The smile of a child is priceless though it is interesting to note that the comparable retail price of this unique piece is approximately US $45,000.
Accompanied by an IWC box and two very rare and exciting original documents by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, including: an original edition of the Vol de Nuit (Night Flight) of 1936 with a dedication by Saint-Exupéry and a signed manuscript by the author, entitled Toi Ma Liberté, circa 1942, in ink on Fidelity onion skin paper.
Born in Lyon in June of 1900, Count Antoine Marie Roger de Saint-Exupéry lived his life as an aviator and a famed French author, best known for his 1943 novel Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince). Antoine de Saint Exupéry became one of the pioneers of international postal flights during the 1920's, working without many pilot's instruments known today and flying by instinct. In 1929 Saint Exupéry moved to South America and was appointed the director of the Aeroposta Argentina Company. The country became dear to him and he spent many important years of his life in Argentina. It was here that he wrote his third published work in 1931, the Vol de Nuit (Night Flight).
In addition to his literary accomplishments, Antoine de Saint Exupéry remains well-known for the manor of his disappearance. After spending time in the South America, the United States and Canada, he returned to France to fight with the Allied Forces during World War II. On the night of July 31, 1944, at the age of 44, Saint Exupéry took off in his Lockheed F-5 to run reconnaissance missions. He has never been seen again. A body was discovered and buried wearing a French uniform but was never positively identified, creating an aviation legend similar to that of Amelia Earhart's. In fact it was not until 2004 that investigators confirmed that a plane found off the coast of Marseille was indeed that of Antoine de Saint Exupéry. With no evidence of being shot down, the mystery of the cause of the crash remains.
By creating the "Edition Antoine de Saint Exupéry" IWC commemorates the spirit of both their own inventiveness and this pioneer of aviation. Released in 2006 at SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie) in Geneva during the 75th anniversary year of the publishing of Vol de Nuit, this special limited edition of IWC's pilot's chronograph wristwatch exists in the celebrated tradition of the firm's production of professional aviator's wristwatches from the 1930's onward. Made in a limited edition of 1,931 pieces (1,630 in stainless steel, 250 in pink gold, 50 in white gold and 1 in platinum), this production run further commemorates the date of 1931 and each watch comes with a copy of the famed novel.
IWC and Christie's are proud to offer this single, unique piece in platinum of this commemorative "Edition Antoine de Saint Exupéry" to be auctioned to benefit the "Vol de Nuit/Vuelo Nocturno" Association. This association was created in 2004 by the grand-nephew of the famous author and pilot Antoine de Saint Exupéry, Frédéric d'Agay. Together with a team of volunteers in France and Argentina this association helps Argentinean schools and other children's institutions in need, which carry the name or spread the message of Antoine de Saint Exup©ery. No price can truly be placed on either this unique watch and its accompaniments or on the beauty of the health, happiness and life of a child.