Back to All Events

The Secrets of Horological Engine-Turning (Guilloché), by Joshua Shapiro

  • HSNY at the General Society Library 20 West 44th Street New York, NY USA (map)

Joshua Shapiro, Watchmaker and Owner of J.N. Shapiro Watches

Video recordings of lectures are available to HSNY members immediately, and the general public with a 2 month delay.

The engine-turning technique (guilloché in French) has produced some of the most mesmerizing dials in the history of clock and watch making. Makers such as Breguet, Daniels, Smith, Voutilainen and Murphy have perpetuated this horological art form to the present day. At the same time, much of the history of engine-turning is little-known. At the February 4, 2019, meeting of the Horological Society of New York, Joshua Shapiro will discuss the history and technique of engine-turning.

Shapiro's lecture will delve into the mysteries of engine-turning, beginning with an in-depth look at exactly how engine-turning is done and the differences between the three different types of engine-turning machines. The history of engine-turning will be discussed, as well as the differences between modern and traditional techniques. The lecture will also feature video of engine-turning through a microscope, giving attendees an engine-turning experience from a rarely seen perspective.

The Infinity Weave Pattern

About Joshua Shapiro

Joshua Shapiro, owner of J.N. Shapiro Watches, is a watchmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. Shapiro studied watchmaking through the British Horological Institute's distance learning program, apprenticed with the famous watch and clock maker David Walter, and now specializes in engine-turning. Shapiro's engine-turned dials are among the most intricate in the world, and include completely new and unique patterns. His recent "infinity weave" fractal pattern is a basketweave within a basketweave, taking one week to hand engrave just the sub-seconds area on a dial. In addition to watchmaking, Shapiro works as a high school principal, and holds a B.A. from UCLA and an M.A. from CSUN both in history.