Some people are supposed to wear their hearts on their sleeves. Others put all their most obscene desires on their wrist. Drake belongs to this latter camp: Do you remember when the rapper wore Richard Milles “Erotic” watch to a 2019 NBA final? Known as a reference piece – and this is no joke – RM 69 works similarly to a horny Mad Libs: The pusher on the side activates the three bars on the dial to rotate until a random prurient phrase is generated. The small club of owners now includes rapper and McDonald’s employee Travis Scott. This morning Scott posted a picture of himself wearing the watch with its beeper set to the ever-subtle “Let me explore your pussy”.
The RM 69 is not unlike a comet: it appears once or twice in a lifetime in an unforgettable way. I haven’t seen it in the wild since Drake filmed it, and every time I see the piece I’m slightly amazed that it’s a real object, and not a prop invented by 30 Rock for Tracy Jordan.
But this watch is real and spectacular. If you need a refresher, this is how it works. A number of declaratives are displayed in the top bar: “I want”, “I have to”, “I long for”, “I feel like it”, “I would like to” and “Let me know”. The middle bar contains verbs known as the sexiest parts of language: “explore”, “taste”, “kiss”, “excite”, “devour” and “caress”. The bottom bar answers when, where, or how: “you tonight,” “your lips,” “your body,” “your nipples,” “your pussy,” and “you crazy”.
According to Richard Mille’s website, the watch was designed to fit into a surprisingly long line of “erotic” watches. Watchmakers have been stowing small erotic paintings on the caseback of pocket watches since the 17th century. Other current examples are somehow grosser than Richard Mille’s takeover of tradition. Pieces like the Ulysse Nardin Hourstriker Erotica Jarretiere use the clockwork to literally set the act in motion. In the 90s, Blancpain created a similar movement on the back of the watch – it’s business on the front and (sex) party on the back. Richard Milles’ erotic watch should speak explicitly about its expressiveness. “On the RM 69, however, love and eroticism proudly and clearly proclaim themselves in words,” says the RM website.
Like Drake before him, Travis Scott collects a whole collection of watches, erotic and not. He’s wearing a chocolate-brown Richard Mille and buckles on a candy-striped one for this magazine – his own. He has incredibly valuable Patek Philippes and Audemars Piguets with diamonds. But with both Drake and Scott in evidence now, no modern collectors’ work is done until they wear the RM 69.