Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 Watch Review

by Apr 30, 2023Byrne, Limited Edition

Ever get bored of your watches?  Well, Byrne have created an animated complication, which should reduce the chances of the watch feeling overworn.

Founded in 2021, Byrne is one of the youngest independent brands on the scene, but seem to be making the right moves with their playful complication and have already managed to secure clients on almost every continent.

The GyroDial automatically changes every 24 hours, by way of 4 animated indeces that each have 4 different designs on them; when the indeces change, so does the appearance of the whole dial.  

John Byrne, watchmaker and creator of the watch and movement, explains where the idea behind the Gyrodial 311 came from:

The idea arises at the opera in Paris. I am going to create a watch that will not have to choose between Roman numerals or Arabic numerals. The gyro dial was born. Now, no question of enclosing this beautiful animated movement in a simply round case and no question of making this movement from existing components. We will manufacture everything in the greatest Swiss tradition.  The watch should bring out the passion of the aerodynamics of racing cars, the tradition with a drawn line and timer pierced to the old.  The model 311, whose shape was inspired by the rear of the Porsche 911 Targa is born.

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311

Face & case

Made from Grade 5 titanium, the proprietary 42mm case of the GyroDial is a very unique cushion style with sculpted aesthetics, featuring a very flat and narrow bezel and finished with both brushed and polished surfaces.  The inspiration behind the case, was to show profiled lines in order to be reminiscent of the contours of a race car.

Under the sapphire crystal glass, the dial is straight-grain brushed (by hand) and then rhodium plated; it has been finished in a petroleum green colour, which seems to shift from a dark forest green to a brighter grass green, depending on how the light catches it.  Under bright lighting conditions, it appears to have an intentional design of dark and light green stripes.

A continuous row of engraved circles are nestled up right next to the bezel and act as minute markers around the perimeter of the dial, with every 5 minute marker being filled with Super-LumiNova.  Moving inwards, the engraved hour markers are long oblong shapes, at 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 o’clock; the remaining positions of the dial make way for the four x 4-sided flippable indeces, which are so well integrated into the dial, that there is barely a hair between them and the dial.  

At midnight or noon every day, (or on demand), the GyroDial complication switches indeces to the next side, for a completely new look.  Each of the four sides of the animated indeces display a different image; Roman numerals, Arabic numerals with an arrow marker at 12 o’clock, Hindu-Arabic and baton indeces.  All are engraved and all but the baton indeces feature Super-LumiNova over white fill; the baton indeces have a stealth look with no additional colour contrast from the dial.

The only other thing on the dial is the BYRNE logo, which is also engraved and filled white with Super-LumiNova.

Time is read with the hand crafted hour and minute hands.  They are straight sword shaped and feature a hand finished straight-grain to match the dial, along with Super-LumiNova around all edges. 

From the side, the case appears chunky, as it’s quite thick (to make way for the complication) and the lugs are part of the main case shape, giving a shorter appearance.  There are a couple of contour lines around the whole case, which add an additional element of texture, breaking up the otherwise smooth lines.

The screw down crown is relatively small in comparison to the case size, however does have a deep groove, allowing for a very easy grip.  It is hand-finished and features an engraved logo of the Hindu-Arabic numeral “0” on the end. 

Flip the watch over and the screw down caseback has quite a wide frame with various engraving on it, such as the model name, piece number, water resistance (50m) and Swiss Made.

The sapphire exhibition viewing window shows off a very classically understated movement.  Clearly all hand finished, using various traditional techniques, the aesthetic are mainly monochrome with different types of polished finishes which discretely highlight specific elements.  Even the rotor is a similar hue and although partly open, it is simple looking, with just the word BYRNE embossed into the centre third of the bottom section.

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 Case Back

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 Case Back


The movement animated complication was conceived by John Byrne and built with a little help from Le Temps Manufacture in Feurier, Switzerland to make up the ultra-tested automatic Calibre 5555.  All finishing is done by hand.

Made from 261 parts, the movement has 42 jewels and beats at 28,800vph. 

Owners should expect 60 hours power reserve.


Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 Side & Crown

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 Side & Crown


The strap supplied is a bespoke, olive green high grade rubber strap, by Manufacture Jean Rousseau and features curved inserts that form a natural extension of the case.  

It fastens with a titanium pin buckle, which has both brushed and polished surfaces and the BYRNE logo engraved boldly across it.

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 Strap & Buckle

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 Strap & Buckle

Other stuff

Byrne Watch is a couple’s story that began over 30 years ago.  Fascinated by watches from an early age, by a stroke of good fortune John Byrne’s path would cross that of the mentors who would open the doors to the watchmaking world.  As a restorer of antique and modern timepieces, he spent days working out how to bring a watch back to life for the simple pleasure of presenting it to its owner with mechanical prowess.  Year after year, John Byrne absorbed himself in the different techniques of his trade.  He offered his professional advice to customers, collectors who share his love of timepieces and even his customers’ children.  He worked with master watchmakers capable of reproducing the tiniest components, using them to restore family heirlooms that no-one had believed would ever run again.  Inspired by these many experiences, the desire to create an extraordinary object planted itself in his mind. 

Even as a child John was passionate about inventions and mechanical innovation.  At the age of 10 he recycled the motor of his remote controlled car to create an electric lock, which was accessible from outside his room.  Naturally, the cogs of the clock industry warmed up his hyperactive mind and 20 years later he had a single goal in his life – to create a watch or an object that would come straight out of his mind.  

The idea for Byrne Watch GyroDial came to John in 2015, during a performance of George Balanchine’s Apollo at the Opéra Bastille in Paris.  That evening he was struck by a tableau in which the dancers, positioned one behind the other, changed places so quickly that they gave the impression of being one woman with four different faces.

He talked the idea over with his wife, Claire, a retail and luxury consultant.  Enthused, she decided to join him on a journey that would take them first to Switzerland, to the town of Fleurier, one of the historic homes of watchmaking.  This is where the Byrne Watch adventure began; the fusion of long experience in the restoration of fine timepieces and the expertise of a Manufacture founded by captains of the watch industry.  The next few years were spent perfecting the case and refining the movement.  

A trained designer, John views objects with a technician’s uncompromising eye.  From the initial idea to the first Byrne prototype, not a single detail escaped his notice.  His one obsession: to create a watch that no-one had expected; a watch that would be elegant to wear and perfect in every way.  

In 2021 the Gyrodial made its entrance and John’s obsession had been satisfied.

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 On the Wrist

Byrne Petroleum Green GyroDial 311 On the Wrist

Our verdict

I first stumbled across Byrne last Summer, at Geneva Watch Days and was enamoured by what I saw, not only in the ingenious animation of the Gyrodial, but the very genuine couple behind the brand – passion and positive vibes just oozed out of them from all angles.

Being a fan of independents and unusual or “different” watch design ideas, I felt the concept of the Gyrodial was really fun and fresh and the attention to detail on the design and finishing from every angle is superb.  

Off the wrist, it looks like a very big, clumsy watch, but on the wrist, its appearance reduces in size and it is very comfortable – much thought has clearly gone into the shape of the caseback and how the lugs interact with the strap and the location of the wrist beneath.  At 15.6mm, it is quite thick, but the curvature and smooth lines of the case and sapphire crystal, means there are no sharp angles to get caught on cuffs.

I like the simplicity of the dial design and again, with the clear quality of the finishing, it just adds to the appeal of it.  The fact the dial’s appearance can change is just a bonus, as it’s quite common for me to get bored of a watch based on how it looks.

Regular readers will know my thing about rubber straps, so if I was looking for a negative point (as I always try to), then that would be it, however, the brand do offer alligator straps with other versions of the GyroDIal, so expect it could be swapped for a different material if desired.

This edition of the GyroDial is limited to just 23 pieces and whilst it’s price tag of 22,200 EUR may be outwith many people’s budgets, I do expect that this will sell out fast.

As the brand and GyroDial model matures, so do ideas.  Their most recent release is a stripped back version called the ZERO, which has no dial, but allows for the movement to do the talking.  I can’t wait to see where this brand goes and what new and intriguing complications will surface.