An Intimate Look at the Richard Mille RM69 Erotic Watch
Erotic art has certainly come a long way. Paintings, sculptures, and even erotic timepieces have always been a part of our history. In fact, erotic watches play an important part in watchmaking history. From watches with concealed mechanisms that were subtly suggestive of sex acts to pocket watches that actually display erotic scenes in full view — erotic timepieces have been around for centuries. To this day, and from time to time, we still see brands launching some fun, erotic timepieces. Case in point: the Richard Mille RM69.
Unlike the erotic timepieces of bygone eras, the Richard Mille RM69 is more subtle and classy. No full-on nudity and sex act here. Instead, the erotic watch titillates with wordplay. With the use of ingenious mechanisms, the Tourbillon watch teases the wearer and his partner to play on their desires by randomly displaying messages that go from romantic to seductive and erotic.
History of Erotic Timepieces
Sex has always played a big role in keeping the excitement alive even in watchmaking. For centuries, companies have produced watches that display couples or even a group of people doing the act. Some are subtly suggestive, while others are outright blatant. Some scenes are depicted on the caseback, and others are incorporated — or even serve as the highlight — on the dial.
In the 17th century, artisanal crafts were all the rage. Customers had the option to commission watchmakers to customise their pocket watches. Some had engravings or even portraits of their loved ones incorporated on the dial or decorated on the caseback.
As it is human nature to be cheeky, it only took one gentleman with a wanton and playful mindset to start the erotic timepieces trend. According to the record from Antiquorum Auction House, the first known erotic timepieces were made of enamel dials, commissioned for a Chinese Emperor and his entourage.
But by the time the 18th century rolled in, watchmakers were even more creative. They were producing automatons or watches with moving figures on the dial – suddenly bringing erotica on watches more realistic. Coupled with exquisite materials such as gold and gemstones, some of the automaton erotic watches are prized possessions that demand value even to this day.
Banned and Confiscated
As expected, however, religious and political customs did not approve of the trend. Erotic watches were banned and confiscated. But this did not stop some creative watchmakers from producing this erotic art, finding ways of concealing them in seemingly conservative and usual timepieces. Some had a second caseback with the erotic engravings.
Unfortunately, during the early 20th century when pocket watches made way for wristwatches, the trend for erotic watches took a back seat. Until recently, some of the big brands, including Richard Mille with its RM69, resurrected the trend.
Up Close with the Richard Mille RM69 Erotic Watch
Unlike the erotic timepieces of the past where you actually see sex scenarios on the dial or caseback, Richard Mille’s interpretation is a lot more sexy and subtle. The Swiss luxury watchmaker capitalises on its technical and mechanical expertise to come up with the Richard Mille RM69 Tourbillon watch, which teases and titillates using wordplay, randomly displaying messages of erotic things ‘ala roulette of desire’, as well as activities that you would want to do with your lover.
From romantic — I WANT TO KISS YOU to downright sensual — I WANT TO CARESS YOUR NIPPLE, the messages are meant to be fun overall. To keep the fun and excitement, Richard Mille did not disclose the full list of combinations of phrases so the owner will be surprised each time.
To operate, you simply press the button at 10 o’clock position. The watch will then randomly assemble a new message of love or lust on the dial.
To accomplish this feat, Richard Mille uses a manual-winding mechanical tourbillon movement featuring an oracle complication. The movement comprises 505 components, 41 jewels, and three titanium rollers. Each of the rollers has six sides engraved with a random erotic and romantic word or phrase. Some of the words and phrases you can play with include ‘I want, I long to, I need to, Let me, Taste, Arouse, Kiss, Your Lips, Your Body, Your Nipples’, among others.
The movement boasts 69 hours of power reserve, which you can monitor through a window at 4 o’clock. Made from Grade 5 titanium, the movement is designed in collaboration with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi. The construction of the movement allows the tourbillon and barrel to be aligned on the same axis. Hence, the mechanism is extremely compact in spite of its functionality. On the dial, you’ll see the tourbillon at 6 o’clock, just below the window for erotic phrases and messages.
Design & Aesthetics
The Richard Mille RM69 Tourbillon Erotic watch comes in a 42mm Grade 5 titanium tripartite case, which is extremely comfortable on the wrist. It is fixed with 20 titanium Spline screws, which allow the watch to enjoy a water resistance of 50 metres.
Besides the erotic messages which are the highlight of the watch, you will see the hands and hour markers on the dial. What’s amazing is that Richard Mille has included a mechanism that allows the hands to retract, giving the full spotlight on the erotic messages. By activating the push-piece at 8 o’clock, you’ll make the hands disappear, and by releasing the hold, you’ll make the hands reappear.
The extraordinary finishing of the watch is due to beveling, mirror-finishing, and hand-polishing, complemented with micro-blasting and satin-finishing of the surfaces. Limited to only 30 pieces and priced at about $750,000, the watch is a rare collectible.
Richard Mille RM69’s Celebrity Fan
One of the benchmarks that let you know a watch has already made it is when one of the A-list celebrities is spotted wearing it. In the case of the RM69, it was spotted a few times on the wrist of celebrity rapper and music producer Drake.
A few times last year, Drake was seen flaunting his $750,000 Richard Mille RM69 Erotic watch. At one time, the watch was among the singer’s $1M worth of outfit — from Custom Brioni jacket to Tom Ford shoes, turtle neck and trousers, and his prized RM69.
A playful addition to his million-dollar outfit, the Richard Mille RM69 is, indeed, more than just a celebrity accessory. It has charms and high-calibre qualities on its own that enthusiasts — whether they find the watch worthy or they feel it’s just another branding gimmick — are dying to get their hands on.
Other Erotic Watches to Explore
As mentioned above, erotic scenes in watches are among the industry’s traditions. It is a trend that comes and goes. And as a result, many watchmakers have produced their own iterations of the trend, including luxury watch brands. Here are a few of them.
1. Ulysse Nardin Hourstriker Erotica Jarretiere
Introduced in 2015, the Ulysse Nardin Hourstriker Erotica Jarretiere is the brand’s take on the erotic timepieces trend. The watch utilises the jacquemart technology to depict almost realistic lovers in a tryst, bringing Venetian romance into life. Against a black dial of the 42mm rose gold watch, you’ll see lovers in the height of passion, amid discarded shoes and garter on the floor. From the scene, you’ll get the picture of a romantic Venetian veranda setting with a nice lounge chaise and golden balustrade.
Limited to 28 pieces, the Ulysse Nardin Hourstriker Erotica Jarretiere is also available in platinum.
2. Jacob & Co. Caligula
Inspired by the 1979 film of the same name, Caligula, which is based on the infamous Roman Emperor Caligula’s life — the Jacob & Co. Caligula erotic watch comes in a 14.9mm 18K rose case, featuring an elegant guilloché dial reminiscent of a fishnet stocking. Aside from the hour and minute hands and subtle index hour markings, the face of the watch seems like your ordinary minimalist dial with an interesting pattern. Sophisticated and elegant at first sight, the watch, however, keeps a cheeky secret! On the other side of the rotating dial hides an automaton erotic spectacle straight from the scene of the film Caligula! Hand-painted by miniaturist artist Andre Martinez, the erotic scene took about 15 hours of work to complete.
The watch is powered by the exclusive self-winding Jacob & Co. Calibre JCAA01 movement, boasting 48 hours of power reserve. It has a 30m water resistance and an elegant black leather strap. Limited to 69 pieces, the Jacob & Co. Caligula also comes in versions with diamonds.
3. Graham Chronofighter Erotic Watch
Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? The Graham 1695 Chronofighter Erotic watch certainly knows how to rock both. The limited-edition erotic timepiece features a sophisticated and professional-looking chronograph dial enclosed in a 42mm case. The caseback, however, is another story. It displays intricate engravings of erotic scenes capable of making anyone blush. Unless, of course, you take the watch off and show the caseback to someone else, it remains the wearer’s cheeky little secret.
Despite its playful caseback, the watch is a serious Chronofighter first and foremost. It runs on the automatic Calibre G1745 with a power reserve of 48 hours. The silver dial displays a snailed minutes counter at 6 o’clock and a date window at 3 o’clock. It has luminous diamond-tipped hands and Roman numeral hour markers. Limited to 25 pieces only, the Graham Chronofighter Erotic watch is water-resistant up to 50 metres. It comes in 10 different versions, five each in silver and rose gold.
4. Perrelet Turbine Erotic Limited-Edition Watch
The Perrelet Turbine collection features limited-edition themes that range from auto racing to Chinese New Year. Its latest instalment, however, goes beyond wholesome fun. The Perrelet Turbine Erotic series unabashedly features erotic illustrations underneath its spinning dial. Tapping a niche market of ‘hentai’ fans, an adult Japanese manga, the Turbin Erotic series features dials that display miniature hentai illustrations that range from topless women to couples doing the act. The secret images on the dial are hidden underneath the turbine blades of the rotor. To show them, the wearer has to shake his wrist to let the rotor to start spinning. This mechanism uses the Perrelet’s automatic P-181 movement.
The watch comes in a 44-mm case of either titanium or black-DLC-coated stainless steel, with black rubber straps with folding clasps of DLC-coated steel. Each of the four variations only has 88 pieces available.
5. Reuge Charles Reuge Erotic Musical Automaton
Reuge is famous for specialising in intricately hand-crafted music boxes. And in celebration of its 150th anniversary, the company launched a limited-edition special pocket watch. At first glance, the pocket watch looks like your standard tribute watches. This one is an ode to Polo (the sport). The front dial of the pocket watch features a varnished painting of a polo sportsman on a horse and a woman seemingly waiting for her lover to finish the match. At the upper half of the painting is a sub-dial with gold hands and Roman numeral markers. However, the inside of the pocket watch is a whole different story. Flip the pocket watch open to see another intricate engraving; this time with the lovers finally together and in the midst of copulation. In the stable, no less! The watch features moving automatons, and both of the engravings are made of bronze.
The pocket watch comes in a 55mm case, which houses the brand’s smallest music box movement. It plays two different Mozart tunes — The Magic Flute and Petite Musique de Nuit.
A Cheeky Timing
Granted, the Richard Mille RM69 erotic watch, or this type of watches in general, is not for everyone — as some find it crude. Despite that, this trend stays for a reason. It only shows that people don’t have to take everything seriously. And to see a serious industry such as watchmaking keeping this trend (or tradition?) alive is always refreshing.
For another fun read about watches, check out our feature on the John Wick Watch that everyone has been talking about.