The art of watchmaking traces back hundreds of years, but a true handmade watch hasn’t been made in the United States in the last five decades. Now a watchmaker in Inglewood is working to bring the craft back home, thanks to his knowledge of a historic technique producing high-end luxury timepieces. LA Times reporter Daniel Miller joined Lisa McRee on “LA Times Today” to share watchmaker Joshua Shapiro’s story.

Shapiro has deep roots in Southern California. He learned how to work with metals as a young man, then fell in love with watchmaking. Some of his watches have sold for tens of thousands of dollars.

“Joshua Shapiro has a great reputation in the collector community already. His last watch, the Infinity Series, he made 100 of those. They all sold out. This new watch, Resurgence, Shapiro hopes to make about 30 a year. And $70,000 is a lot of money for a watch. Let’s be clear. But this is a handmade, really work of art with something like 180 pieces. Shapiro and his team have manufactured, most of them in their workshop in Inglewood,” Miller said.

Shapiro’s latest collection is called Resurgence because he’s hoping to bring the American watchmaking industry back from the grave. Miller talked about why U.S.-made watches are so rare.

“I think any watchmaker in America these days is an underdog. This is not Switzerland. We don’t have an enormous watchmaking industry where makers like Shapiro can rely on their peers and other suppliers to help them along. If you’re doing this in America, you’re really going it alone if you actually want to hand make a watch. There are collectors, there are auctioneers and others who are rooting for Shapiro’s success,” he explained.

Watch the full interview, and take a peek inside Shapiro’s workshop, above.

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