The circular motion of hands has been widely adopted for multiple centuries now, in order to display the time. But if you are ready to look at things differently and twist conventions, there is latitude for creativity and a multitude of other ways to tell the time. When faced with buying his first serious mechanical watch, Gautier Massonneau could not find his heart desire among the current range of watches. The son of an architect and interior designer, with a background in banking/finance, the young French man soon embarked on the creation of his own watch and his own independent brand. The project was started in 2013 and the first watch was presented in 2018. Trilobe timepieces eschew traditional codes and instead provide their own offbeat take on mechanical watchmaking. The Dubai Watch Week was a perfect opportunity to go hands-on with the Trilobe Les Matinaux Sunray Grey, the brand’s first creation.
The first thing to catch your eye with the Trilobe Les Matinaux (The Morning Ones in French, a reference to a poem collection by René Char) is its unconventional time display. The watch doesn’t feature traditional hands. Time is indicated by three stationary pointers in the shape of the brand’s trefoil logo on 3 contrasting discs rotating counterclockwise with the hours at the periphery and then, off-centred minutes and seconds. The kinetic architecture of this original take on the wandering time display provides an original and captivating way to read time. The play of lights on the sleek sunray finish dial paired with polished discs are eye-catching. The rotating rosace second disc brings an architectural opening into the movement.
On the wrist, the watch straddles the line between being discretely elegant and having enough character to stand out, to the point of being a great conversation starter. Naturally, this original and poetic time display is a bit puzzling at first but you get soon used to reading the time at a glance. The steel case is neatly finished with alternating brushed and polished surfaces. 40.5mm in diameter, it wears comfortably with a svelte 8.8mm profile thanks to the use of a micro-rotor movement. And there is also a 38.5mm version if you are looking for a more compact watch.
Flip the Trilobe Les Matinaux over and the exhibition caseback offers an unimpeded view of the proprietary micro-rotor movement powering the original time indication. After involving Chronode’s Jean-François Mojon in the conceptualization of the display, Trilobe entrusted Le Cercle des Horlogers – one of the rising high-end mechanical movement makers, the motorist of several independent watchmakers and a company working behind the scenes for several big names in the industry – with the development and manufacturing of the movement. At 35.2mm in diameter, it perfectly befits the case dimensions. The sober, modern and beautifully executed finishes are a great match with the spirit of the product. Running at 4Hz, its power reserve is of 48 hours when fully wound.
The Trilobe Les Matinaux Sunray Grey is presented on a suede calfskin strap with a pin buckle. The price is set at EUR 8,300 including taxes. If the Trilobe Les Matinaux strikes the right chord with you, their second model, Les Nuits Fantastiques, is also well worth a look. For more information, please visit trilobe.com.