IWC 'The Last Flight' watch to see big bids at Sotheby's

Sotheby's will sell a stunning platinum Pilot's Watch in partnership with Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Shaffhausen.

IWC produced the watch to commemorate 70 years since the last flight of writer and pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Saint-Exupery's fate was unknown until 1998, when a French fisherman found his bracelet off the coast of Marseilles

The watch will sell on November 11 in Geneva, with profits to benefit the Antonie de Saint-Exupery Youth Foundation. No estimate has been set, yet its suggested retail price stands at $33,456.

This is the second time Sotheby's has teamed up with IWC Shaffhausen, with 2013 seeing the auction of a Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition "Le Petit Prince" at $180,872. The design was inspired by Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince, a famous children's novella, and the sale raised funds to build a school in Cambodia.

Saint-Exupery joined the Free French Air Force in 1944, despite being past the maximum age for pilots and in declining health. Determined to fight the Nazis, he disappeared over the Mediterranean on a reconnaissance mission in July 1944, believed to have been shot down by the German luftwaffe.

The watch features a brown ceramic case, brown dial and calfskin strap designed to echo the tobacco colour of his flying suit. Number 1 of 17 pieces, the reverse boasts a special engraving commemorating this last flight.

"This special edition Pilot's Watch Chronograph is the perfect timepiece to commemorate a man whose legacy combines poetry and humanity with bold endeavour, continuing to inspire today," commented Sotheby's head of watches Tim Bourne.

"We are delighted to renew this partnership, and our contribution to the work of the Saint-Exupery Youth Foundation, working hand in hand with IWC."

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