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Trilobe - Lord of The Rings

Trilobe Lord of The Rings

We’re not talking about Tolkien here. This is Trilobe’s trilogy. We’ve seen Les Matinaux and Nuit Fantastique, and now it’s the turn of Une Folle Journée. Matin, Midi, Soir: one watch, three rings

Perhaps the best measure of Trilobe’s talent is that you never quite know what to expect, but you do know it will be original, creative and innovative. After the hugely successful Nuit Fantastique in gold and chocolate – a watch of unusual maturity – this young independent watchmaker has performed a 180 with this third outing for the stunning X-Centric movement: Une Folle Journée.

le Seigneur des Anneaux

Calibre X-Centrix © Trilobe

An arranged Marriage

“La folle journée” or The Mad Day is the alternative title of one of Beaumarchais’ most famous plays, more commonly known as “Le Mariage de Figaro”. Published in 1778, its writer, Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais was not only a famous playwright, he was also a watchmaker, who invented an escapement that Lépaute promptly claimed as his own. The inspiration, then, is both coherent and decidedly unexpected. Typical Trilobe.

A Clear Path

Any attempt to present Trilobe’s Folle Journée is almost superfluous. And this is another sign of success: the piece needs no introduction. You immediately grasp its DNA, its scope. Trilobe’s technical and aesthetic signatures are present, and you can see exactly where Gautier Massonneau, the company’s founder, wanted to go. It wouldn’t be too much of a reach to venture a comparison with MB&F or Urwerk: each of their creations is a logical continuation of what came before, bringing in a coherent, well-thought-out additional dimension which, within a couple of seconds of seeing it, elicits the only possible response: “Of course.”

le Seigneur des Anneaux

Une Folle journée Noire © Trilobe

Half Skeleton, Half Openworked

In this case, Trilobe is treading the middle path between a skeletonised and openworked dial, taking some features of both. The watch doesn’t really have a dial, as such, but the hour, minute and seconds discs are clear and easy to read. A hollow, polished titanium ring encloses another internal ring, this one sleek and satin-polished, and also in titanium.

The movement isn’t skeletonised, and it’s not really openworked either. But Trilobe nevertheless manages to focus attention on the eccentric gear train that makes this watch special. And that’s where the absence of a dial allows for a gain in height: the three discs are stacked 10mm high, with the help of nine peripheral pillars. One is reminded – within reason – of the MB&F Legacy Machine, the highly architectural composition of a Greubel Forsey, or the vertical movement of Ferdinand Berthoud.

Multiple Versions to come

This marks Trilobe’s first excursion into the realm of the titanium case. The noble diameter of 40.5 mm has been retained – it’s timeless and perfectly unisex. Mechanical exception comes with a price tag to match: 21,500 euros. This leap (the entry price of 21,500 is more than double Trilobe’s average) can be explained by the meticulous design and engineering. Dial makers concur that the three raised rings require exceedingly complex workmanship. The Folle Journée will eventually come with a virtually infinite array of customisation options, for the three rings (different PVD treatments other than charcoal), the case, the grained mainplate, etc. Trilobe currently has no plans to produce a version in its other favourite diameter of 38.5 mm. 

le Seigneur des Anneaux

Une Folle Journée Bleue © Trilobe


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An audacious idea born out of a desire to break from the traditional watchmaking codes. A new way of reading time. Poetry on the wrist, an intimate link to time. Trilobe is all of those things, and so much more.

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