IWC Schaffhausen has begun to unveil some of its new timepieces for the pre-SIHH 2019 season. Among them are several watches that will be part of their current production pieces moving forward, but today we will take a sneak peek at a very exclusive and enchanting novelty. The new highly limited production “IWC Big Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “Le Petit Prince” Edition.
In the past IWC has released various versions of their “Big Pilot” with everything from a perpetual calendar, to even a digital QP-chronograph. But, this is actually the first time a tourbillon has been applied to their pilot watch, plus they’ve also equipped it with a constant-force mechanism. This watch is essentially the Pilot’s version of the “IWC Portugieser Constant Force Tourbillon ‘150 Years’ Edition” (Ref#: IW504501), introduced a year ago during their anniversary celebrations that you can read more about here.
The 46.2mm case is made of 18k hard gold with a transparent sapphire exhibition case back, which allows to view the inner workings of the mechanical movement. This “hard gold” is a new material being introduced by IWC Schaffhausen with this timepiece. It is still an 18k gold alloy, but significantly harder with around 5 to 10 times more wear-resistance than a standard rose gold. IWC has managed to obtain this “hard gold” via a sophisticated manufacturing process that involves modifying the microstructure of the alloy.
Mounted to the case is an 18k gold bezel with a polished finish; while the long protruding lugs offer a comfortable wrist fit and have been crafted with brushed surfaces. The combination of both brushed and polished elements on this case manage to provide an overall harmonious an all-encompassing finishing touch.
It also comes equipped with a polished screw-in crown designed in the iconic IWC big diamond shape with a riveted circumference, providing a firm grip for quick-sets. All topped by a sapphire crystal that assists with water-resistance on this watch being able to reach up to 60 meters (196 feet). The glass has also been secured against displacement by drops in air pressure.
Time is exhibited on a blue sunburst dial with applied gold-plated Arabic numerals for the: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and the 7 o’clock positions. These numerals are accompanied by a white ring of small second and slightly larger minute indie marks, on the inner flange of the dial. In between these patches of index markers are numerals for every 5-minute increment.
But, one of the most enchanting aspects of this dial can be seen on its Moonphase, located between the 12 and 2 o’clock position. The Moonphase features a golden moon and scattered stars with a “Le Petit Prince” themed decoration.
Plus an oversized tourbillon with a small-seconds counter has been placed between the 8 and 10 o’clock positions. The integration of both the constant-force and tourbillon mechanisms on this movement, improve the chronometry of the movement and counteract effectively against: gravity and decreasing torque, for an augmented precision.
There is also a power reserve indicator spread out along the 4 and 5 o’clock positions. Its gold-plated propeller-shaped central hands and Arabic numerals have all been fitted with a luminescent coating, for an enhanced legibility.
IWC Big Pilot Constant-Force Tourbillon “Le Petit Prince” Edition
This “IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Constant-Force Tourbillon “Le Petit Prince” Edition (Ref#: IW590303) is powered by the hand-wound in-house mechanical movement, caliber 94805 with 41 jewels and 18,000 Vph. It comes equipped with a constant force mechanism that is integrated into the tourbillon, ensuring a stable amplitude of the balance. Power reserve on this watch can last up to 96 hours, when fully wound.
Mounted to the watch is a brown calfskin leather strap with exposed contrasting white stitching, while secured to the wrist by an 18k gold buckle. This is a limited edition of only 10 manufactured pieces, with an estimated release date set for June 2019. For more information visit the official IWC website here.
MSRP: 238,000 € – Approximately – $270,626.00 USD
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