Introducing The Trilobe Une Folle Journée Watches

The original, two-dimensional Trilobe Les Matinaux evolves into a three-dimensional sculpture of time.


Trilobe is a relatively new independent brand that released its first watch in 2018, although the brand itself was born in 2013. The Les Matinaux was Trilobe’s inaugural piece and really set the tone for things to come. It displayed time via three open discs for hours, minutes and seconds, which rotated around the dial in a two-dimensional setup. The dial resembled a Spirograph used to draw geometric designs. The latest Une Folle Journée at Watches & Wonders transforms this two-dimensional design into a three-dimensional “exploded view” of time with angled discs floating above the dial within a huge sapphire dome.

I’m a big a fan of regulator watches that move each hand into a separate register, but unconventional ways of splitting up time elements have always piqued my interest. Brands like MB&F and Urwerk do it best, albeit at a price. The Une Folle Journée is the brainchild of Frenchman Gautier Massonneau, who wanted to push the concept of time telling into a new and novel domain. Three floating discs with pad-printed numerals indicate the time with hours at the outermost perimeter, minutes off-centered and seconds inside the minutes, all with a fixed pointer. Everything rotates counterclockwise without overlapping. The discs come with a black or deep blue DLC treatment, and contrast well against the textured black base. Columns suspend the discs in the air and all elements are titanium to keep things light enough to be practical. A 10.2mm domed sapphire crystal had to be created to accommodate the three-dimensional design, which was made in Japan via flame fusion before being shaped and finished in Switzerland. It all looks like some kind of mathematical orrery at first glance, but time telling is easy when you get used to it.

The grade 5 titanium case is surprisingly wearable at 40.5mm in diameter, but combined with the domed crystal, it’s 17.8mm thick (lug-to-lug is 48mm). You won’t be tucking it under a cuff. The case back with a sapphire exhibition window is screwed down and combined with the screw-down crown at 3 o’clock, water resistance is rated at 50 meters. Not bad for such a novel piece. The case has brushed and polished surfaces, and both sapphire crystals have anti-reflective coatings. A 20mm black or blue alligator strap with pin buckle comes standard (matching the respective dial).

Powering this multidimensional display is a modified version of the brand’s original X-Centric Caliber from the Les Matinaux. It’s a micro-rotor automatic designed in partnership with Chronode and Le Cercle des Horlogers, and features the same textured black finish from the dial side. It has 33 jewels, beats at 4Hz with an impressive 48-hour power reserve (considering all of the floating architecture involved). Rhodium-plated wheels offer a nice contrast against the matte black, and it has a subdued yet very contemporary aesthetic.

The new Trilobe Une Folle Journée retails for EUR 21,500/USD 21,700 in either color. With such an unconventional design and specialized micro-rotor movement, these two models are surprisingly well priced. Visit Trilobe here.