Dubai commands the spotlight this week as one of the essential watch industry events unfolds in this dynamic city; the Dubai Watch Week. Brands showcase their timepieces, vying to capture the attention of Middle Eastern clientele, and many entice customers with special editions, drawing inspiration from local art and culture. Among them is Byrne, an independent watchmaking company that emerged in 2021 with its unique watch design and playful dial animation. Byrne is making its presence felt at Dubai Watch Week through an off-show collaboration with the esteemed Middle Eastern retailer 10tenlabs. Together, they unveil the Arqaam limited series, exclusively developed for this partnership.
The Byrne GyroDial Arqaam is housed in an original grade 5 titanium case (41.7mm x 48.1 mm x 14.7mm), boasting a contemporary, relaxed, and alluring design with smooth lines and curves that reveal alternating polishing techniques. The box-shaped sapphire crystal on the front and another sapphire crystal on the back add to its allure. The watch features a changing indices animation with various customization options, capturing the essence of Byrne’s distinctive style. The crown at 3 o’clock, engraved with a Nabataean numeral 7 for the Arqaam series, pays homage to the 7 United Arab Emirates and allows the owner to set the desired “face” of the watch.
The sand-blasted salmon-shade dial of the Byrne GyroDial Arqaam is where the magic happens, with the 3-6-9-12 indices that change every 24 hours (at midnight or noon, depending on how you wear/set it). The numerals, represented in Nabataean, Musnad, Arabian, or Indo-Arab scripts, appear on the sides of mobile cubes, creating a different face with each turn. This adds a unique visual element and perhaps prompts the owner to reflect on the rich history of the Arabian Peninsula. Straight, hollowed indices mark the hours between those represented on the turning cubes. Encircling the outer edge are empty dots denoting the minutes, with a solid dot marking each 5-minute interval. Sword-shaped hour and minute hands, the Byrne logo, and a small Swiss made mention at 6 o’clock complete the image.
The Arqaam edition houses the automatic calibre 5555, a collaboration with Le Temps Manufacture based in Fleurier. This meticulously hand-bevelled and hand-finished movement comprises 261 components, operates at 28,800vph, and boasts a commendable 60-hour power reserve. The movement’s brass plate and bridges undergo sand-blasting and rhodium-plating, adding an extra touch of refinement.
To understand the inner workings, envision the cubes connected to a central gear with a small upright wheel, making a quick 90-degree turn upon the hour hand reaching the 12 o’clock mark, when completing a 24-hour cycle. When it’s time to turn the cubes, a finger launches the rotation sequence, taking accumulated energy from the dedicated spiral spring by moving the central gear. The precision and synchronization required for the movement of these revolving blocks underscore the complexity of the mechanism. Completing the ensemble, the New Byrne GyroDial Arqaam features a ballistic black strap secured with a grade 5 titanium buckle. Limited to just ten pieces and priced at USD 24,500 (excluding VAT), the Byrne GyroDial Arqaam will be exclusively available at 10tenlabs.