Richard Mille told us very early on to expect a few surprises throughout the year, but even so, our jaws dropped when the brand got in touch to reveal the name of its next luxury timepiece: The Richard Mille RM69 Erotic Tourbillon. Erotic watches are not new to the watchmaking industry. For centuries, scenes of passion have been depicted on clocks and wristwatches, some more graphic than others. Most were banned or confiscated by the Church, but that did not stop their popularity from spreading.
During Baselworld 2015, Ulysse Nardin revealed one of the most risqué watches of the year, the Hourstriker Erotica Jarretière featuring a rather explicit automaton. And given Richard Mille’s penchant for racy watches and the suggestive name of its new watch, we thought the independent watch brand would give UN’s design a run for its money.
But what makes the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon stand out is the lack of sexuality on display. Instead, the watch implies eroticism through a randomly generated text on the dial. Richard Mille teamed up with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi (APRP) to create this unique mechanism aka the world’s most expensive game of sex dice. Three large titanium rollers on the upper half of the dial, each carrying six fragments of text, come together to create a forthright message. They include: (First line) “I want to; I long to; I need to; Let Me” (Second Line) “Caress; Explore; Taste; Kiss; Arouse” (Third Line) “You Madly; You tonight; Your lips; Your nipples.”
While none of the suggestions are depicted graphically on the dial, or on the caseback, the straightforward message almost seems more shocking than the traditional erotic depictions. One of the main issues – or so we thought when we were first told about this watch – was the legibility of the erotic message behind the hour and minute hands. Richard Mille remedied this problem by developing a mechanism that returns the hands to a fixed position, beneath the rollers, when the push-piece at 8 o’clock is activated.
The Erotic Tourbillon is presented in the familiar RM69 case, this time made in grade 5 titanium. And while that makes it more at home on a rather large wrist, it is interesting to note that the design of the case and the dial is quite gender-less. Other than the size of the case, there are no male or female cues, so women could be among the exclusive club of owners. The watch is powered by the RM69, a self-winding tourbillon caliber with an impressive power reserve of 69 hours, displayed in a new aperture at 4 o’clock. The new RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon is limited to 30 pieces, available exclusively in Richard Mille’s 24 boutiques around the world. Price upon request.