August 24, 2015
by David Bredan
“I WANT TO CARESS YOU MADLY” These are the exact words that greeted me some time ago when I first learned about the all-new Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon. Now, if only there were an app that allowed me to review the exact thoughts that rampaged through my brain for the next five seconds… But, following waves of delight, amusement, and (slight, but all the more positive) shock, without even looking at the official documents, my mind kept trying to figure out what the other sides of those rollers were going to say… because it is rollers that those words are written on. But let’s not get ahead ourselves; there’s still quite a bit of foreplay due.
Without a shadow of a doubt – and regardless of whether you like it or not – luxury timepieces play a major role in a modern man’s repertoire, the very limited array of tools that he can possibly call on to use in an effort to send positive, inviting, and indeed cogent signs to a longed-for partner. A nice watch – beyond manners, neatness, and convincing ways of self-expression – has been the most personal and expressive accessory that one could have. A timepiece often says a lot before a word has been uttered, and it does so predominantly with its size, shape, visual complexity, and not least, aesthetic refinement. Erotic watches, those that depict – more or less – beautifully painted, heated scenes on the dial or indeed show, well, ardently moving automated figures in a moment of passionate lovemaking, have taken this a step further…
…and now, the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon has opened yet another dimension by adding actual functionality to the erotic luxury watch: the RM 69 will allow its wearer to use his watch to tell – and in fact, decide! – what acts he would like to perform with his partner at the very moment or indeed the very near future.
To do all this, the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon relies on an entirely mechanical, hand-wound (what else?) movement, comprising 505 components and three titanium rollers as part of its “oracle” complication. Each roller has six sides, all engraved to display a random phrase. While Richard Mille keeps the full list of phrases a secret (to keep part of the fun for the watch’s future owners), ones that are visible include “let me; I long to; I need to; explore; taste; kiss; arouse; you tonight; your lips; your nipples” and more. By pressing the button at the 10 o’clock position, the watch will display a new, randomly assembled message every time, allowing its owner to send a (not-so-)discreet message to his partner, merely by showing his watch and hence the text highlighted boldly on its dial.
Sure, we have seen a number of erotically-inspired watches before, most notably, those animated jaquemarts pieces that, while chiming the actual time, showed animated acts of fornication – now, imagine rolling up your sleeves and showing that to your much-desired partner… the chiming drawing the attention of those around you, and the highly explicit scene perhaps leaving a bitter taste in the partner’s mouth… Ehm, fun, yes, but not something you would want to break the ice with. The Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon, perhaps exclusively in this very specific context, is actually ever so slightly more discreet than its other erotic watch counterparts, as it is sending an explicit message in a more implicit way.
The movement, like just about all other ultra-high-end Richard Mille calibers, was designed in collaboration with Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi and, again, like just about all other comparable movements from the brand, hides some truly innovative features which could rightfully stand on their own and still be a big deal in haute horlogerie circles. To begin with, APR&P had to conceive a movement that left enough space for the large roller-mechanism. For this reason, they created a special construction technique that enables the mainspring barrel and tourbillon to be on the same axis – which explains why you see the mainspring at 6 o’clock in the image above, and the tourbillon at 6 on the dial side.
Furthermore, there is an additional pusher at the 8 o’clock position: press this, and the hour and minute hands will “disappear,” i.e., move out of the way, at a time when the dial is to display a more important message than the actual time… The movement will continue to keep time and, after a second press of the button, the hands will return and once again indicate the correct time. This, functionality-wise, is very similar to the Hermès Le Temps Suspendu. The sheer complexity of a movement that managed to pack a tourbillon mechanism and 69 hours of power reserve into such a small space, and add a time-suspending complication on top of all this would, in and of itself, be a highly celebrated achievement – and just thanks to these two complications the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon’s caliber is undoubtedly among the most complex new movements of 2015.
But let us not forget about the centerpiece, this old-new “sexting complication.” Now, if you are one of the 30 who will own one of these limited run Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon watches, we can already tell that you are undoubtedly a man – or lady? – of exceptional wealth. What we are not so sure about is whether you will use it because you like to live dangerously and dedicate your next moments to the uncertain realities of luck – i.e., what your watch will order you to do – or are a bit of a beginner in these situations and need your timepiece to hint what your next move should be. Whether you’ll use it as a cheat sheet, glancing at it under the dinner table, or will boldly show the message to your partner of choice is up to you.
Either way, the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon, with its grade 5 titanium case measuring an actually rather reasonable 50.00 by 42.70 by 16.15 millimeters, will be in reach; you just have to touch it in the right place to make your shared night memorable… and once you are there, you can take the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon off and put on your Richard Mille Thrustograph (hands-on here) to keep close track of your performance through the night. Price for the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon will be announced later and we’ll update the article as soon as it becomes available. richardmille.com