CEO Speak – Fawaz Gruosi

CEO Speak – Fawaz Gruosi

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On the occasion of 15 years of the Black Diamond, Fawaz Gruosi, President, owner and founder of  de Grisogono, talks about his legacy in an interview with Mitrajit Bhattacharya…

It’s the 15th year of the Black Diamond. How are you celebrating it?
We’ve touched upon a few things in this new collection (Black Forever) to celebrate the black moment. When we started to blacken the gold and the steel, nobody was really interested. In the last three to four years there has been an invasion of watches in black. That means we have created a trend and we are very proud of it.

Does it give you satisfaction since you are the creator and innovator of the Black Diamond?
Yes, it does. It does not only give me enormous satisfaction, but also makes me happy that I was able to envision the importance of Black Diamond much before others.

Coming to mechanical watches, you’ve made important announcements in the past few years with the Meccanico dG and Otturatore that you have come back with this year because it didn’t work earlier.
We presented the prototype of the Otturatore in 2008. It didn’t work for nearly four years. It has been totally reengineered internally and is going to be launched in the second part of the year.

How did you correct it? Did you work on the material?
No, it was the mechanism itself. In the last four to five years we have come out with three amazing complications. We are very proud of these watches because they’re unusual, and have different complications.

Does that give you a legitimate space amongst high-end watch makers?
We did what we were supposed to do to prove that although we are the youngest one in the watch industry (this is our 11th year at Basel Fair), we have been able to do high-end complications as well as bring some innovation in the field. I am very proud of that.

What has been the inspiration for jewellery this year?
Everything inspires me. I always come up with new and different ideas, inspired by whatever surrounds me.

With more and more independents joining hands with the large conglomerates of Swatch and Richemont, how tough is it for you?
Not at all. I am so happy that the big conglomerates are buying a lot of companies, because the more they buy, the more the number of clients for us. Everyone wants and demands exclusivity.

As far as India is concerned, you have had a kind of a chequered past since your launch. How are you working around it?
We were looking for a partner in India when we launched and it was a mistake to take someone who was not in the business. I have learnt my lesson that it’s always best to work with professionals in our field.

What is the most expensive piece you’ve launched this year?
It is a CHF sixteen-million-worth necklace.