Trilobe has unveiled the Réconciliation as its entry into the Only Watch 2023 line-up. Drawing inspiration from Kintsugi (金 継 ぎ), a Japanese art form that turns broken pottery into a fine object, this one-of-a-kind timepiece is set to take center stage at the tenth edition of the biannual charity event. There, it will be auctioned off to support research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a severe neuromuscular disease primarily affecting young boys at a ratio of 1 in 3,500.

The backstory of Trilobe’s involvement in Only Watch is as bold as its timepieces. A few months after launching Trilobe, Gautier Massonneau (the founder and Creative Director) had a chance encounter with Luc Pettavino, the founder of Only Watch, in a bar during the brand’s first attendance at Baselworld. He seized the moment to pitch the company’s unorthodox product concept and its philosophy of liberating time, which struck a chord with Luc. That same year, the new brand found itself in the line-up of the 2019 edition alongside some of the most illustrious watchmakers.

An audacious collection and a Japanese philosophy

This year marks Trilobe’s third run at the Only Watch. The Réconciliation is created as part of the collection “Une Folle Journée” (“a crazy day” in English). It comes hot on the heels of the Dune version launched earlier this year. The latter caught our attention, as we covered it here. It followed shortly after the inaugural black version secured a GPHG 2022 nomination in the “Men’s” category.

Gautier was introduced to Kintsugi 13 years ago in Tokyo. Kintsugi, which translates to “joining with gold,” is a 500-year-old Japanese practice that embraces the beauty of imperfections and fragility. The art involves repairing broken pottery fragments with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Instead of hiding damage, Kintsugi highlights it, transforming breakage into radiant symbols of resilience.

A unique piece

Ever since then. Gautier’s been inspired by the practice and finally decided to incorporate it into Réconciliation. What makes the watch special is how it showcases imperfections. A watchmaker first crafts each impact mark on the watch by hand. The watch is then intentionally damaged to achieve a hammered effect on its bridges, plate, and rings. The watch’s fractures aren’t covered but are hand-gilded with gold leaves instead, turning them into attractive decorations.

A patented concept

The Réconciliation features three rotating rings for hours, minutes, and seconds, set in motion by a system of pillars. This display concept places the three counting devices on the same plane as the dial has earned a patent for the Une Folle Journée collection. The mechanical marvel is encased under a high, 10.2 mm sapphire dome with multi-layered anti-reflective treatment (ARDUR). It is a design that breaks from the norm. The titanium rings are colorized by PVD, and the numerals are pad-printed on the dial.

This Only Watch unique piece comes in a Grade 5 titanium case coated with black PVD and mirror-polished surfaces alternating with satin-brushed treatments. The case diameter is 40.5mm, the height is 10.2mm, the total thickness of 17.8mm, and a lug-to-lug of 48mm. Additionally, a lug width of 20mm to incorporates the black alligator leather strap. A strap which is secured by a black PVD-coated titanium pin buckle.

The vitals

Trilobe has entrusted its manufacture and partner of La Chaux-de-Fonds, le Cercle des Horlogers, to construct the X-Centric caliber with a micro-rotor. This automatic caliber combines architectural complexity with an ‘‘artistically offbeat’’ approach. It runs at 28,800vph (4Hz) and provides 48 hours of power reserve. The piece stands apart in an industry that prizes precision and perfection. Yet, it aligns with the spirit of Only Watch, recognizing beauty in all things. Even those typically considered flawed or damaged. The watch serves as a reminder of life’s pitfalls and missteps. Even when broken, we can rebuild ourselves and emerge stronger and more beautiful.

The bid

The Trilobe Réconciliation is estimated to fetch CHF 25,000 – 35,000 for the Only Watch auction. As we eagerly await the event, let us remind you the sale will take place in Geneva on November 5th, 2023. Bidding will also open online and via phone. And if you want to catch a glimpse of the full line-up in the flesh, the watches will be on a roadshow in 8 cities across the US, Europe, and Asia. This tour will take place over the two months before the auction. Unfortunately for me, London is no longer one of the stops.

For more information, please visit the official Only Watch website.