Trilobe is a brand that impresses watch fans more and more with every release. This year is no different for the young Parisian watchmaker. Building on the success of the Les Matinaux collection, Trilobe introduces its first complicated watch. The Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Series is its first take on a moonphase watch. But if you know anything about Trilobe, you’ll know it’s not just a watch with a moonphase complication. Prepared to be amazed once more by the original take on watchmaking that Trilobe has created.

In 2018, Trilobe burst onto the scene with its inaugural Les Matinaux collection. René Char’s 1950 poem collection inspired the name, and the watches presented a time display without hands to indicate the hours, minutes, and seconds. Instead, the watches used a “wandering” display with three rotating discs in combination with three fixed pointers to indicate the time. Trilobe’s follow-up Nuit Fantastique and Une Folle Soirée series further expanded that concept. For the new Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise, Trilobe founder Gautier Massonneau returned to his initial creation and added a moonphase complication. The way he did it, though, is rather spectacular.

The story of the Trilobe Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise

For the brand’s first complicated watch, the Trilobe team found inspiration in linking time with its most ancient teller — the sky. The implementation of the sky into the dial has been achieved most gracefully. But before we dive into the details, I should mention that there are multiple options on offer. First, there are three different dials available in both 38.5mm and 40.5mm titanium cases. Alternatively, customers can order any of these three dials in a 40.5mm 18K rose gold case. The first two versions are the Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Blue and the Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Dune.

The third is the Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Secret. This one is also available in the same case materials and sizes, and it showcases the star-lit night sky on a blue dial.

But the special detail is that it’s the sky as seen from a specific location on a particular date. This means that you, as the buyer, can decide your preferred date and location to be displayed on the dial. It’s a spectacular version that takes the concept a step further.

The details of the Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise series

As mentioned, all three dials are available in two case sizes (titanium only). Other than the diameter, the only difference in dimensions between them is the lug-to-lug length. The 38.5mm and 40.5mm cases are both 9.2mm thick and take a 20mm strap. The 38.5mm version, though, measures 45.5mm from lug to lug, whereas the 40.5mm version is 48mm from lug to lug.

All the case variations are water resistant to 5 bar and feature a domed bezel with an antireflective sapphire crystal. Whether you pick the Grade 5 titanium or 18K rose gold case, both have mirror-polished surfaces and satin-brushed sides. On the right side of the case, you will find the push/pull crown that allows you to operate the movement.

The standard versions come with sandblasted blue or sand-colored dials. At the heart of both dials is the moonphase display with discs rotating counterclockwise around it. The outer disc displays the hours, and the center disc displays the minutes. A single Trilobe logo at 12 o’clock serves as the indicator marking the hours and minutes. The classically styled numerals are placed at an angle to indicate the movement of the discs. They give the dial plenty of character. The seconds display is far from traditional and sits above the moonphase indicator.

The stunning moonphase complication

If you look carefully, you will see a disc made of sapphire crystal with white pad-printed stars on it. As Trilobe puts it, “the starry sapphire glass is rotating to the rhythm of the seconds.” So, the seconds display is an abstract depiction of time, and it serves more as an indication that the watch is running. Below it, a blue or sand-colored disc finished with concentric grooves hovers over a laser-textured brass disc depicting the Moon’s surface. It is placed on a gear wheel with 59 cogs to evoke the Moon’s orbit around Earth. It completes a full cycle every 29.5 days, with the stars constantly changing position during the day.

The Trilobe’s X-Centric caliber makes this possible. This self-winding micro-rotor movement debuted in 2020, and it now features an added module for the moonphase complication. It utilizes 227 individual parts, operates at 28,800vph, and has a 48-hour power reserve. Its micro-rotor is made of heavyweight tungsten to wind the powerful mainspring. The movement is finished with a tasty contrast of textures and bridges plated with black gold for a darker color. It’s a joy to see it in action, but if you ask me, the real magic is visible on the face of the watch.

Final thoughts on the new Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise series

Trilobe shows a brilliant take on watchmaking with this Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise series. I adore the thinking behind it, and how this moonphase is brought to life is spectacular. The abstract way the seconds are displayed and the connection to the lunar phase make this a truly special series of watches. All three models come with color-matching alligator straps with a pin buckle that matches the case material. As for my favorite version, I love the regular blue dial in the rose gold case. It looks super classy. Still, all of the variants are visually stunning.

In terms of pricing, the Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Blue and Dune models are €14,500 in titanium (both sizes) and €26,500 in rose gold (40.5mm only), while the Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Secret is €18,200 in titanium and €29,200 in rose gold. Yes, it’s a substantial amount of money. However, compared to the prices that competitors would ask for a complicated moonphase watch, the prices are very fair. I have nothing but compliments for Trilobe for creating an inspiring and impressive first series of complicated watches that form the brilliant Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise series.

For more information, visit the official Trilobe website. In the comments section, tell us which of the six models is your favorite.

Watch specifications

Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise
Sandblasted, blue with white pad-printed numerals or dune-colored with blue pad-printed numerals, rotating hour and minute discs, moonphase display with rotating crystal with stars representing the seconds display
Case Material
Grade 5 titanium or 18K rose gold
Case Dimensions
38.5mm/40.5mm (diameter) × 45.5mm/48mm (lug-to-lug) × 9.2mm (thickness)
Case Back
Grade 5 titanium or 18K rose gold with sapphire crystal
Trilobe X-centric: automatic micro-rotor movement, 28,800vph frequency, 48-hour power reserve, 227 parts
Water Resistance
5 bar (50 meters)
Blue or brown alligator (20mm) with pin buckle matching the case material
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds/running indicator) and moonphase display
Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Blue and Dune: €14,500 (titanium) and €26,500 (rose gold) / Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Secret: €18,200 (titanium) and €29,200 (rose gold)
Special Note(s)
The Les Matinaux L’Heure Exquise Secret has a delivery time of eight months due to the personalized dial. The 38.5mm cases available in titanium only.