De Grisogono is a high quality jewellery brand that produces exceptionally fine watches. Founded by Fawaz Gruosi in 1993, the company's first boutique was located in the world's watchmaking capital, Geneva, Switzerland. Italian actress Sophia Loren attended the opening of this venue, associating De Grisogono with high class glamour from the very start. De Grisogono was used as the company name as it was the name of the mother of Gruosi's business associate at the time. By 1996, De Grisogono had produced its first range of black diamond jewellery, and was beginning to build a global reputation. A year later, a first De Grisogono boutique was opened in London, UK, with a debut watch collection appearing in 2000.
Diamonds Are Forever
This first De Grisogono watch collection was called 'Intrumento No Uno', and was aimed at men. Complementing this first collection, a new jewllery collection was also released, with its use of white diamonds helping to inspire its name of 'Icy Diamonds'. Even at this relatively early stage of their existence, it was clear that De Grisogono was establishing a reputation for innovation, ingenuity and dynamic design, whether in the field of jewellery design or watch making. A second watch, called 'Instrumentino', was released by De Grisogono in 2001, with its intention being to provide a female partner to the earlier designs released for a male clientele.
The black diamond is a gem that is especially associated with the De Grisogono brand. As well as being utiltised in several watch and jewellery designs, De Grisogono is associated with one especially fine gem stone. The Spirit of de Grisogono Diamond is the world's largest black diamond, and the fifth largest diamond in the world overall. Cut by De Grisogono, it weighs 312.24 carats (62.45 g). It is set in a white gold ring, with 702 smaller white diamonds, meaning that its total weight is 36.69 carats (7.34 g). It should perhaps be no surprise, then, that De Grisogono has established a reputation for working with black diamonds. During the 1990s, the company produced several watches featuring this type of gem stone. Perhaps the most famous of them was the Ice Cube for Chopard. This timepiece used no less than 76 natural black diamonds.
The Instrumento Doppio range is a typical piece of horological quality from De Grisogono. This collection used square casings to house its watches, with echoes in its design of the original No Uno signature case. The De Grisogono Doppio range of watches have relatively large cases, and are double-faced. This innovative design feature means that the owner can choose between a chronograph dial with large date, or a dial which features a second time zone. An additional feature is the patented mechanism which allows the watch to pivot in its case. The use of gem stones and coloured dials also marks this range of watches as being typical of the De Grisogono brand.
The Luxury of Style
The lay-out and decor of one of the 16 boutiques owned by De Grisogono gives a good indication as to the brand's target market. Fronted by a black facade, in order to reflect the debt owed to the versatility and style of the black diamond, customers then make their way through a heavy brass door. This door is emblazoned with a coat of arms, highlighting the traditional ethos behind the innovative designs. Inside, customers will find baroque-style interiors, as well as a full range of glamorous gems, set in sympathetic lighting. The De Grisogono jewellery on offer revels in voluptuous designs, finished with pave work of finesse and intricate craftsmanship. Anyone who visits a De Grisogono boutique can see that the workmanship on any items, watches or jewellery, is a superb product of a genuine passion for the possibilities gem stones present.
De Grisogono is a brand that remains acutely aware of the fine heritage which underpins horology and jewellery in Europe, and pays fulsome tribute to those traditions. De Grisogono utilises a team of world-renowned crafts people with a range of talents. Top level goldsmiths, gem-setters, micro-pave setters, engravers and others all work for De Grisogono to ensure that each item, especially each watch, reaches requisite standards of craft and artistry. De Grisogono is very much in the tradition of Haute Joaillerie, and is a brand which aspires to continually improve and refine its innovations and its designs.
The Instrumento Numero Uno range of watches continue to be popular with anyone who relishes quality watch design. This range's stainless steel cases, sapphire crystal backs, rhodium guilloche dials and black alligator straps mark them out as something beyond the ordinary. De Grisogono is a watch maker which applies all the principles of fine jewellery design to horology, and does so brilliantly.