Review: IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince” Edition

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When IWC launched the “Le Petit Prince” edition for its Pilot’s Watches collection in 2013, we were visibly excited. It was not just the fact that the watch is based on one of the most popular novels from the effervescent Antonie de Saint-Exupery, but it is also because we have a soft spot for watches with blue dials. 

In this year’s SIHH, IWC have decided to revamp its Pilot’s Watches collection. And boy, we were pleased with their novelties this year. Some of our favorites include the new 36mm Pilot’s Watch, as well as the new Mark XVIII. But we have definitely reserved a special spot in our hearts for the “Le Petit Prince” edition.

The IWC Pilot's Watch Mark XVIII "Le Petit Prince" edition. The blue dial, in our opinion, is simply captivating.

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince” edition. The blue dial, in our opinion, is simply captivating.

The “Le Petit Prince” edition, notably, is one of the special variants of the new Mark XVIII. As some might have known, the “Le Petit Prince” edition features a special blue dial, as well as a different case back from the regular the Mark XVIII. While we might be a bit biased here, but we really do like the blue dial. We feel that it is pretty unique, and that the shade of blue is very well-balanced and pleasing to the eye. In addition, it also seems to contrast very well with the white hands and indices on the watch, as well as the stainless steel case.

In terms of its aesthetics and design, IWC have made some subtle tweaks with the Mark XVIII. One of the most conspicuous adjustments is the date indicator. Gone is the “altimeter style” date display. We think this is a good move, as the new date indicator gives the watch a much cleaner and well-balanced look. Other changes include the addition of the “6” and “9” numerals on the indices, as well as a shift in the position of the triangle at the 12 o’clock position. Overall, we think that the watch looks much better compared to its predecessor (the Mark XVII).

Another perspective of the Mark XVIII "Le Petit Prince" edition.

Another perspective of the Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince” edition.

The watch is powered by IWC Caliber 35111, an automatic movement that is based on Sellita’s SW300-1 movement. It features a date indicator, as well as decent power reserve of approximately 42 hours. On top of that, the watch is fitted with a soft-iron inner case for protection against magnetic fields. While it is not an exceptional movement, we think that it is robust and reliable to do a good job at timekeeping. We would have wished for an in-house movement, so perhaps IWC might grant us that wish when she launches the Mark XIX? Well, only time will tell.

The caseback of the Mark XVIII "Le Petit Prince".

The caseback of the Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince”, featuring the emblem of the Little Prince.

The 40mm watch, as mentioned, is cased in stainless steel. We think that the size is adequate, without being too small or large. It feels rather nice on the wrist as well. Additionally, the watch is fitted with a different caseback, in which it features an emblem of the Little Prince from the novel. Incidentally, the Little Prince in the caseback, with his coat and sword, is based on the one that was drawn by Antoine in the 1940s.

A mandatory wrist shot.

A mandatory wrist shot.

The IWC Mark XVIII “Le Petit Prince” is priced at SGD$6,250. To top it off, the watch is fitted with a brown calfskin strap, made specially by Santoni. Amongst the few Mark XVIII variants, we think that this is the nicest. On top of that, all of them are priced equally as well. With its ravishing good looks, as well as its reference to “Le Petit Prince”, we think that one should look at this particular piece if he or she is eyeing on the Mark XVIII.


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