Schaffhausen/Geneva, 19 November 2013 – A unique piece by the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen was among the timepieces under the hammer at the Sotheby's Geneva auction of Important Watches. The unique Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” in platinum (Ref. IW502801) was sold for CHF 173,000. Together with the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, IWC is using the proceeds to support the construction of a school with a library in Cambodia, thereby contributing to the fight against illiteracy.
Seventy years following the first publication of “The Little Prince”, the most successful work by Antoine de Saint- Exupéry, IWC Schaffhausen has again made a special contribution to supporting the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation. The Swiss lux ury watch manufacturer put the Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” in platinum with midnight blue dial up for sale as part of an auction held by Sotheby's Geneva. The unique timepiece was auctioned together with a limited reissue of the English first edition of “The Little Prince” and a reproduction of the original French manuscript. The full proceeds of CHF 173,000 will be used to finance the con¬struction of a new school building with integrated library in the province of Siem Reap, Cambodia, which is already under way. “This auction is a sign of our respect for the Foundation's commitment to fighting illiteracy. As a glob¬ally successful company, we take our social responsibility seriously and have since 2006 maintained a collaborative relationship with Saint-Exupéry's heirs and the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation, which is based on the humanistic values of the renowned pilot and author,” comments Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen, re¬garding the auction.
TOGETHER AGAINST ILLITERACY
Olivier d'Agay, great-nephew of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Director Saint-Exupéry – d'Agay Estate, is delighted with the result of the auction: “Not only did the highest bidder acquire a precious unique timepiece, they can also rest assured that their contribution will be put to good use. With the proceeds of the auction we will help provide Cambodian children with a school education and thus a better future. Reading is key to their development and self-realization.” The Foundation works closely with the non-governmental organization Sipar, which combats illit¬eracy in Cambodia. More than 200,000 children have benefited from access to books and literacy activities through the creation of libraries and education centres. Mobile libraries bring reading material to remote areas, and every month Sipar publishes books in the national language Khmer, including “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Thanks to this cooperation and with the support of IWC Schaffhausen, a new school building with five classrooms and a library is currently being built in the village of Roluos in the province of Siem Reap. The school is scheduled to be opened in spring 2014. “Without the commitment of strong partners such as IWC Schaffhausen, we would be unable to fulfil our mission,” empha¬sizes Olivier d'Agay. “IWC has close links with the world of aviation, and shares the values of Saint-Exupéry. We are working together to help young people to build their own futures, and encourage them to take responsibility and adopt an active role in society. We are delighted to be able to offer young people a perspective for the future thanks to the significant proceeds from this auction,” adds the great-nephew of the world-famous author.
With a clear focus on technology and development, the Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has been producing timepieces of lasting value since 1868. The company has gained an international reputation based on a passion for innovative solutions and technical ingenuity. One of the world's leading brands in the luxury watch seg¬ment, IWC crafts masterpieces of haute horlogerie at their finest, combining supreme precision with exclusive de¬sign. As an ecologically and socially responsible company, IWC is committed to sustainable production, supports in¬stitutions worldwide in their work with children and young people, and maintains partnerships with organizations dedicated to climate and environmental protection.
THE ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY YOUTH FOUNDATION
Under the aegis of the Fondation de France, the Founda¬tion was created by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's heirs to promote the great French writer's humanist philosophy. Liaising closely with companies that share its values and aims, the Foundation works primarily to help disadvan¬taged young people all over the world by encouraging and financing local initiatives designed to provide education and training across a broad spectrum of areas. By instill¬ing a sense of purpose into young people and teaching them to live together as part of their communities, to find fulfilment in work and to access culture through reading and writing, it helps them to become responsible citizens