In July 1939, pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry made a historic flight across the Atlantic that would solidify his place in aviation history. Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen pays tribute to Saint-Exupéry’s extraordinary flight on the French flying boat Latécoère 521 by introducing the limited series Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph Edition “80 Years Flight to New York”.
The 80th anniversary of the Latécoère 521 “Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris”s voyage was significant as it flew nonstop across the North Atlantic in 28 hours and 27 minutes. IWC Schaffhausen marked the momentous flight with an exhibition that showcased photographs and other items from the period.
It was during his time living in New York, that the French author wrote his most famous literary work, “Le Petit Prince” (“The Little Prince”).
IWC’s latest limited edition piece features a patented timezoner function that allows the wearer to adjust the time zone by simply pressing down and rotating the bezel. In a nod to the historic flight, both “Paris” and “New York” are marked red on the bezel. Even the sepia brown dial is inspired by the pilot suits from the era of Saint-Exupéry.
Meanwhile, the case back features an engraving of the Latécoère 521 that he rode to New York on. 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 subdial at “12 o’clock”.
(Related: Stunning new watches from IWC Schaffhausen)
In recognition of it being the 80th anniversary of the flight, the new watch will be limited to just 80 pieces. IWC will donate the full proceeds from the sale of the first watch (piece “1 of 80”) to the Saint Exupéry Foundation, as it continues to support educational programmes for young people around the world.