ANGES-DEMONS

 

 
 montres sexi
 

Two faced


11.2015

Erotic timepieces were an Enlightenment favourite for which watchmakers still show an appetite since they demand technical prowess and their saucy scenes pose aesthetic challenges.

 

Just as the libertine advances under cover, erotic watches, the product of British, French and Swiss watchmakers' imaginations, conceal their intentions behind precious covers, sober dials or ingenious mechanisms. Such timepieces first appeared in the late 17th century alongside the minute-repeater movement that enabled its wearer to know the time in the dark. In less innocent minds a different idea germinated: to use those handily oscillating powertrains to set figures in erotic scenes in motion. This upset the religiously and politically conservative mindsets of the day so such creations were often banned and seized. But as the 18th century progressed, aristocrats adopted them as amusements and aids to suggestive conversations – they were known as "conversation pieces" – but esteemed them too for the technical and aesthetic challenges they posed. This audacious style exercise continues to excite today's watchmakers! When Richard Mille decided to perpetuate the tradition of wanton watches, he revolutionised it with his RM 69 Erotic Tourbillon sporting an unprecedented graphic design and means of expression. This watch (a limited edition of 30) makes provocative remarks thanks to a new complication, christened Oracle, whose mechanism sets three six-sided rollers in motion, each one engraved with a word or phrase, so as to create a random sexy message. "With the RM 69, love and eroticism state themselves clearly in words. Unlike scenes enacted by automata, this watch plays on the desire to openly express passion, sensuality and even sexuality," the independent watchmaker explains.

 

A Venetian romance
Svend Andersen has been stunning aficionados with his haute horlogerie complication watches since 1980. The Cabinet de Curiosités collection features the Erotic Automatics in three iterations: Eros, Eros Classic and Eros XL. Their dials innocently show the time in the soberest of fashions, but turn them over and sexy scenes are revealed, each a bespoke creation for its owner. The first watch with an erotic automaton was produced in 1994; the 171st is presently under production in the workshop; each one is unique, crafted and painted by hand. Ulysse Nardin too embraces sensuality via the Erotica Jarretière watch, a limited edition of 28 timepieces in pink gold and platinum. Its uninhibited dial tells a Venetian love story most explicitly: on a balcony, two naked lovers (gold automata) make love on a chaise longue to the rhythm of the Hourstriker movement's chimes. Titillating timepieces are evidently as popular as ever! Even the highly respectable Blancpain manufacture gave the clandestine complication a new lease of life in 1993 when it brought out its 332 calibre for powering automata, erotic or otherwise. These stunning models employed the world's smallest minute-repeater movement. Perrelet's more blatant Turbine Erotic launched in 2011 offers fragmented glimpses, behind the turbine's 12 blades, of a choice of four pictures inspired by Japanese mangas, but when the turbine spins at top speed the whole picture becomes clear!

 

By Julie de los Rios