by | Sep 20, 2022 | Style, Watches

Refreshingly unique, the Trilobe Nuit Fantastique captures the passage of time without hands. Driven by Trilobe’s X-Centric movement, the whole timepiece, both inside and out, projects a feeling of purposeful construction through strong, almost architectural, elements.

Related: Tudor releases a new Pelagos in 39 mm

Instead of traditional hands, the dial uses a combination of outer hour ring, minute aperture, and seconds disk to display the time. The subtle texture of the dial acts as a perfect backdrop to the printed numerals with the minute aperture and seconds disk surrounded by conjoined rings with elegant pointers for minutes.

This detail has polished sides with a top brushed finish which matches the case material, steel, titanium or rose gold, depending on the model. The size, placement and font used for the numerals is legible and tastefully executed. In the center of the seconds disk is a traditional Clous de Paris guilloché pattern which feels both traditional and modern at the same time.

Also know as a hobnail pattern, and despite being very traditional, it feels modern here due to its minimalist use and lack of border ring which is quite often used around the edge of guilloché patterning.

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The Trilobe Nuit Fantastique has its own voice. It is beautifully executed from both a design and construction perspective.

Colin Potts

Watch writer

Trilobe Nuit Fantastique: Nice balance between flat planes and circular elements

In conjunction with the case, the dial ,which is quite flat, feels almost building-like, a flat rooftop concealing a layered machine below. This feeling of layers continues in the profile of the case, with top and bottom polished sections on either side of a larger brushed element.

Turning the watch over presents an exhibition case back with an unimpeded view of the movement. The movement is not skeletonized, although some key elements of the movement are visible, enough to hint at the layered mechanism hidden beneath.

Unimpeded view of the watch’s movement

The thick micro-rotor cuts through this layered feeling of the watch (making it all the more striking). It is laid out along a strong central axis which includes the balance wheel. The intention of creating this strong north-south axis adds to its architectural feel while making the asymmetrical elements of the movement all the more exciting.

The minimalist balance cock looks like a swinging door with the screw as its hinge. Conversely the balance itself appears almost like a revolving door, the entrance to the building containing all the things hidden from view by the movement’s top plate.

Despite the strong geometry the watch never feels boxy, with a nice balance between flat planes and circular elements.

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Trilobe Nuit Fantastique: Experiencing time differently

The Nuit Fantastique is available in both 40.5mm and 38.5mm cases in stainless steel, titanium, and rose gold, with some dial colours paired with specific case materials. I spent the most time with the grained blue dial, stainless steel in the 40.5mm case, but could have been easily swayed into the grained black sitting just beside it.

The “do you choose blue dial vs. black dial” struggle is real! The grained havana dial in rose gold on a chocolate alligator strap felt rich and warm. It had a big wrist presence even though this one happened to be cased in the 38.5mm diameter case size.

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Well-executed design

The Trilobe Nuit Fantastique has its own voice. It is beautifully executed from both a design and construction perspective. Maybe it’s the execution of this vision that makes me want to talk about it in architectural terms. It feels equally if not simultaneously crafted and constructed.

Paired with a wide range of dial and material options, it would be difficult not to find one that speaks to you. I find this is also the sign of a watch with a design well-executed. It can be equally at home in a wide range of materials and colours, and the design can act as a willing structure or framework for personal expression.

Click on image to enlarge and view gallery

Trilobe has created something memorable with the Nuit Fantastique. That makes me all the more excited to see in person the Une Folle Journée that Trilobe has recently released, a piece with floating rotating discs under a domed crystal.

Knar Jewellery is the exclusive distributor of Trilobe watches in Canada. Colin Potts is founder of Watch off the Cuff, a watch repair service based in Milton, Ontario, and a member of the Horology Society of New York in support of advancing the art and science of horology. Images: Trilobe

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