de GRISOGONO has established a name for itself in the world of watchmaking. The rocketing growth of the company cannot only be explained by the creative exuberance that distinguishes more than twenty watch collections initiated by Fawaz Gruosi. Beyond formal design, de GRISOGONO's founder and president has constantly fostered innovation, determined to breathe new life into the watchmaking tradition. Daring to design forms that emphasize functions; developing original complications; playing with design cod...
de GRISOGONO has established a name for itself in the world of watchmaking. The rocketing growth of the company cannot only be explained by the creative exuberance that distinguishes more than twenty watch collections initiated by Fawaz Gruosi. Beyond formal design, de GRISOGONO's founder and president has constantly fostered innovation, determined to breathe new life into the watchmaking tradition. Daring to design forms that emphasize functions; developing original complications; playing with design codes only to better express the art of measuring time - these are but a few basic concepts behind the development of de GRISOGONO‘s timepieces.
de GRISOGONO's expansion in the field of watchmaking is on par with its founder's own drive and energy. From the Instrumento N° Uno to the Meccanico dG, the company has shown clear focus on combining research and innovation, daring and character, formal strength and determination. In 2011, de GRISOGONO will pick up pace and definitively enter a new dimension.
THE WATCH WORKSHOP
A few hundred yards from the company headquarters in Plan-les-Ouates, de GRISOGONO's watchmaking workshop covers more than 850 sq. meters (9,150 sq. feet) of space spread over three floors. Off the beaten track, this is where Fawaz Gruosi's inventive creations take shape - always abiding by the strictest rules of watchmaking craftsmanship.
With a research and development unit, the workshop can pride itself on being in charge of every project carried out under the corporate label since its first watch-making venture in 2000. It can also claim a series of patent registrations, including one regarding two contrasting analog displays and another one describing the device of an oversized date display. de GRISOGONO excels at fitting movements with auxiliary modules. It has also subjected watch movements fitted in cases with a see-through back to PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) blackening since the launch of the Instrumento N° Uno in 2000.
Most watch components are currently still acquired from third-party sources that are well-known for their topflight workmanship and dependability. The workshop nevertheless closely monitors the entire manufacturing process via a series of stringent tests and inspections of parts and components of tried and tested quality, an area where de GRISOGONO has never compromised. All de GRISOGONO designs are entirely assembled at the workshop.
After acquiring new manufacturing equipment, the workshop opened a production line for short series and prototypes early in 2007, a move designed both to cut reaction times and pave the way for further in-house production. During the same period, a new after-sales service division went into operation. It primarily caters to customers who need servicing and repair, while also helping to familiarize marketing and sales personnel with de GRISOGONO products, through in-depth knowledge about their design and history.
de GRISOGONO - CHRONOLOGY 1993 - 2011
Along with two associates, Fawaz Gruosi opened his first boutique at 104, rue du Rhône, in Geneva, Switzerland, specialized in jewelry design and the sale of objets d'art. He calls it "de Grisogono" after his associates' mother.
Fawaz Gruosi leaves his associates and starts de Grisogono S.A.
Singlehandedly bringing black diamond back from oblivion despite its rareness and extreme brittleness, Fawaz Gruosi creates an entire collection of black diamond jewelry.
The Geneva boutique was extended to occupy numbers 104 and 106 on rue du Rhône. It would later move to number 27 on the same street.
A new de Grisogono boutique opens in London at 3 Burlington Gardens.
Fawaz Gruosi creates various objects, studded with black diamonds including a pair of sunglasses and the first diamond-studded mobile phone featuring 240 black diamonds.
de Grisogono boutique opens at the Palace Hotel in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Fawaz Gruosi presents his first watch collection called Instrumento N°Uno at the World Watch and Jewellery Fair in Basel. He is the first to use "Galuchat" on watch straps and the first to present a blackened steel movement. That same year he launches a new jewelry collection featuring milky white diamonds dubbed "Icy Diamonds".
de Grisogono Rome boutique opens.
Fawaz Gruosi introduced his second watch, called Instrumentino, the feminine partner of his first design. He moves to 27, rue du Rhône in Geneva and sets up his offices in Plan-les-Ouates.
de GRISOGONO Porto Cervo boutique opens.
The year's new watch was named Instrumento Doppio, a "complication" timepiece featuring a totally original feature: two dials driven by one and the same movement.
A de Grisogono boutique opens in Kuwait. The Chopard Group acquired a 49% interest in the de Grisogono company.
Two new watch models launched: Instrumento Doppio Tre, showing a third timezone, and Instrumento Tondo with a round dial.
Fawaz Gruosi introduces a collection of Galuchat jewelry along with his first line of distribution jewelry.
A de Grisogono subsidiary was set up in New York and opens boutiques in Paris and St. Moritz
Launch of three new watch designs: Instrumento Steel & Diamonds, Instrumento Chrono and Lipstick. de Grisogono opens boutiques in New York, Hong Kong and Moscow. The London boutique moved to 14A New Bond Street.
Three more watch designs join the de Grisogono roster: Instrumento Grande, Power Breaker and Occhio Ripetizione Minuti, a "complication" design. Featuring a 12-blade diaphragm that opens to reveal the movement before closing again, the watch's 50-unit production run proved an instant hit.
de Grisogono devises a new shade of gold called "Browny Brown Gold", developed via a special treatment based on the PVD (Physical Vaporization and Deposition) process.
The company opened its own jewelry workshop in Plan-les-Ouates.
de Grisogono unveils four new watch designs: Instrumento Grande Open Date, Uno Grande Seconde, the FG One "complication" and be Eight.
A de Grisogono subsidiary opened for business in Japan while a second boutique in Moscow opens.
Fawaz Gruosi bought out Chopard's equity stake in de Grisogono S.A., returning the company to his sole ownership. A 45.39-carat natural ruby called Virgin Scarlet allowed him to create a memorably stunning ring.
Launch of two new watch designs: Instrumento Novantatre and Piccolina.
The company invested in a new, larger watchmaking workshop equipped high high-performance manufacturing equipment.
New boutiques open in Tokyo and St Barthelemy.
Fawaz Gruosi celebrated the fifteenth anniversary of de Grisogono S.A. In January, the company unveiled the Meccanico dG, combining for the first time in the history of horology a digital time display run by a mechanical power supply.
The year got under way with de Grisogono's new watch collection: Fuso Quadrato, featuring a two-blade titanium diaphragm and a second timezone display. 16 boutiques across the world mark the company's steady expansion and 150 outlets compose its dealer network. New partners have taken a minority (40%) stake in de Grisogono's share capital, strengthening and fueling its future development.
To celebrate the 10 years of the Instrumento N°Uno collection, Fawaz Gruosi revisits this icon with a daring, resolutely Pop Art approach. The famous Instrumento Grande collection is back in a Chrono version. Gerald Roden joins as CEO of de GRISOGONO, with the objective to restructure and develop its fast-growing expansion.
Fawaz Gruosi pays tribute to the 15 years of the black diamond with a new collection of its iconic timepieces called "Black Forever". The Otturatore, which prototype was presented in 2008, is totally reengineered internally and launched in the second part of the year.
THE STORY OF A PASSIONATE CREATOR
He is the soul of the Company, its founder and creator. He leaves his daring mark on every single piece designed for de GRISOGONO.
Nothing predestined Fawaz Gruosi, President and Founder of the company de GRISOGONO, to become one of the most sought-after watchmakers and jewellers of his generation. Born on the 8th of August 1952, he spent his childhood in Florence with his mother. Driven by the need to find a job, but also out of interest in beauty and art in general, he left school at 18 in order to train as a sales assistant with a famous Florentine jeweller. Seven years later, the latter asked Fawaz Gruosi to oversee the opening of a new store in London, first as a consultant to the firm, a position that quickly saw him evolve into store manager for a period of four years.
At only 30, he was noticed by the Alizera family, official agent to Harry Winston, who offered him the position of representative in Saudi Arabia. Enterprising and dynamic, Fawaz Gruosi agreed to take up the challenge. After three years, he returned to Europe, where he was immediately contacted by the Bulgari company. Gianni Bulgari, a cult name in the world of jewellery, created a new position for him within Bulgari Precious Trading, putting his complete trust in him. He thus became the first within the group to have access to the brand new high-jewellery collections, which he would be responsible for selling worldwide, except for the Bulgari stores, of which there were only eight back then. A fantastic field of opportunities opened up before Fawaz Gruosi, enabling him to fill up his address book with the numerous relationships he built up. It was a unique and extremely enriching experience, but when Gianni Bulgari left the company, he decided to follow suit and stand on his own two feet. In 1993, without any commercial strategy, he founded de GRISOGONO with two associates. Based in rue du Rhône in Geneva, Fawaz Gruosi offered his customers exclusive art objects and began to express his creativity through inventive and precious jewellery. Shortly after, the de GRISOGONO style took shape through ever more surprising designs and volumes.
1996: INVENTIVENESS REWARDED
In 1996, not even a year after Fawaz Gruosi parted company with his two associates, a new chapter opened for de GRISOGONO. Driven by a continuous urge to anticipate trends without fearing to stray from the beaten track, Fawaz Gruosi restored the prestige of black diamonds, which had been neglected by jewellers for decades. Indeed, he discovered a 190 carat gem called "Black Orlov" as he came across it by chance whilst reading. Fawaz Gruosi was literally fascinated by this black diamond. He then decided to dedicate to it an absolutely unique jewellery collection, which met with rapturous acclaim. Only three years after its launching, the per carat price of the black diamond literally exploded on the precious stones market - quite an unprecedented event! Today, these black diamonds adorn necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets, wonderfully enhancing voluptuous pearls, blazing rubies, deep emeralds, or quite simply white diamonds. Encouraged by his unexpected success, Fawaz Gruosi kept trusting his instincts. His jewellery creations, recognizable amongst thousands, seduced the customers and surprised the professionals.
AN EXTRAORDINARY CREATIVE TALENT
In 2000, after acquiring considerable experience as a jeweller, Fawaz Gruosi chose to enter the world of watchmaking and presented his first-ever watch at BaselWorld. He called it Instrumento N°Uno. It was only the first in a series of successes. Thanks to Fawaz Gruosi's inventiveness, the de GRISOGONO company launched more than 20 watch collections between 2000 and 2011, all distinguishing themselves on exclusive and original designs.
Fawaz Gruosi chose to steer a pioneering course with the creation of the Meccanico dG. A masterpiece of fine watchmaking, it ranks as the world's first watch with a mechanical digital display as well as an analogue face, placing a startlingly complex mechanism in a very contemporary design.
At the same time, de GRISOGONO's jewellery collections were enriched with new designs using stingray (Galuchat), opalescent diamonds - "Icy Diamonds" - or a new shade of gold with a brown glint called "Browny Brown Gold". All these inventions have been praised by the customers and are a testimony to Fawaz Gruosi's insatiable inspiration.
Today, the de GRISOGONO Company has one of the world's best-qualified teams of jewellery craftsmen, capable of giving concrete expression to Fawaz Gruosi's ideas by creating high jewellery characterised by the perfect harmony of shapes and dimensions.
Fawaz Gruosi has always been inventive. Neither gemmologist nor designer, he owes his success in the first place to his passion and curiosity and, no doubt, to his genuine creative talent. Avoiding fashionable gimmicks, he plays with trends, sometimes against the tide, only listening to his inspiration. "Everything I see around me, in nature or in everyday objects, is a source of inspiration", he confides.
A MAN OF PASSIONS
He trusts his intuitions, always refusing to give way before what others would deem impossible. He follows no commercial rules, and still succeeds in everything he does. A hard worker whose uncompromising, demanding nature is here to serve the highest standards, Fawaz Gruosi willingly admits to being impatient. "I like reactivity, I want things to move fast", he confides. "The people who work with me must accept that". Also, he never takes a holiday! " I find it very hard to relax, some people even think that I am a maniac". He also has very few spare-time activities, but many passions, such as dogs, good wine and good food; alas, too often unquenched, due to a lack of time. Still he manages to keep some spare time for his daughters, Allegra and Violetta. Fawaz Gruosi is also on the watch when it comes to acquire antiques - preferably Florentine - or works of art. "As far as my collections of objects or paintings are concerned, I trust my intuition, as for everything else. It doesn't matter whether it is a classical or a contemporary piece, I am simply an aesthete." An implacable truth that has been evidenced for 18 years, through the watch and jewellery collections by de GRISOGONO, revealing with every piece the daring passion of their creator.