Grail Watch 3: Trilobe Une Folle Soirée “Wild Night”
"With Une Folle Journée, Trilobe emerges as one of the most vibrant creators of horology as artistic expression. Grail Watch has the pleasure of collaborating with them on a fully luminous version of this extraordinary timepiece. - Wei Koh, founder of Revolution, The Rake & Grail Watch.
The story of Gautier Massonneau and Trilobe is an interesting one. Massonneau doesn’t come from the watch world at all. He grew up amongst the worlds of architecture and interior design as these were his parents’ métiers. When he came of age, Massonneau pursued a career in finance at the French bank Natixis, but he was plagued by an intellectual restlessness.
The Trilobe watch was eventually born from his desire to do more, to create his personal interpretation for telling time with a watch that pushes conventional boundaries and explores the field of possibilities in the watchmaking industry. In his mind’s eye, Massonneau envisioned a watch that is different yet timeless in its design, one poised between rupture and continuity.
Massonneau saw time liberated from traditional hands. Instead, he envisioned disks or rings, three in total — one each for the hours, minutes and seconds, each rotating counterclockwise with fixed indicators tracking their course.
To bring his vision to life, Massonneau roped in Chronode, the workshop of the talented Jean-François Mojon, the man behind Max Büsser’s Legacy Machine No. 1. He also co-created the detent escapement watch for Urban Jürgensen, together with his friend Kari Voutilainen, and is the designer of Harry Winston’s Opus X.
Mojon loved Massonneau’s vision for three counterclockwise rotating rings with fixed indicators. After initial development with Mojon, Massonneau also worked on further development of his base caliber, the X-Centric, with CercLe des Horlogers, one of the major rising stars in the world of complication specialists. This movement, whose architecture is stunning to behold, features an ultra efficient tungsten carbide micro-rotor. It also features a 4Hz vibrational speed with torque from the barrel optimized to drive the disks that are at the core of Massonneau’s expressionist timetelling vision. The other thing that was important to Massonneau was that every aspect of his watch was finished to a high degree. Finally, for him, the size of his watches was of critical importance — he wanted his watches to be elegant and absolutely did not want to create something larger than 41mm.
Une Folle Journée
Trilobe’s first two watches Les Matinaux (2018) and Nuit Fantastique (2021) immediately established it as an exciting young brand with bold ambitions and strong substance. But it is their next watch that would transform them into one of the hottest names in modern watchmaking.
Imagine the three primary time-telling disks first brought to life in Les Matinaux now powered by an alien force field, so that they levitate off the dial and are retained only by the canopy of domed sapphire crystal. Une Folle Journée takes the language of Trilobe and explodes it into the third dimension and beyond.
Says Massonneau, “The watch follows our initial concept but now fully engaged in three dimensions. The outer hour ring, the minute ring and the inner most seconds ring are all crafted from titanium to make them all as light as possible. Because they are now all elevated on pillars to rise above the surface of the baseplate at increasing heights, the effect is that of a dome.” Indeed, Massonneau had to find a special Japanese supplier for the domed sapphire, which is then finished in Switzerland to contain the incredible amphitheater and mechanical microcosm within.
Une Folle Soirée
So what is Une Folle Soirée and how does it differ from Une Folle Journée? Translated into English, it means, “A Wild Night,” and is inspired by the Van Morrison song of the same name.
My first impression when setting eyes on Une Folle Journée was of three UFOs in a coordinated flight pattern landing on the surface of a planet. And I knew immediately that I would love to see this featuring a maximum light show when the watch was in an ambient or dark setting.
Those of you that have followed the development of Revolution’s limited edition watches know that the luminous signature of a watch, or the pattern of light it emits in the dark, has long been an obsession for me. There have been others that have played with this theme in their limited editions, but I feel that we have focused on it the most consistently. So, to say luminous signature is my thing is fair.
Massonneau grinned when I explained my idea to him. A few weeks later, he came up with a design for the watch that blew me away. He had coated the edges of the baseplate so that it was luminous and applied luminous material to the disks so that they truly looked like a three-spaceship armada landing from alien distant shores on the watch.
Said Massonneau, “This was the hardest part to figure out because Une Folle Journée shows all the gear train that drives these three disks and the clearance to the baseplate from these wheels is minimal. So we had to be very precise in the application of luminous material here.”
The result is simply spectacular. Our resulting watch with a case in grade 5 titanium is 40.5mm in diameter with a thickness of 17.8mm, though this shape is aggressively domed and the watch wears much thinner and effortlessly on the wrist. It features a push button crown and is water resistant to 50 meters. Its deconstructed display of time features three DLC-treated titanium disks that are mounted on pillars so that they hover in over the baseplate. The precision of the pad-printed numerals on the concave curved rings highlights an exceptional watchmaking know-how. A pointer enables a direct reading of the hours, minutes and seconds.
Step into darkness and the watch simply ignites on your wrist, giving another dimension to the thrilling artistic expressiveness of Trilobe. It will be made in just 25 examples and I would like to take this chance to thank Gautier Massonneau and Volcy Bloch for the opportunity to work with them. The resulting watch is a timepiece of arresting beauty and design daring — a savage nocturnal animal — and I absolutely love it. I hope you do too.
Grail Watch 3: Trilobe Une Folle Soirée “Wild Night”
Limited and numbered edition of 25 pieces
- Material: Grade 5 titanium
- Diameter: 40.50 mm
- Glass: Domed sapphire crystal
- Water-resistant to 50 metres
- 3 DLC-treated titanium rings with luminescent coating
- Bridges treated with Super-Luminova
- Fixed pointer for hours, minutes and seconds painted in red
- Calibre Trilobe X-Centric
- Self-winding movement
- Frequency: 28'800 vph (4 Hz)
- 48-hour power reserve
- Hours, minutes and seconds displayed by rotating rings and a fixed pointer
Strap and buckle
- Alligator leather; additional suede leather with titanium pin buckle
MSRP: EUR 22'000
For more information, please visit trilobe.com