Byrne Watch is one couple’s story that began some three decades ago, in watch restoration. 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. And so the watch restorer embarked on new studies in industrial design.
The idea for Byrne Watch 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 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. In 2021 the GYRO DIAL made its entrance. Now Byrne Watch can put its own spin on time with its magical complication.


From the first crazy notion for the GYRO DIAL complication to the finished piece, it took two complementary personalities to bring Byrne Watch to fruition as an independent venture. During the long periods of silence that are a part of any creative endeavour, he knew he could count on her to keep good relations with their business partners. Meanwhile, she could rely on him and his inventiveness to incorporate this unique movement into an impeccably designed case.
Fascinated by watches from an early age, by a stroke of good fortune John’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 can spend days working out how to bring a watch back to life for the simple pleasure of presenting its owner with this mechanical prowess. A trained designer, he 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.
An expert in luxury and retail, Claire Cohen made a career as director of retail with the foremost French and international brands. At the head of her own consultancy firm for the past ten years, she provides coaching and training services for companies in sectors as varied as fashion, beauty and banking. She also teaches at Institut Français de la Mode. As President of Byrne Watch, Claire applies her knowledge of distribution networks and partners to ensure that Byrne watches benefit from the best possible environment.
Chronopassion is an AUTHORIZED RETAILER of BYRNE since 2022, date of the brand's birth.
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