In the independent watch-making sector, one can find virtually infinite ways to personalise a timepiece. Colours, shapes, engravings – you name it. Mostly, your imagination or wallet are the only limiting factors. But most of these personalisations have a main characteristic – they can be recognised or understood by anyone. Trilobe goes another way round – using the same canvas, the personalisation depicts a date and a place that can be easily recognised only by its owner. Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Secret offers a sky chart.
Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Secret
Yes, anyone can recognise a sky chart, but finding the time and the place for that specific map is not an easy task. It can be done, but you need the right tools. The range of personalisation for Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Secret is insane. I tried online various possibilities: from January 1st, 100 AC and up to December 31, 99,999 at 23.59 o’clock. You can personalise it so subtly.
The main advantage is that the personalisation subtle. You can encode in that time and place something very personal or a secret. You can use it for association and in this way, the secret is even deeper. For instance, I tried the online generator and I obtained the sky chart for my time, date and location of birth. Unfortunately, I was not able to select the sky chart for Jesus Christ’ birth – for that, I think you need to contact Trilobe Watches.
Nicely polished titanium
With a size of 40.5 mm and manufactured in titanium, the case is on the elegant size. With an option also in 38 mm, Trilobe “speaks” mostly to those wanting a light and delightful piece.
A well-executed polish is found on all surfaces, except the caseband that features a matt brushing. The curved lugs, quite strong and vigorous, are curved for a natural wear. The polished chamfer increases the appeal. Considering how difficult is to polish titanium, I would say that Trilobe did an exquisite job. The watch features a well-proportioned crown with the Trilobe logo embossed.
A secret in plain sight
The beauty of the Nuit Fantastique Secret’s dial is not something to contest. All the sky charts are interesting and intriguing but the combination with the innovative time display of Trilobe makes it special. The independent mentions that they obtain the position of the stars through an algorithm of 1600 constellations, around a repetitive 4-year cycle. They are able to determine the starry sky for a moment in the past or in the future. This algorithm is based on the book “Calculs astronomiques à l’usage des amateurs” (Jean Meeus, Société astronomique de France, Paris, 1986).
Look ma! – no hands…
Trilobe is one of the very few displaying time without the help of hands. Using a system of three rings: the largest ring for hours, the median one for minutes, and the other one for seconds. The three rings are eccentric and moving: each one follows its own path, in a counter-clockwise direction, without ever overlapping. While the system is relatively simple, it is much harder to drive than the classic three hands. The reading is made using the Trilobe symbol. For instance, the hours are shown by the upper point of the Trilobe logo, just above the printed name. The minutes are indicated by the tip of the arch in the smaller round aperture, while the seconds are shown by the bigger subdial disc.
Excentric approach for an eccentric display
Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Secret is powered by the Calibre X-Centric, a name found also engraved on the movement and visible on the back of the watch. The movement has an intriguing architecture, almost vertical, that hides the unusual eccentric time display. The calibre presents itself in a grey electroplated finish with a heavy Tungsten micro-rotor on top. In contrast, the steel gear train was adorned with bevelled edges. Another interesting detail is the balance wheel held in place by a straight cock bridge. All the bridges present a nice bevelling.
On the wrist and in the heart
I fell in love with this idea when I first saw it online 3 years ago. I do enjoy and appreciate the time concept proposed by Trilobe. But the personalisation of the sky chart is a step further into watch personalisation. It is not only the printed sky chart but the combination with the time display that makes the Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Secret special. You can have a secret that you can openly show to everyone but only some skilled person could decipher the time and place shown. But what it represents, is a secret that you can keep only to yourself. Or you can tell everyone what it represents (for instance the time and place of your most significant other birth) and let the others guess where and when… Regardless, the game, the idea is fantastic (pun intended). It is a beautiful and elegant piece, light and easy to wear, and as Trilobe saiz: My soul has its secret, my watch has its story.
Trilobe Nuit Fantastique Secret Technical Specifications
Ref. NF05SB – 12,500.00 € Tax Inc.
- Hours, minutes, seconds subdial displayed by rotating rings and fixed indicators
- Self-winding mechanical calibre with micro-rotor
- Thickness : 5.78mm I Diameter : 35.2mm
- 48 hours of power reserve
- Balance frequency: 28’800 vph (4 Hz)
- Functional rubies: 33
- Total components: 230
- A display concept composed of three devices representing the hours, minutes & seconds located on the same plane as the dial
- Made of grade 5 titanium
- Diameter: 40.5 mm
- Thickness: 9.2 mm
- Lug to lug: 48 mm
- Lug width: 20 mm
- Made up of 7 pieces
- Mirror-polished surfaces alternating with satin-brushed treatments
- Domed bezel with sapphire crystal and multi-layered anti-reflective treatment (ARDUR)
- Brought horns.
- Anti-reflective sapphire back
- Water resistance tested to 5 bar (≈ 50 meters) for the titanium version
- Crown: Push button crown
- Leather with a pin buckle titanium
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