The technique of making mesh using hand wound spiral wire coils is an old one dating back to the  Etruscans (900 BC–27 BC) who lived in parts of modern day Italy.  This type of woven metal was called Milanese or Milanaise after the Renaissance and Baroque era goldsmiths of Milan who restarted the style, incorporating the style in bracelets and necklaces. 

Watch makers in the early 20th century started using the Milanese mesh for its beauty, hardiness and supreme wearing comfort as there are no loops to catch arm hair. 

An example is this watch band application, this stainless steel strap from HENGRC

The launch of the Apple Watch back in 2014 apparently popularized the Milanese as the finely woven mesh became more widely known. Shown here is a rose gold Milanese band for Apple Watches from 3RiversGift. 

But virtually every Milanese mesh band you see today is machine made. Swiss jeweler, Laurent Joillet, is the last artisan to still make it by hand.  Watch this interview with WatchesTV as he shows how he makes spiral wire coils from scratch and puts it together to form a Milanese mesh.  

As you will see, it takes incredible precision and skill to make a Milanese band. The machines make rather limited designs.  Joillet, though, can make a wide range of beautiful mesh and chains of the highest quality no machine can match.

He learned how to make the Milanese mesh as part of his training as a jeweler.  But that is no longer offered these days. He hopes he can start an apprenticeship program to teach this art before it dies out.  

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM