Making the Cut: Engraved Watches Return to the Fore

As brands look to satisfy the growing call for individuality, watch engraving is more popular than ever…


Countless hours spent leaning over a workbench with an assortment of cutting tools and a small hammer, each small tap picking away at a piece of metal that will ultimately become a modestly sized masterpiece: This is the life of an artisan in the ancient trade of engraving. The craft has seen its greatest resurgence in the watch world since the long-gone days of the engraved pocket watch. Several gun engravers, including Joanne Ryall, Tom Inslay, and Johnny “King Nerd” Dowell, have migrated to the watch industry as a means of evolving their art form, and the response has been strong enough that we are now seeing more brands than ever getting on board with the customization process. Given the personal nature of the craft, the possibilities of what can be created teeters on endless, and these seven watch brands cover the full gamut.