This poetic theme, equally philosophic, relates to us on many levels. It also relates to much of what fine watchmaking is about, particularly when intricate movements are hidden inside cases and watches are used in adventures, such as the daring flights in the 1930’s. Above all else, watches are best understood not just intellectually, but with the heart. It is perhaps for that reason that the marketing themes so effectively employed by IWC-Schaffhausen have so well succeeded.
The epitome of that success may well be the “Le Petit Prince” models produced by IWC, starting in 2013. What is especially interesting here is the synthesis of a utilitarian tool watch – a pilot’s watch – and the element of fantasy. Unlike virtually any other watch company, IWC brings together these two disparate elements in a way that reflects every watch collector’s best dreams.
The first Le Petit Prince model, Reference IW3265-06, was based upon the very simple, basic Mark XVII time-only pilot’s watch. However, this model had a blue sunburst dial, evoking the mystery of the sky at night, and an engraved back with an image of the little prince. It quickly sold out as did another 2013 Le Petit Prince model, a Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar, one of which was platinum and 750 were in steel. That model also had the characteristic reflective blue dial representing the sky and evoking dreams, plus a special medallion depicting the Little Prince on the rotor, viewable from the back of the watch.