The Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Dune Edition is an innovative watch, for the very reason the timepiece won an award at the GPHG 2022. However, it is surprising that the Trilobe is only 4 years old.
Today, many features presented as innovations are not actually innovative. Since Christiaan Huygens invented the balance spring in 1675, watchmaking technology has been in constant progress and changed periodically until the 2000s. However, some things have changed since the 2000s with the introduction of the silicon balance spring. Watchmakers and designers are no longer the only rulers, sometimes engineers have the last word. French Trilobe is also a brand that produces watches that are marvels of engineering, a collaboration between countries and cultures since the movements are produced in Swiss.
As is known, France has a rooted philosophical tradition. Many philosophers such as Descartes, Bergson, Sartre, Foucault, Bachelard and Lacan have made great contributions to the history of philosophy. On the other hand, the country was considered the center of European watchmaking in the 18th century, the 1789 revolution interrupted the development of country’s watch industry, for instance the famous watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet had to flee to Switzerland during those times. Ultimately, by the 20th century, there was not a significant French watchmaking, despite the great brands. Still, there are very strong ties between France and Switzerland. And the last link in the chain is Trilobe.
It all began when Gautier Massonneau, the young French entrepreneur behind the brand, wanted to buy a new watch. When he didn’t find a watch he desired, like any smart entrepreneur, he decided to make his own timepiece. His parents were architects and despite he is from financial sector, he has superior aesthetic taste and a literature lover, that’s why, he wanted to try something new and move away from the traditional way of showing time with hour and second hands. The collection names are inspired by the works René Char (Les Matinaux – The Early Risers) and Stefan Zweig (La Nuit Fantastique – An Extraordinary Night).
After design process, Massonneau launched its first watch in late 2018 in collaboration with Le Cercle des Horlogers and presented its first collection, Les Matinaux, at BaselWorld. In 2021, Trilobe achieved to went on to the finals with Nuit Fantastique and Grained Black. In 2022, it participated again with the Dune Edition, which was added to the Nuit Fantastique collection, and this time it triumphed in the final and won the “Petite Aiguille” award.
Although the design of Trilobe watches changes, there are some motifs that remain constant, the first of which is the three moving rings to indicate time. The second constant is the stylized clover motif with three leaves, the symbol of the Trilobe. This pattern (trikonkhos) is also seen in Byzantine architecture.
Nuit Fantastique Dune Edition
“And what he saw was a time nexus within this cave, a boiling of possibilities focused here… that the smallest action, a blink of an eye, a carelessly spoken word or a shifting grain of sand, could set in motion a giant lever that could dislodge the known universe.”Frank Herbert, Dune
A piece from Nuit Fantastique (fantastic night) collection, Dune Edition is not a flamboyant timepiece, but a unique time machine that impresses with its surprising features. (The contemporary X-Centric movement also adds value to the watch, whilst the unique micro-rotor is another beauty.)
Nuit Fantastique Dune Edition; the three rings showing time with hour, minute and second hands do not only tell the time, but also take time as a concept. The trilobe icon is fixed at 12 o’clock, while the ring with the numbers just above it moves counterclockwise throughout the day, passing in front of the three-leaf clover.
When looking at the watch, the endlessly rotating second ring is the first striking feature, and together with the minute window above it, it looks like a kind of infinity symbol. In addition to the technical structure, one of the most striking features of the watch is the dial, which has a rough surface that seems to be made of grains of sand, referring to an imaginary time in the desert. The dial also suggests abstract symbols of time such as the desert and the hourglass.
The intertwining of the hours, minutes and seconds, and the fact that the flow moves in the opposite direction from the usual reading method, rather than from left to right, is an indication that we can look at life in a different way.
Of course, getting rid of the second ring is not easy, but it seems easy to read what time it is. It’s hard to tell the second that is constantly in front of the eyes, indeed it requires an intuitive reading. After a while, you realize that seconds are not important in this watch. It is important to think about time. So, we understand that there are a lot of possibilities on the dial, and the timepiece is a proof that something has changed in the universe.
Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Dune Edition
Movement: Self-winding mechanical calibre with micro-rotor
Fonksiyon: Hour, minute, seconds displayed by rotating rings and fixed indicators
Kasa: Titanium, Ø 40,5 mm, height 9,2 mm, “Clous de Paris” patterned sub-dial, water resistance tested to 5 bar.
Note: Movement composed of 230 components.
Leather: Leather with a pin buckle
Price: CHF 9.800,-