Whether it is designing watches and jewellery or buying antiquities, Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of de Grisogono, lets his gut instinct rule – By Srirekha Pillai
Fawaz Gruosi’s name is synonymous with de Grisogono, the brand that he founded. de Grisogono, world-renowned for its exquisite jewellery and watches, is the brainwave of Gruosi, one of the most sought after watch and jewellery makers of his generation.
de Grisogono’s success is largely due to the creativity and uniqueness of each of its creation. Launched in 1993 in Geneva, the brand found its identity in exclusivity and innovation.
As Gruosi says, “I continuously fall in love and follow my intuition.” He adds though, “I think I also have a lot of luck because my intuitions rarely go wrong.”
One of his intuitions was responsible for the revival of the black diamond. At a time when the gem was neglected by jewellers, Gruosi attempted a unique set featuring ‘Black Orlov’, a 190 carat black diamond. It was so highly appreciated that three years later, the price of black diamonds sky-rocketed and jewellers worldwide started incorporating this unique gem in their creations. Today, the black diamond has become Gruosi’s signature style. He uses it in his necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets, complimenting and colour coordinating them with lustrous pearls, red rubies, green emeralds and white diamonds.
Not one to follow the herd, Gruosi believes in being a trendsetter. On what inspires him, Gruosi says, “Everything I see around me in nature or everyday objects is a source of inspiration. I explain what I want to my technical specialists. The constraints of time and money don’t scare me.”
After designing jewellery for nearly seven years, Gruosi launched his very first watch, Instrumento N°Uno, at the Basel Jewellery and Watch Fair. de Grisogono now boasts of 17 exclusive watch designs.
Gruosi’s rich jewellery collection is highlighted by galuchat (stingray), Icy Diamonds (milky diamonds) and Browny Brown Gold (a gold tint with chestnut overtone). This is besides the black diamond, which finds a prominent place in de Grisogono’s scheme of things.
Born in 1952, Gruosi spent his childhood in Florence. He left school at eighteen and trained to become a sales assistant with a renowned Florentine jeweller. Seven years later, he was asked to oversee the opening of a new store in London, a position that quickly saw him evolve into a store director over a period of four years.
At thirty, he became the official representative of Harry Winston in Saudi Arabia. When he returned to Europe in about three years, Bulgari took him into confidence and allowed him to retail their jewellery collection, alongside exclusive Bulgari stores. This turned out to be an enriching experience for Gruosi, who became confident enough to branch out on his own and fulfill his calling in life.
A workaholic to the core, Gruosi admits, “People think I’m crazy, because I have trouble relaxing.” In fact, he has not taken a holiday for ages and does not have plans to take one soon.
When he is not designing jewellery and watches, Gruosi spends time with daughters Allegra and Violetta and his dogs. He also loves to dine and wine.
Gruosi’s intuitions are not limited to his work sphere. Even while buying antiquities (his passion), this master-artist trusts only his gut feeling. “In my painting and objects collection I let my intuition take the upper hand, like with everything else. It doesn’t matter whether a work of art is classical or contemporary, I am simply an aesthete,” he signs off.
Intuition is definitely his watchword.