Creating noble history from black diamonds
In 1993, Fawaz Gruosi founded De Grisogono on the rue du Rhône in Geneva, Switzerland, offering customers exclusive works of art and precious jewellery. The unusual name comes from the mother of one of Fawaz Gruosi's business associates, who came from noble stock. The company is above all famous for its jewellery, born of its founder's love of diamonds (he is recognised as a pioneer in the use of the black diamond). De Grisogono is also known for its high jewellery creations in gold that one can regularly discover adorning stars and celebrities on red carpets in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Numero uno in the watch collection: the Instrumento
De Grisogono entered the watch business in the year 2000 with the Instrumento Uno watch that has since been followed by numerous collections, each testament to the founder's unbridled creativity. For the Instrumento, Fawaz Gruosi applied his own interpretation to the traditional tonneau watch case shape, integrating the strap and adding two complications to the self-winding movement: an oversized date display and a sectorial dual time indicator visible on the dial. The original black dial has stylised Arabic numeral and you can discover the finishing touch on the crown, which is set with a black diamond. More recently, the Instrumento was given a face-lift in 2015.
Discover an entire world of men's watches with a Swiss made movement
In a collection with a high degree of variety, other notable De Grisogono watches, with cases in gold or steel, include the Otturatore, whose in-house movement includes four complications that you can only ever discover individually on the dial. More recently, De Grisogono's New Retro model did what its name suggests by defying the conventions of a rectangular watch. For the first time the gold watch, with its stepped sapphire crystal and aged dial, was wider than it was high. Like most of the company's timepieces, the New Retro is available primarily in white and red gold, although an all-black version uses a PVD coated steel case and black dial. All the gent's watches use Swiss Made mechanical movements, but the unique Meccanico DG has a proprietary high end mechanical movement consisting of 651 individual components, including 23 cams that power an innovative display that mimics that of a digital watch.
Diamonds, black diamonds and gold jewellery for ladies
For women the brand has innovated with colourful collections such as the Allegra, with gold and diamonds, mother-of-pearl dials and distinctive cord strap, and the Tondo by Night for ladies, which uses a novel luminescent material for the case and a generous sprinkling of diamonds. The Crazyskull, consisting of a skull entire set with diamonds and with baguette diamond teeth in a mouth that, thanks to an ingenious in-house development, opens to reveal a tongue in precious stones. The brand's first-ever timepiece, the Instrumento, also spawned an equivalent ladies's watch called the Instrumentino (now known as the Uno Women) which has a dual-time display on the dial. The Instrumentino uses a self-winding mechanical movement, while other ladies' models use a quartz movement.
The Tondo by Night models for ladies offer a breath of fresh air with their glow-in-the dark design. Their vibrant colours at night contrast with the sober tones of a black PVD steel case, fibre-glass and steel bezel set with diamonds and black oscillating weight, alos set with diamonds. Tinted sapphire crystals and colourful galuchat straps complete the look.
In a similar vein to other jewellery brands that have entered the world of watch production, De Grisogono brings an off-beat approach to design. Fawaz Gruosi is personally involved in the creation of the company products, whether jewellery or watches, and is taken by flights of fancy. His high demands naturally include a use of precious stones (particularly his favoured black diamonds) that is both considered and audacious.
Given the lavish use of gold and diamonds for its creations, De Grisogono jewellery and timepieces do not come cheap. But when it comes to the very top of the tree, Fawaz Gruosi does not shy away from taking big gambles. In 2017 the company set a new record at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale in Geneva when it sold the world’s biggest-ever emerald cut diamond offered at auction. The 163.41-carat D Flawless stone, which was cut from a 404 carat rough, was a delight to discover incorporated into a necklace designed by Fawaz Gruosi. It fetched a whopping 33.5 million Swiss francs, beating the previous record for a D Flawless diamond by nearly five million Swiss francs.