Born out of a reaction against the rigors of Calvinism, which reigned in Geneva and throughout Switzerland at the outset of the 19th century, they were thus forbidden by the Church. And so, it was out of the question to include them in a bride’s glory box as gifts for the maids of honor! Men would no longer able to present these so-called “conversation pieces” to the young ladies they courted. Made and sold under-the-counter by watchmakers, they hold their own when it comes to the ingenuity they display for concealing their lewd imagery, sometimes hidden within double case-backs or under watchcovers opened with secret buttons. Each would be seized and destroyed on the spot. Europeans purchased most of the surviving watches after the sacking of the summer palace in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion. In fact, there were many in China. Right from the very appearance of these watches, this country showed a delight for them. And it’s still the case today, as Chinese buyers throng auctions like the one organized in March 2011 by the Swiss house Antiquorum, a specialist in this domain. Chinese buyers bought up models by such names as Breguet and James Cox. This clientele have also largely served to drive up prices, like in the case of Music d’Amour, a pocket watch by Geneva watchmaker Henry-Daniel Capt, dating from 1810. Originally estimated at between €55,000 to €70,000, this watch finally sold for €153,120.