Earlier this month, we have showcased the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph « Antoine de Saint Exupéry » (Ref. IW377713), the first of the two special editions developed by IWC Schaffhausen to honour the French pilot and author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Today, we are going to show you the second special edition: the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII Edition “Antoine de Saint Exupéry” (Ref. IW327003).
This now model also features a tobacco brown dial and a brown calfskin strap with decorative white stitching, as well as an engraving of a Lightning P-38 on the case back. It was in this particular model of aircraft that Saint-Exupéry took off on a reconnaissance flight from which he never returned.
Montre d’Aviateur Mark XVIII Édition « Antoine de Saint Exupéry » © IWC Schaffhausen
The watch comes in a 40mm stainless-steel case completed with a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields. It has a screwed crown, and a convex sapphire glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure. Water resistant to 6 bars (60m), the watch houses the mechanical self-winding movement Calibre 35111, offering a 42-hour power reserve, the date at 3 o’clock and a central hacking second.
I said that this variant had a surprisingly mild premium over the non-limited model. Special edition watches often cost considerably more than their standard siblings, many times with no other motive than that it is labeled a special edition and maybe has another dial color – and for some supposed “exclusivity.” This can be very frustrating for watch collectors. The IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “50th Anniversary Of Mercedes-AMG” prices just $800 more than the Normal Ingenieur Chronograph Sport. This makes it more appealing for the collector who enjoys the Ingenieur line but wants something different and less common than the normal offerings – and at a year where we’ve seen “limited edition” runs of 2,012 or 6,000 pieces, 250 pieces makes it feel more “rare” indeed. Picture this: in 2016, you felt inclined to buy one of these strictly limited-edition-only IWC Ingenieur watches, believing it is a one-time opportunity to find a new-old take about the Ingenieur… Well, worry not if you haven’t, since IWC now is starting essentially the same watch with a few fundamental cosmetic tweaks along with three completely new models – a time-only, two chronograph versions, plus a chronograph perpetual calendar – in what’s now a brand new IWC Ingenieur collection.As a beginner as well as the entry-level model, we have the IWC Ingenieur Automatic 40 as seen above, with references IW357001, IW357002, along with IW357003 beginning at only under $5,000 and moving up from there as you update for a steel necklace or a solid 18k red gold case. Inspired by the IWC Ingenieur benchmark 666, the very first Ingenieur that dates back to 1955, the silver dial version on black leather seems closest to its predecessor.
Special back engraving © IWC Schaffhausen