Up Close with the Richard Mille RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon

The latest from the inimitable Richard Mille, the RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon displays a random message that ranges from the suggestive to the salacious when activated. We go up close with the RM 69, including original photos and price.

Erotic watches have a long tradition in watchmaking, going back centuries to pocket watches with tiny figures doing naughty things. Richard Mille reinterpreted the traditional erotic timepiece in a less graphic, perhaps more subtle, manner. Instead of depicting the act, the RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon relies on three rollers that display a random combination of words that together form a titillating statement. A button at ten o’clock activates the rollers, which spin briefly like the reels of a slot machine before coming to a half. The button at eight o’clock swivels out of the way of the rollers so as not to obstruct the message.

Below the rollers sit the tourbillon regulator. Typical of all Richard Mille tourbillons (which are made by Audemars Piguet subsidiary Renaud & Papi), the tourbillon has a titanium balance wheel with poising gold screws on its rim. The rest of the movement is recognisably Richard Mille as well. All the bridges as well as the baseplate are finished with a matte black coating. And instead of conventional screws, spline screws are used.

To the right of the tourbillon is the power reserve indicator, with white signifying sufficient power and red indicating the watch requires winding. The power reserve of the hand-wound movement is about 69 hours.

The RM 69 has a titanium case that is a large 50mm long and 42.7mm wide, with a thickness of 16.15mm, giving it nearly identical dimensions as the RM011. A tourbillon superimposed on the barrel For the technical minded the unusual construction of the movement is notable: the barrel sits directly under the tourbillon, with both sharing the same central axis. This means the timekeeping component of the movement (the barrel, regulator and gear train) is squeezed into the lower half of the movement. The compact construction means the movement has plenty of space leftover for other complications, sexy or not.

The barrel ratchet wheel visible in the centre
The movement bridges have polished bevelled edges that contrast with the black PVD coating

While the construction of the movement is novel and clever, the erotic complication verges on the comical, especially with the near-US$700,000 price tag. But considering the centimillionaire who’s the average Richard Mille client, it makes sense.  Today Richard Mille remains the only watchmaker able to sell such watches in the tepid luxury watch market. And the nature of the movement means other complications can be substituted, or the rollers modified, so this is not the last you’ve seen of the RM 69.

Pricing and availability Limited to just 30 pieces sold only at Richard Mille boutiques, the RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon has a price tag of, what else, SFr690,000. That’s equivalent to US$696,000.

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