The Evolution of Trilobe Watches: A Historical Journey through Time

Wristwatches have transcended their utilitarian purpose to become a symbol of elegance, status, and craftsmanship. One brand that has carved a niche for itself in this competitive world is Trilobe Watches, renowned for its distinctive design, innovation, and rich history that spans generations. Trilobe Watches’ journey through time is a fascinating tale that unveils the brand’s evolution, various variations, and its impact on the modern watchmaking landscape.

Gautier Massonneau

Origins and Foundation:

The story of Trilobe watches begins with its founder, Gautier Massonneau, In 2016, Massoneau set out to create a brand that would reimagine the conventional three-hand watch design, emphasizing symmetry and aesthetics. He aimed to develop a watch that would seamlessly blend artistic allure with mechanical precision. Gautier Massonneau did not come from a watchmaking background; his parents worked in architecture and design, while Gautier started his career in investment banking. When he began looking for his first watch, he realized that what he had in mind did not exist. So unlike most of us faced with this situation, he decided to go out, teach himself watchmaking and make it himself!

Massau conceived a three-part system that elegantly separates hours, minutes, and seconds into individual, concentric geared discs, perpetually in motion. Time is artfully conveyed by a fixed marker bearing resemblance to the Trilobe logo, gracefully crafted in the shape of a trefoil. Once this exquisite concept crystallized in Massonneau’s mind, his next pursuit was to uncover the ideal means of bringing his visionary timepiece to life.

In his quest for potential interest, Massonneau ventured across the border from France into Switzerland. While the supplier network of the Swiss watch industry is extensive, only a select few skunk work-like establishments possess the capability to fulfill the demand for an entirely novel horological concept. It was at Chronode, helmed by the esteemed watchmaker Jean-Francois Mojon, that both Massonneau and Trilobe found themselves. Their decision led them to one of the industry’s finest establishments.

Following two years of extensive research and development, as well as meticulous prototyping, Trilobe proudly unveiled its inaugural collection of timepieces in 2018. Since then, the dynamic duo of Massonneau and Trilobe has encountered an array of transformative experiences – including the unprecedented challenges imposed by a global pandemic. Nevertheless, one constant remains unaltered: the unwavering commitment of the company towards the art of deconstructing time through the unparalleled, signature Trilobe design language.

Design Philosophy and Innovation:

At the core of Trilobe’s identity is its design philosophy of “Time indicated differently.” This concept revolves around the brand’s unique approach to indicating time using three separate discs, each with a dedicated function for hours, minutes, and seconds. This innovative approach not only challenges the norms of traditional watchmaking but also allows for creative interpretations of time display.

Les Matinaux

The Birth of the Iconic Design:

In 2017, Trilobe introduced its first collection, aptly named “Les Matinaux.” The collection featured a novel dial design, consisting of three symmetrical lobes arranged around the central axis. This innovative design defied traditional watchmaking norms, presenting time in a unique manner that intrigued connoisseurs and collectors alike. The Les Matinaux collection showcased the harmonious marriage of functionality and artistry, setting the tone for Trilobe’s distinctive approach to watchmaking.

Les Matinaux Secret

The Secret Edition

The Trilobe “Secret” Edition is available in Les Matinaux and Nuits Fantastique collections in titanium or rose gold. A bespoke timepiece that captures the stars in the sky at an exact moment in time – a freeze frame for a happy memory or a powerful message of love. Each timepiece is different, and the hidden meaning behind the starry sky is only known to you.

Nuit Fantastique

The Trilobe Nuit Fantastique embodies this philosophy through its mesmerizing design. The dial features a central disc for the hours, a middle disc for the minutes, and a smaller disc at the bottom for the seconds. This arrangement not only provides a functional and legible time display but also serves as a canvas for artistic expression.

Trilobe Nuit Fantastique

The Nuit Fantastique’s unique design is achieved through a combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. Skilled artisans meticulously hand-finish the dial, ensuring that each star is perfectly placed, and every detail is executed with precision. The use of advanced materials and techniques ensures the watch’s accuracy and durability while maintaining the aesthetic integrity of the design.

Une Folle Journée

Une Folle Journée Collection:

The Une Folle Journée collection stands as a testament to Trilobe’s commitment to artistic expression. Translating to “A Crazy Day” in English, this collection draws inspiration from the dynamic and ever-changing nature of time itself. The watches within this collection are a visual representation of life’s constant movement and evolution.

Design Elements:

The Une Folle Journée watches feature three rotating discs, each indicating the hours, minutes, and seconds respectively. This unconventional display is housed within an elegantly crafted case, available in various materials such as stainless steel, rose gold, and more. The dials often exhibit intricate details, from delicate guilloché patterns to artistic enamel work, further emphasizing the brand’s artistic focus.

The X-Centric calibre

Trilobe’s watches feature the X-Centric calibre, an exquisite automatic movement crafted exclusively for Trilobe. After collaborating with Mojon and Chronode for several years, and crafting a proprietary movement module tailored to a base ETA/Sellita caliber, which propelled all of Trilobe’s watches during the company’s initial two years in business, Massonneau gracefully transitioned to join forces with Le Cercle des Horlogers to engineer a fully integrated caliber. The culmination of their efforts resulted in the creation of the exceptional X-Centric caliber. Officially introduced in 2020, the X-Centric now empowers every single Trilobe wristwatch, showcasing the profound prowess of the brand.

The meticulous task of architecturing this micro-rotor automatic movement has been entrusted to Le Cercle des Horlogers, the esteemed manufacturing partner of Trilobe based in La Chaux-de-Fonds. The mission? To seamlessly blend technical prowess with an artistically offbeat approach, all the while upholding the illustrious tradition of Swiss watchmaking excellence. Rooted in stunning architectural perspectives, the calibre unravels the captivating genesis of the Trilobe adventure.

The rings, substantially heavier than the delicate watch hands, demand significant torque. This torque is delivered at a rate of 4 Hz, powered by an exceptionally strong mainspring. The mainspring, wound with the assistance of a compact yet dense micro-rotor made of tungsten, ensures optimal performance.

The movement goes beyond expectations in terms of its decorative details, considering its price range. The bridges and plates undergo meticulous micro-blasting and electro-plating processes, resulting in a strikingly contemporary and intricately designed architecture. The presence of vertically aligned gear trains at this price point is truly exceptional and rarely seen.

At the heart of Trilobe’s watches, master craftsmen with an unwavering dedication to preserving the ancestral know-how of La Chaux-de-Fonds’ watchmakers bring these timepieces to life. Their relentless pursuit of perfection and manual finesse can be seen in the intricate details meticulously integrated into the movement, resulting in creations that surpass the highest standards of quality.

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