Clous de Paris

Literally meaning nails of Paris and once referred to in English as ‘hobnail pattern’ this decorative technique has been used to enhance the appearance of metal parts especially in watch dials and rotors since the 18th century. It is a process carried out by hand using a burin or by engine turning resulting in a series of finely engraved intersecting lines which form characteristic Clous de Paris pattern or in some cases a more complex Guilloche motif.