Power Reserve, Luminescent Hand, Luminescent Numeral
IWC PAYS TRIBUTE TO A LEGEND’S FIRST TAKE-OFF
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY’S FIRST FLIGHT
IWC Pilot's Double Chronograph Antoine de Saint-Exupery's
Limited Edition to 500 Pieces
- Solid 18kt rose gold case with a fine brushed/satin finish & polished finished beveled corners, bezel, crown & chronograph buttons.
- Polished rose gold hands with luminous fill.
- Date window located at the 6 o'clock position.
- Small seconds sub-dial located at the 6 o'clock position.
- Brown main dial.
- Fine painted minutes/seconds & fractions of a second track on dial perimeter.
- Silver sub-dials are slightly recessed & with a fine concentric circle textured pattern.
- Large central hand seconds counter.
- The chronograph sub-dial at the 12 o'clock position doubles as both the chronograph 60 minute counter (longer hand pointing to outer diameter) & the 12 hour counter (short hand pointing to marking on inner diameter), allowing for an easy & instant reading of the stopwatch.
Antoine de Saint‐Exupéry, aviator and author, discovered the intoxication of flying when he was 12 years old, at the aerodrome of Ambérieu – not far from his childhood home in Saint‐Maurice‐de‐Rémens. In 1912, the young Antoine boarded a Berthaud‐Wroblewski, piloted by a man named Gabriel Wroblewski‐Salvez (1881‐1952), taking care not to warn his mother as she would probably have forbidden him to take such a risk.
In those days, many children flocked to the airfields, filled with wonder. Antoine was one of them, arriving on his bicycle to see the pilots and watch them take off on their flying machines. The mechanic Maurice Thénoz recalls the young boy going up to the pilot Gabriel Salvez and telling him :
—Monsieur, my mother has given me permission to take my first flight
—Is that really true?
—Yes, I assure you!
It was a little white lie in the quest for thrilling experiences. Gabriel Salvez allowed him to climb into the W2, and flew twice round the field. It was a sunny day in July 1912, during the holidays, and with this trip, a lifelong passion was born.
Saint‐Exupéry’s first flight wasn’t just any plane. It was a plane with a special, agile new engine- designed by Salvez, and by his brother and partner, Pierre Salvez. Pierre Salvez had already designed a new metal prototype and on 10 April 1910 he requested a patent for an airplane with two symmetrical propellers and two rudders. The elevator was combined, with one in the front and the other at the back embedded in the empennage. The rudder was vertical and is placed at the end. The two‐wheeled landing gear was mounted on spring‐loaded dampers, and completed at the back by a simple wheel. This engine became a patent in February 1910, when a Shareholder company called Prini & Berthaud filed it as a “two‐stroke external‐compression engine”.
Like the locomotive had done a few years earlier, the airplane continued to evolve, and opened a new path towards modernity, which would inspire writers – among whom was Saint-Exupery. While still a child, Saint‐Exupéry discovered the poetry in flying. He would fly over vast seas and cross mountains. He would experience the solitude of deserts and taste the “bitter flesh of night flights.” All this went into his writing, which was all the richer for it.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was a true renaissance man: a writer, pilot, adventurer, film-maker, explorer, journalist, ambassador, artist, inventor and moralist. A man of action
as well as reflection and meditation, Saint-Exupéry was at once a scientist, a literary artist, a humanist and a sage. As a commercial pilot, Saint-Exupéry was a part of the most fascinating, spectacular and dangerous activity of his age: the conquest of the skies.
From this experience, he produced a body of literary work which drew not from his flying career, but also from man’s continual battle with all that holds him back and ties him down to earth – such as inertia and fear. Armed with a thirst for knowledge, courage, intelligence, responsibility and the spirit of sacrifice, Saint-Exupéry managed to rise above, propelling himself ever further to the skies. When these noble values needed defending against the monstrous principles of Nazism laying waste to Europe, Saint Exupéry did not merely express himself with his pen: at an age when he could have been excused from fighting, he took up arms and died in active duty, barely two years after having written, as an adjunct to his great works, a Christmas tale: The Little Prince, the best known French story in the world. The book still stands as a simple tale that would have us understand that what is most marvelous about man is the inner child that is his soul.
During my childhood, my first contact with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was through his book Le Petit Prince. I was particularly impressed by the riveting stories he wrote, all based on his experiences, relating to the early days of airmail and his time as a pilot, driven by sheer passion. He flew air routes in three parts of the globe, set a record for transatlantic flight and was the author of several aviation-related inventions. As a manufacturer of Pilot’s Watches, IWC has a very special affinity for these exciting moments in his life.
—Georges Kern, CEO, IWC Schaffhausen
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was already a legend in his own lifetime. People are fascinated as much by his books, which have been translated into more than 50 languages, as by his adventurous life as a pilot.
The start of a lifelong passion
Also known as: IWC IW387805, IWC IW3878-05, IWC ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY