Trilobe is a young independent brand first imagined in 2013 and that released its first watch in 2018. The concept, created by Gautier Massonneau, is all about a highly conceptual and deconstructed indication of the time. The son of an architect and interior designer, the Frenchman decided to free himself from the traditions of the industry and opted for a novel way to indicate the time, beyond the classic hands. First conceptualized with “Les Matinaux” and “Nuit Fantastique” and their rotating, deconstructed indications, the brand now pushes the idea much further with an impressive new watch, the Trilobe “Une Folle Journée” that will be officially presented in two weeks at Watches and Wonders Geneva.
Before looking at this new model, the evolution of the concept first created by Trilobe, we have to first take a look at the inaugural watch, Les Matinaux. Still rather classic overall, this model was mostly noticeable because of its display composed of three eccentric discs to display the hours, minutes and seconds, rotating on the dial. Time is here indicated by the mean of three fixed pointers, each giving a precise read of the current time – even though, as with every watch displaying the time in an original, unconventional way, it requires a bit of experience to get used to it.
Now that we’ve seen the original concept, when you look at the new Trilobe Une Folle Journée, you clearly see where its design and the display come from. But, you also see that there’s a strong evolution, mechanically and design-wise. More complex, more architectural, more modern… But still very much in line with the initial idea.
While the Les Matinaux used discs inserted into a dial with a flat display, the Trilobe Une Folle Journée liberates itself from the base dial and now offers a display that is still based on eccentric, rotating discs, yet these are now floating over the base plate and free the view on the mechanics underneath. And instead of a flat profile, the whole watch is now domed. The display still consists of three concentric indications, with the hours on the periphery, then the minutes and finally, in the centre, the seconds. Thanks to a grained, dark-coated base plate, all the moving elements are easily picked up.
On this new Une Folle Journée watch, the discs are projected into the air thanks to columns attached to the wheels underneath. All the elements are executed in titanium in order to keep the display as light as possible – thus saving the watch’s power reserve. A series of gears, wheels and rollers make sure that the ballet of these discs is well coordinated. And to expose this new display in the best possible way, the brand has created a new domed design that takes place under a massive 10.2mm sapphire crystal. Manufactured in Japan using flame fusion, the dome sapphire is then shaped, smoothened and polished in Switzerland to obtain its final shape.
Available either in black or blue – the discs are coloured thanks to a DLC process, this impressive display is housed in a reasonably sized 40.5mm diameter case made of grade 5 titanium, with polished and brushed surfaces. Of course, with such a domed crystal on top, the case is high, with a thickness of 17.8mm. A screw-down crown and screwed sapphire caseback ensure a decent 50m water-resistance. The watch is worn on a colour-matched alligator strap closed by a pin buckle.
To power the complex display, the brand is still using its base Calibre X-Centric (designed with Mojon and Le Cercle des Horlogers), which has been reworked for the occasion. This automatic movement is wound by a micro-rotor, beats at a 4Hz frequency and still offers 48 hours of energy when fully wound, despite the complex and heavy time display. It is modernly executed and nicely designed, with matte-finished bridges and plate, polished bevels and rhodium-plated wheels that contrast with the black background.
Availability & Price
The Trilobe Une Folle Journée will be officially presented in two weeks during Watches & Wonders Geneva. It is presented as a new member of the permanent collection, thus not limited in production. Either the black or the blue edition will retail for EUR 21,500 (incl. taxes). For more details, please visit trilobe.com.