IWC Schaffhausen has launched the Big Pilot’s Watch Monopusher Edition “Le Petit Prince”, the first Big Pilot’s Watch with a chronograph function. The mechanical stopwatch is controlled via a single push-button which is beautifully integrated into the distinctive conical crown. Limited to 500 pieces, this “Le Petit Prince” edition features the characteristic deep-blue sunburst dial and a stainless-steel case.
In the tradition of IWC’s special editions in honour of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s world-famous novel, the Big Pilot’s Watch Monopusher Edition “Le Petit Prince” features the signature deep-blue sunburst dial. It is complemented with a stainless-steel case and rhodium plated hands. In addition, the hands, indices, and applied numerals are embedded with luminous material to make the dial easier to read at night.
The IWC-manufactured 59365 calibre is one of three in-house chronograph movements from IWC. Alongside the movements from the 69000 and 89000 calibre families, the 59360 calibre is the third chronograph developed and manufactured entirely in Schaffhausen.
The IWC 59365 calibre was introduced in 2014 in the Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher (Ref. 5151). The first Portugieser with a monopusher, the Portugieser Hand- Wound Monopusher Edition “Laureus Sport for Good”, was presented in 2020. Now, this ingenious mechanism provides a Big Pilot’s Watch with a chronograph function for the first time: The Big Pilot’s Watch Monopusher Edition “Le Petit Prince” (Ref. 515202).
It is also the brand’s only chronograph movement that is wound manually: 70 revolutions of the crown are enough to build up the maximum power reserve of eight days (192 hours). It offers a power-reserve indication on the back of the movement, which can be seen through the sapphire-glass case back.
In the traditional design, the mechanical stopwatch is operated using two pushers on the side of the case. The monopusher, on the other hand, can be started, stopped, and reset to zero via a single pusher integrated into the crown.
Operating the monopusher chronograph is remarkably simple. Pressing the pusher for the first time couples the chronograph mechanism to the fourth wheel of the base movement via the oscillating pinion, and a new timing phase begins. When the pusher is pressed a second time, the chronograph is uncoupled from the base movement. A stop time of up to 60 minutes is displayed on the totaliser at 12 o’clock. Pressing the pusher for a third time returns the chronograph second and minute hands to position zero.
As with other chronographs from IWC, individual switching states are controlled by a column wheel. In the 59360 calibre, the column wheel is particularly large, and its operation can be observed through the transparent case back. The tooth system on the lower level moves the column wheel forward by one position each time the pusher is activated. On the upper level, there is a circle comprising six vertical columns.
From these columns and the recesses in between them, three levers on the sides read the instructions. Depending on whether the levers rest on a column or fall into a recess, a different action is triggered. While chronographs with two pushers allow the addition of several short times before resetting the hands to zero, the monopusher executes the same program in an endless loop: “start chronograph”, “stop chronograph”, “reset hands”.
Mounted on the back of the base movement, the monopusher module consists of 66 smartly arranged parts and is a masterpiece of precision engineering. One challenge in chronograph design is that high forces act on the individual components when the mechanism is started, stopped, and reset to zero. Therefore, the intermediate wheel features a unique shape with optimised weight and inertia. This ensures that operating the chronograph affects the amplitude of the balance as little as possible.
The intermediate wheel and other critical components of the 59360 calibre are manufactured using the so-called Liga process. Based on photolithography, electroplating and micro-moulding, it enables the manufacture of parts with highly complex geometries and a level of dimensional accuracy that cannot be achieved using conventional machining techniques.
Fitted with a brown calfskin strap with a folding clasp, the Big Pilot’s Watch Monopusher Edition “Le Petit Prince” is available through IWC boutiques, authorised retail partners or online on IWC.com. In addition, the timepiece is eligible for registration under the My IWC care programme and can benefit from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.
Model: Big Pilot’s Watch Monopusher Edition “Le Petit Prince”
IWC-manufactured calibre 59365 mechanical movement
Frequency: 28,800 vph / 4 Hz
Power reserve: 192 h (8 days)
Monopusher chronograph with minutes and seconds stop function
Power reserve display
Small hacking seconds
Stainless steel case
Diameter: 46.2 mm
Height: 14.6 mm
Glass: Sapphire, convex, anti-reflective coating on both sides
Glass secured against displacement by drops in air pressure
See-through sapphire-glass back
Water-resistance: 6 bar
Deep blue dial, rhodium-plated hands and appliqués
Brown calfskin strap with folding clasp
Limited to 500 pieces