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IWC Schaffhausen

IWC Schaffhausen

 

 

As a partner of the Fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, IWC Schaffhausen is committed to helping children and young people in disadvantaged circumstances. Founded in 2008 by Saint-Exupéry’s descendants, the charitable institution works to preserve the humanist values of the French writer and pilot. IWC contributes to the financing of the foundation’s social projects by auctioning off unique pieces.

 

 

 

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in Lyon on 29 June 1900 and, even as a young boy, dreamed of flying. He worked for air freight and air mail companies in Africa and South America, and also undertook spectacular record-breaking attempts that on several occasions almost cost him his life.

 


ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY AND THE FONDATION

His second great passion was writing, and he was an author of international renown during his lifetime. The most famous of his literary works is the tale of “The Little Prince”, which has been translated into more than 298 languages. On 31 July 1944, Saint-Exupéry disappeared without trace while carrying out a reconnaissance flight. Only in 2000 were the remnants of his P-38 Lightning discovered on the bed of the Mediterranean.

 

With a view to upholding the spiritual heritage of the flying pioneer and aviator, his descendants established the Fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 2008. The organization focuses on the struggle against illiteracy and manages school and educational projects aimed specifically at disadvantaged children and young people.

 

 

—A legend in his own lifetime: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, pilot, writer, humanist

A partnership founded on common values

 

 

IWC Schaffhausen has worked closely with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s descendants since 2005 and also has a solid commitment to the Fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The strong partnership is based on the many points they have in common. Supporting children and adolescents who face difficult circumstances is one of the central pillars of IWC’s social commitment. Both partners firmly believe that knowledge and education can give young people long-term prospects and turn them into responsible citizens.

 

But apart from this, there is the notion of heritage: Saint-Exupéry’s pioneering achievements as an aviator date back to the time, about 80 years ago, when IWC launched its Special Pilot’s Watch, and with it the first watch in an on-going series. The Pilot’s Watches, with their characteristic dial design and technical highlights such as a soft-iron cage to protect the movement against magnetic fields, have held a firm place in the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer’s collection to this day.


Limited Pilot’s Watch special Editions

At the anniversary exhibition in New York, IWC officially launched the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph Edition “80 Years Flight to New York” (Ref. IW395003). In a nod to the transatlantic flight itself, the timepiece features the patented timezoner function, which allows the wearer to adjust the time zone by simply pressing down and rotating the bezel. 

On the bezel made of brown ceramic, Paris and New York are marked in red. The sepia-brown dial is inspired by the pilot suits from the era of Saint Exupéry, and the case back features an engraving of the Latécoère 521. The watch is powered by the IWC-manufactured 89760 calibre and features a chronograph function that displays the stopped hours and minutes combined on a s ubdial at 12 o’clock.


Auctions to make social projects possible

Liaising closely with Sotheby’s auction house, IWC has already put several exclusive timepieces under the hammer for the benefit of the Fondation Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The proceeds go towards the funding of various school and educational projects.

 

In 2013, for example, a Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” brought the princely sum of 173,000 Swiss francs. The foundation used the money to open two school buildings with an integrated library in Cambodia and also financed mobile libraries that pay regular visits to outlying villages.

 

In 2014, the proceeds from another auction were used to establish a library in a Brazilian children’s hospital complete with books, computers and e-books. IWC brand ambassador Adriana Lima inaugurated the library.

 

In 2015, support went to the Hospitality and Catering Training Centre (HCTC) in Mae Sot in northwestern Thailand. This educational institute focuses on the advancement of young people from the Karen, an ethnic group in South East Asia who are often poorly integrated into the rest of society.

 

Learn more about the heritage of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

www.antoinedesaintexupery.com
www.fasej.org
www.lepetitprince.com


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