy to use when wanting to change between different timezones. Let’s take a look in a little more detail…
IWC Schaffhausen’s links with “Le Petit Prince”
World-famous author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was also an aviation pioneer. Before the Second World War he was a commercial pilot but later joined the French Air Force during the beginning of World War II flying reconnaissance missions. The special edition watches created in honour of the writing and flying legend are distinctive for their specially engraved casebacks as well as their hallmark blue dials. Saint-Exupery’s estate and IWC Schaffhausen embarked on a collaboration back in 2005 where the two envisioned bringing the author’s most famous novel, “Le Petit Prince” to life with a watch that embodied the technical appeal of a reliable aviation timepiece. The prince character in the novel is described as having a “lovable laugh” and “golden hair” as he recalled those he met on his journey after his plane crashes in the Sahara. Faithful to other IWC Schaffhausen watches from the “Le Petit Prince” range, the Timezoner watch features the recognisable stylized Arabic numerals around the hour track and a slightly more elegant profile compared to the Maison’s other Flieger watches.
IWC’s patented Timezoner function
IWC Schaffhausen has always loved to go beyond standard watch complications and when it comes to the Timezoner function, its design clearly aids ease of wear and functionality. Traditionally, bezels that rotate are used frequently throughout the luxury watch industry for pilot’s calculations, monitoring dive time or for GMT watches with a 24-hour scale, but they very rarely interact with the movement itself. To swich between timezones normally requires the wearer to pull the crown out. IWC’s solution to this is the Timezoner concept. Drawing on the original Timezoner function designed by watchmaker, Michael Vogt – IWC acquired the patent who grew it further. With this feature, all the time zone adjustments are done by a bezel that is mechanically linked to the movement, acting on the large white-filled hour hand that displays the local time. To activate the function you simply press on the bezel, turn it to the required time zone according to the city on the ceramic insert and then release it. The hour hand will then be positioned to the correct time.
The IWC Schaffhausen Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince”
The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” by IWC Schaffhausen is a beautifully engineered travel companion. Its case is crafted from brushed stainless steel with polished accents and the watch has been integrated with 60-meter water resistance. The front and back of the case are both sealed with a lens crafted from scratch-resistant and anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass. This protects the dial from denting, dust, light, moisture and heat damage but also rids the dial of any undesirable glare whilst referencing the time. The transparent caseback affords a view of one of IWC’s in-house mechanical movements and, in this instance, has not been specially engraved but does feature a gold medallion engraved with an image depicting the prince against a starry backdrop. The case also features a screw-down crown and measures a diameter of 46mm, sitting at a height of 15mm on the wrist. Surrounding the dial is the patented rotating bezel with blue ceramic insert featuring the 24 world time zone cities. As aforementioned, the front and back of the case have both been sealed with sapphire crystal glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure.
The dial of the IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petite Prince” is executed in the brand’s trademark sunray-brushed blue dial. The stylized Arabic numeral hour markers around the edge of the dial, alongside a legible minute track are whiteion colour and have been treated with a layer of luminescent coating to assist with timekeeping during the night. Under the 12 o’clock location is a retrograde 24-hour display in an arc shape against a vivid white background to match the white date window at 3 o’clock. The tapering hour and minute hands have also been lume-filled and a pop of red colour is seen in finer details like the “UTC” lettering on the bezel and the “Timezoner” lettering at the dial’s 6 o’clock region.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Edition “Le Petit Prince” watch is powered by a movement produced by the company exclusively for the Timezoner models. The self-winding automatic 82760 Calibre is built from 284 individual hand-assembled components and is equipped with the Pellaton winding mechanism, which uses pawls rather than direct gearing between the rotor and barrel. The IWC Calibre 82760 provides a 60-hour power reserve, performs at a frequency of 28,800 and puts its beautiful Côtes de Genève, perlage decoration on display through the watch’s sapphire-backed case.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner is finished on a dark brown calfskin strap adorned with off-white contrast stitching down the sides. The watch is priced at £12,700 and is available to order from our extensive collection of Pilot’s watches by IWC here at Berry’s Jewellers. To own one of the special limited edition pieces of just 1500 worldwide, you can order today online, book an appointment to view the piece in person, or speak to one of our knowledgeable sales team online via live chat on our website.