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Trilobe - The Trilobe Adventure with Volcy Bloch

Trilobe The Trilobe Adventure with Volcy Bloch

The Richemont Group executive who found a world of wonder in a small watchmaking start-up: the Trilobe adventure

I t is hard to imagine going from a successful 20-year career in a large luxury group to working with a young man with a good idea, but that is exactly what Volcy Bloch did when she teamed up with Trilobe’s founder Gautier Massonneau at the end of 2018. When I ask her if it was difficult to go from such a large structure to a start-up, she looks slightly surprised by my question, telling me how her whole career gave her just the right tools to make a new brand work. And work it has.

Three years ago, few people had heard of Trilobe. Now, it sits with its head high between the likes of TAG Heuer and Urwerk in the brand alphabet. Bloch puts this down to the help of institutions like the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), Only Watch, and Watches and Wonders. This year marks the third time the Parisian brand has been nominated for a GPHG award and the second time it has contributed a timepiece to the bi-annual charity auction Only Watch. “We were graciously recognized by many watchmaking institutions,” she explains, pointing out that “Luc Pettavino trusted us with Only Watch just three months after we had launched in March 2019.”

The uniqueness of the product, with its unusual way of telling the time, definitely plays a role in the brand’s success and popularity. “For seven centuries, we have been reading the time in the same way, with the display being fixed and the hands turning. There are so many things we do in life without questioning them, so the idea came about to reverse certain frames of reference,” she notes.

The Trilobe adventure

Volcy Bloch © Trilobe

The user reads the time on rotating disks that, when you think about it, are far more intuitive than the traditional two hands and 12 numerals. For children, it is even easier, as you literally read the time, so there is no need to learn that the number four is 20 past the hour, for example.

There are three collections – Secret, Les Matinaux, and Nuit Fantastique – with unique displays reminding us to appreciate time. “In our world of Amazon Prime, where we have screens everywhere, on computers, telephones, in the street, on public transport, there is this idea of resetting our relationship with time.” This three-year journey has been quite the adventure, starting at possibly the worst possible time in France with the gilets jaunes bringing the country to a standstill. This was followed by COVID, which obviously didn’t help a young brand taking its first steps. But Trilobe has been growing and advancing fast with a showroom in Paris, an e-shop, and an increasing number of retail partners across the globe.

“When I joined Gautier in this adventure, I found that there was this very innovative, genius side of the project and there was a real ambition and dynamic. When you want to start a brand like this, you need this ambition, energy and enthusiasm. You never give up and stick to the course. The path changes every day, but we always try to stay on course,” she concludes. Looking back at those early days of planning, Bloch laughs at how nothing has turned out quite how they had imagined it in the initial business plan. Luckily things have worked even better than they could have dreamed of, and that’s all part of the adventure. 

As a World Tempus reader, we are delighted to offer you the latest digital version of this GMT magazine that you can download here. Happy reading!

GMT Lady

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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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