IWC Schaffhausen and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation (FASEJ) celebrate the Foundation’s 10th anniversary with a “10 years, 10 days” exhibition from 10th–20th June in Paris. The highlight of the exhibition is a preview of a unique Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince”, which will be auctioned online by Sotheby’s between 8th and 17th July. IWC will donate its proceeds from the sale to the Foundation, continuing to support the charitable organisation’s educational programmes for young people.
Established in 2009, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation (FASEJ) works to preserve the humanist values of the famous French pilot and author. IWC begun a collaboration with the heirs of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in 2006 and became a partner to FASEJ on its inception in 2009.
To celebrate their successful partnership, IWC and FASEJ are organising a “10 years, 10 days” event in Paris, including an exhibition at the IWC boutique on Rue de la Paix from 10th–20th June, as well as an exclusive cocktail reception. The special exhibition features a carefully curated selection of historic artefacts and original photographs, and also honours the foundation’s vital work in various countries around the world over the last decade. A particular highlight of the exhibition will be a Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. IW392202) in 18-carat 5N gold.
Featuring a spectacular midnight blue dial, this special edition is limited to 250 pieces worldwide. The auction lot itself is the piece 10 out of 250 with a beige luminescent index at 10 o’clock in celebration of the foundation’s 10th anniversary. Watch lovers around the world will be able to place bids on the unique timepiece honouring Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s most famous literary work, “The Little Prince”, from 8th–17th July.
The perpetual calendar, designed in the early 1980s by Kurt Klaus, contains more than 80 individual parts. Its mechanical program automatically recognises the differing lengths of the months and the watch even adds a leap day to the end of February every four years. Its smart mechanism will require no manual adjustment until 2100.
The date, day, month, moon phase and year displays are perfectly synchronised and can be reset by simply turning the crown. The IWC-manufactured 89630 calibre combines this iconic complication with a chronograph function. The calendar’s moon phase display has been integrated with the chronograph totaliser at 12 o’clock.
The timepiece will be offered within Sotheby’s Watches Online sale, open for bidding exclusively online from 8th–17th July. A “The Little Prince – Tactile Art Book, Claude Garrandes edition” with drawings in relief and texts in English, French and Braille and signed by François d’Agay, President of the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation and Dr Claude Garrandes will accompany the timepiece.
Founded in 2009, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation (FASEJ) aims to preserve the humanist values of the legendary French pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It carries out various projects around the world that focus on improving the lives of young people by providing vocational training, inclusive educational programmes and helping them secure better futures for themselves, for example by fighting illiteracy.
IWC Schaffhausen (IWC) entered into a partnership with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s descendants in 2006 and also has a solid commitment to the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation. The strong partnership is based on the many points they have in common. Supporting children and adolescents who face difficult circumstances is one of the central pillars of IWC’s social commitment. Both partners firmly believe that knowledge and education can give young people long term prospects and turn them into responsible citizens.
A cornerstone of the company’s engagement is the support of children and adolescents who are facing difficult circumstances in life. IWC contributes to the work of the foundation through several means. Since 2006, various special edition Pilot’s Watches have been released to pay tribute to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and his famous novel “The Little Prince”. These watches feature brown (“Antoine de Saint Exupéry” Editions) and blue (“Le Petit Prince” Editions) dials.
In 2014, for instance, IWC unveiled three versions of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight”. This particular model, available in a limited edition, had a sepia-coloured dial and was IWC’s first timepiece in a case made of extremely rugged brown silicon nitride ceramic. The tale of “The Little Prince” has likewise been a regular theme in the special editions since 2013. The Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” also has a captivating day display in which a different star is illuminated in gold to represent every day of the week. The stars symbolise the seven planets visited by the little prince on his odyssey through the universe. In addition, auctions of exclusive timepieces to raise money for the foundation’s projects have been a focal point of the collaboration.
Special Watch Auctions to Support Foundation
The first auction was held in 2013, where the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” went under the hammer for CHF 173,000. These funds were used by the foundation to open two new school buildings with an integrated library in Cambodia, as well as mobile libraries that pay regular visits to remote villages.
In 2014, the proceeds of CHF 40,000 from the auction of Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “The Last Flight” in a brown silicon nitride ceramic case were used to establish a library in a Brazilian children’s hospital, complete with books, computers, and e-books. The library was inaugurated by IWC brand ambassador and supermodel Adriana Lima.
In 2015, the auction of the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Edition “Le Petit Prince” in 18-carat 5N gold raised CHF 47,500. The financial support went to the Hospitality and Training Centre (HCTC) in Mae Sot in Thailand. This educational institution focuses on the advancement of young people from the Karen people, an ethnic group in South East Asia, whose members are often poorly integrated into society.
In 2016, Sotheby’s auctioned the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” with a unique blue movement. The timepiece garnered a winning bid of CHF 48,750. The funds were used to create the first ever tactile art book of “The Little Prince” with drawings in relief to make Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s original watercolours accessible to visually impaired children.
In 2017, Sotheby’s auctioned the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” with an 18-carat white gold case and a blue movement featuring an ornate, hand-painted rotor in the form of the little prince standing on his asteroid. The timepiece garnered a winning bid of CHF 38,000, helping the foundation to support projects in North America.
In 2018, the Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Antoine de Saint Exupéry” in 18-carat white gold with a rotor inspired by a Lockheed P-38 Lightning went under the hammer for CHF 38,000. IWC donated its proceeds to benefit the FASEJ, helping it to support the association Arrimage in Nice, France. This association was established by Dr Claude Garrandès, a blind French artist, teacher and publisher. One of its major projects focuses on teaching visually impaired children how to read drawings in two-dimensional relief through the sense of touch.
For this project, the association uses the first-ever tactile art book of embossed illustrations of “The Little Prince”, accompanied by descriptions in Braille in both French and English. The book was created by Claude Garrandès Editions and Arrimage with the support of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation. Thanks to unique teaching tools created by Arrimage, blind and low-vision children also have the opportunity to learn how to draw themselves. Arrimage regularly organises workshops with visually impaired children and adolescents.
In 2019, IWC and the FASEJ organised a unique charity project with IWC brand ambassador Bradley Cooper. While attending the Academy Awards® ceremony, the American actor wore a Big Pilot’s Watch Single Piece (Ref. IW500923). The timepiece featured a unique engraving of the iconic quote from Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s famous novel, “The Little Prince”, on the back of its 18-carat 5N gold case – “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly”. The watch garnered a winning bid of CHF 60,000. IWC donated its full proceeds to the foundation, helping it to support the Association Arrimage in Nice, France, which conducts art and educational workshops for visually-challenged children and young adults worldwide.
About Antoine De Saint-Exupéry
In 1900, when Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born, flying was still in its infancy. When he was just 12 years old, a pilot at the Ambérieu-en-Bugey airstrip took him up for a test flight. At the age of 21, he served in the military in a unit of the French Air Force in Strasbourg, after which he obtained his civilian pilot’s license. He then worked as a pilot for Latécoère and Aéropostale, the world’s first airmail company, in Europe, Africa and South America.
During WWII, as a pilot in the French Air Force, Major Antoine de Saint-Exupéry survived extremely perilous missions over occupied France in 1940. On 31st July 1944, he took off in a Lockheed P-38 Lightning on a reconnaissance flight over the Mediterranean for the Free French Air Forces from which he never returned.
The adventurer and pilot also devoted himself to his other great love: writing. His love of flying and extensive experience as a pioneer of civilian aviation nourished his humanist works. He became world-famous with his novella “The Little Prince”; this impassioned plea for greater humanity and friendship has been translated into over 350 languages and dialects and is still one of the world’s most translated literary works.
About the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation
The Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, operating under the umbrella of the Fondation de France, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Created by the family of the famed French writer and pilot, and his admirers from across the literary, scientific and aerospace spheres, it both honours his memory and continues his work by passing on his universal humanist values and broadcasting his messages of peace and solidarity, the challenge to better oneself, and his pioneering approach to the environment, to the youngest members of the community, both in France and internationally.
FASEJ is faithful to the spirit of the author and aviator when he encouraged us to build a society based on respect for our fellow humans, on cultural diversity, on solidarity, on universal fraternity, on commitment, and on personal responsibility. Its philanthropic actions in the fields of education and culture, and to combat illiteracy, are undertaken to improve the daily lives of young people, helping them gain skills for a more successful future.
By launching the first international writing competition to be kicked off in space by the astronaut Thomas Pesquet; by helping to build schools and libraries in developing countries; by developing relief reproductions of the illustrations in The Little Prince for blind and visually impaired children with Professor Claude Garrandès; and by enabling ill and handicapped children to take to the skies, the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation is working to achieve its only goal: to keep the memory of The Little Prince alive and to share the literary works of its author, in order to give young people the skills of reflection, altruism, commitment, and an enlightened civic conscience.