Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches

The Trilobe Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise, with a Moon Phase Display

With the added romantic moon phase complication, the poetic series will win the fans over. Again.

| By Denis Peshkov | 3 min read |

Trilobe, a youthful indie watchmaker established in 2018 by Gautier Massonneau, embarked on its creative journey five years prior, germinating the seeds of innovation that would blossom into its subsequent creations. The inaugural series Les Matinaux, named after René Char’s 1950 poem collection, offered a unique “no hands”, wandering time display characterised by rotating discs and three fixed pointers indicating hours, minutes, and seconds. Remaining faithful to this original concept, Massonneau unveiled the Nuit Fantastique and Folle Journée models in subsequent years; all met with resounding acclaim and recognition. 

In the present year, the independent Parisian brand unveils a fresh interpretation of Les Matinaux with the introduction of the enchanting and romantic L’Heure Exquise timepieces, available in three captivating dial variations. Here’s a glimpse into what we know about these poetic creations, which are all about the romanticism of the moon phase display.

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The Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise series presents a selection of cases crafted from grade 5 titanium, available in 40.5mm and 38.5mm diameters or in a 40.5mm 18-carat rose gold variant. Each case boasts a 50m water resistance rating, with a slim profile measuring 9.2mm thick and a 20mm lug width. The combination of mirror-polished and satin-brushed surfaces and a domed bezel add a touch of sophistication to the otherwise straightforward case design. A sapphire crystal with multi-layered anti-reflective treatment ensures optimal clarity for viewing the dial, while the anti-reflective sapphire back allows enthusiasts to admire the nicely decorated movement featuring black gold-plated bridges.

The sandblasted matte dials, available in blue or dune colours, pay homage to the original design of Les Matinaux. Discs rotate counterclockwise, with hours positioned at the periphery, off-centred minutes next, and seconds now meandering “freely across the dial through a starry sapphire glass,” to reveal the new Les Matinaux moon phase display. A single Trilobe-trifolium indicator marks the hours and minutes at the 12 o’clock position. Inclined pad-printed numerals, in either white or blue depending on the dial colour, reminiscent of the hour indices on the Hermès Arceau, yet in a different typeface, contribute to the aesthetic charm. The moon phase display features white pad-printed stars on a sapphire crystal disc, which rotates in synchronisation with the seconds. At the same time, a blue azurée cover disk glides over a laser-textured brass disc depicting the moon’s surface, completing a cycle every 29.5 days.

In addition to the Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise references in titanium and rose gold with blue and sand-coloured dials, Trilobe introduces two “Secret” models. These special editions, part of the Les Matineux and Nuit Fantastique collections, feature a unique dial option showcasing the star-lit night sky as observed from a specific location on a particular date. Customers can personalise their watches with this celestial display by providing Trilobe with the desired date and location. While not a new concept, it underscores Trilobe’s poetic approach to watch design, setting the brand apart.

All Trilobe watches now feature the X-Centric calibre, a self-winding integrated movement introduced in 2020. Manufactured by Le Cercle des Horlogers in La Chaux-de-Fonds, this movement delivers the exceptional torque required to drive the relatively heavy discs. Operating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations/hour, the movement, with a 48-hour autonomy, is powered by an extra-powerful mainspring wound by a thick micro-rotor made of tungsten.

Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise watches are worn on a leather strap with a pin buckle. For the “Secret” editions, bear in mind an 8-month delivery waiting period upon submitting the order. The price is upon request for now.

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