The Breguet No. 160 grand complication, more commonly known as the Marie-Antoinette or the Queen, is a case watch designed by Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. Work on the watch was begun in 1782 and completed in 1827, four years after Breguet’s death.
The watch was commissioned in 1783 by an admirer of the French Queen; Marie Antoinette. But she never lived to see it, as it was completed 34 years after she had been executed.
The watch was to contain every watch function known at that time, including the following: Clock, Perpetual calendar, Minute repeater, Thermometer, Chronograph, Power reserve and Pare-Chute.
Why hide your porno underneath your mattress when you can waltz around with it in your pocket? Indeed, this impulse has informed watchmakers/perversion peddlers for centuries — for the past 300 or so years, tiny mechanical scenes of automata in flagrante delicto have been ferreted away in timepieces, allowing the owner to enjoy this robo-rutting at their leisure. Reuters elaborates on this practice:
The manufacture of watches with explicit motifs — often concealed from immediate view — began in the 17th century for the Chinese market, with the most luxurious timepieces created for the Emperor and his retinue. In the 18th century watchmakers introduced rhythmic interest by incorporating tiny automata to the erotic scenes and watches containing libertine scenes were made for the Far East, followed by India and more recently by the Middle-East.
Here’s an exquisitely salacious collection of watches dated from the 1820s to the 1900s. They depict everything from an enormously endowed voyeuristic Satan, a threesome with some monks, and an inquisitive dog who is not killing the mood.
ca. 1860-1900, [ambrotype portrait of a watchmaker with his tools]
via Christopher Wahren Fine Photographs