Antoine de Saint-Exupery may have disappeared with his plane 70 years ago, but adoration for the French aviation pioneer certainly has not. One of many companies that has become enamoured with the pilot and author’s incredible story is IWC, which has partnered with the Antoine de Saint-Exupery – d’Agay Estate since 2005. Several special-edition watches in his honour later, the manufacture is now releasing three new watches to commemorate the 70th anniversary of his final journey through the skies.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” features a 46mm case made out of brown silicon nitride ceramic. This tobacco colour, which was chosen because it mirrored the colour of Saint-Exupery’s flight suit, has been featured on past commemorative models’ dials and straps, but a brown ceramic case is a first for the brand. The reference with black counters and a titanium case back is limited to 1,700 pieces, while the one with red gold-plated counters and 18k red gold case back is limited to 170. The most exclusive, with only 17 pieces made, comes with rhodium-plated counters and a platinum case back.
Each one houses an in-house 89361 automatic chronograph calibre with a 68-hour power reserve, along with an engraving of Saint-Exupery’s head on the back, but precious metal models come with a print on duraluminium (a type of aluminium alloy) by French artist Manolo Chretien.