Apart from its suggestive name, this unusual new piece from Richard Mille has very little about it that is overtly erotic. Unlike the more explicit scenes (some of them even animated) found on other erotic watches, Richard Mille offers a much more personal and inferred kind of eroticism with a new type of complication.
The “Oracle” complication that takes up at least half of the space of the movement (and, because this is a Richard Mille timepiece, the dial as well) is likened by Richard Mille to Tibetan prayer wheels. But the three rollers are most definitely square and they are made out of grade 5 titanium. They rotate at random, coming to a standstill to form a subject-verb-object phrase from the texts on each face, each with a personal message of passion.
It is this message that points to another, more major, difference between this piece and other erotic watches. Whereas the aim of erotic watches featuring often hidden explicit scenes and animations seems to be for the personal amusement of the owner/wearer or at best to share a giggle among friends, the complication on the RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon only seems to make sense if it is shown to someone else. After all, why would you want to press the button at 8 o’clock on your RM69 to activate a complication that tells you (as the wearer) “I want to caress you madly”? Richard Mille therefore seems to have invented the “flirt watch” – an original way of moving on to the next level with a new acquaintance or indicating your state of arousal to your spouse without the kids knowing what you are up to!
Because the Oracle display takes up so much of the room inside the 50mm by 42.7mm titanium case, a novel way had to be found to accommodate the all-important components that actually make the watch work. The solution is a construction with the tourbillon aligned on top of the barrel on the same axis. Despite its compact size, the RM 69 tourbillon calibre comprises 505 components, including a mechanism that hides the hands to ensure that the display is not obscured when the erotic function is activated.
A little tweaking by the watchmakers at the Richard Mille production facility in Les Breuleux has produced an unusual but not entirely unexpected power reserve of 69 hours for this calibre. Less cliché, however, is the limited series number, which is a wholly unerotic 30 pieces that will only be available from the brand’s 24 stores around the world.