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Trilobe - The Art Of Patience

Trilobe The Art Of Patience

Trilobe will not be unveiling anything at the Geneva Watch Days. Gautier Massonneau offers no apology. But he does provide an explanation.

So what’s new at Trilobe? “Nothing,” replies Gautier Massonneau. He knows what he’s doing, and what he’s doing is… a bit different from everyone else. For over a decade, independent watchmakers have quietly cursed the growing number of watch fairs, which has now reached new heights. With two editions of Watches & Wonders, its sister show Time to Watches, Dubai Watch Week, JCK and LVMH Watch Week, among others, watch brands hardly have time to put their wares away before they have to take them out again. Trilobe is no exception.

Production targets

The brand, whose motto is “Take your time,” expects its fans to be very patient. Trilobe’s latest creation, Une Folle Journée, was an instant success. “We’re experiencing strong demand but, like many of our independent colleagues who have the wind in their sails, we are also having trouble keeping up with production,” Gautier Massonneau explains. “It’s quite a complex piece, and obviously the situation is tense with our suppliers. That’s no secret. We are making deliveries, but at a slow drip.” 

The launch–orders–deliveries sequence can’t be short-circuited unless you have your own 100% integrated production capabilities, which Trilobe does not. It relies on a network of subcontractors, on whom it places considerable demands. Despite producing in relatively small volumes, Trilobe makes frequent requests for personalisation. “That’s an integral part of Trilobe,” Gautier Massonneau explains. “We’re telling a story. An engraving or a bracelet is the minimum level of personalisation. We do that as standard. At Trilobe, we go even further, particularly in our Secret collection, which reproduces the night sky at the time and location of the client’s choice. And we’re looking at many more options.”

Trilobe : L'art du temps long

Une Folle Journée © Trilobe

Getting the timing right

Clearly, Trilobe’s advertisements for the Geneva Watch Days are not about what’s happening today, but what will happen tomorrow. In terms of materials, Gautier Massonneau wants to take his explorations further than gold and steel. “We’re thinking about alloys, sapphire.” Not wishing to give too much away, he resorts to an electronics metaphor: “Our projects are mounted in parallel. Each one proceeds at its own pace. The watch industry is permanently behind the times! Projects are completed in their own good time, and we promote them when they’re ready. If you run your projects in series, you’ll end up running into a wall.” 

Trilobe : L'art du temps long

Les Matinaux Secret © Trilobe

A new complication coming soon

Gautier Massonneau shares another non-negotiable: Trilobe will increase volumes very gradually, if at all. “The demand is there, but ordering hundreds or thousands of pieces in advance means you’re committed to massive outlays of cash over the long term before you can start production, before you can make any sales. We believe there are more targeted ways to invest in the future.”

As well as the new materials already mentioned, Trilobe is working on a new complication, which is expected to be ready in time for Watches & Wonders 2023, barely six months away. “We’re finalising a complication that offers a different display,” Gautier Massonneau confides. Given that Trilobe is all about the long term, a chronograph seems unlikely. A moon phase? A calendar? Place your bets. 

 

 

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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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