A pilot’s watch has long been regarded as an essential component of any well-balanced watch collection. When it comes to flieger-style pilot’s watches, the International Watch Company, notably their Big Pilot, is perhaps the first name that springs to mind. The Big Pilot lineup has now gotten a whole lot bigger.
IWC just introduced their new limited-to-500 Monopusher Edition “Le Petit Prince” which brings a novel complication to the Big Pilot lineup for the first time in the model’s history, a chronograph. The chronograph is controlled by a single button integrated into the Big Crown.
The 46.2 mm stainless case is a classic watch that is designed to be worn over the sleeve of a flying jacket in an open cockpit environment. Similarly, the big crown was a practical option, allowing gloved hands to easily set the time. The crown in this model is The Big Story, since it controls all three functions of the chronograph, in addition to the conventional tasks of winding and time setting.
The deep blue dial is a design signature of the whole Le Petit Prince collection, and the craftsmanship is superb, as you’d expect. The sword handset is rhodium-plated and has attached numbers in a vintage design. Both are well illuminated, and visibility is excellent, as it should be on such a large dial.
This watch is powered by the 59365, IWC’s in-house chronograph calibers, and it’s also the company’s sole manual wind chronograph, which is in keeping with the classic pilot’s flieger. The large faceted diamond of a crown, which has a monopusher design, is in charge of everything.
The chrono hand is started with a single push of the incorporated button, stopped with a second push, and reset with a third push. The 36-jewel movement has a 4Hz frequency and a large 192-hour power reserve for eight days.
This watch is completed with a brown calfskin with white contrast stitching, classic lug rivets, and a well-designed deployant clasp. There’s no point to mess around with anything else because it’s the strap that Big Pilot needed the most.