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Customer Spotlight: J.N. Shapiro Watches

Joshua Shapiro, a watchmaker, meticulously crafts his Resurgence timepiece using century-old techniques.

An L.A. watchmaker crafted a $70,000 timepiece. It could revolutionize the U.S. watch industry

Watchmaker Joshua Shapiro gripped the machine’s worn handle with his left hand and exhaled.

Standing at the helm of the 100-year-old “rose engine,” he peered through a microscope at a small, square slab of German silver illuminated by a gooseneck lamp.

Shapiro turned the handle. The rose engine came alive.

Wheels rotated in concert. Rosettes spun. And shards of the silvery material were ejected from the plate where the machine’s cutter made contact.

Reviving an Industry

Shapiro, 38, was practicing the pattern that would decorate part of the dial on his new watch. He hoped the timepiece, called Resurgence, would revive a once-great American industry. Shapiro’s watch would be almost fully made in the U.S. — something that hasn’t been done in a half century or so.

On this day, he was adorning the German silver — a fancy name for nickel — with moiré, a wavy motif occasionally seen on high-end watches. This decorative technique is know as guilloché, which was invented in the 1500s and also is known as engine turning. Only a handful of watchmakers in the U.S. know how to do it.

Continue reading the full L.A. Times article here.