Black diamond brand looks east for future new store openings.
Fine jewellery brand de Grisogono, famed for its use of black diamonds, is set to move into the Asian market with store openings in China and Hong Kong.
The brand currently operates 17 standalone stores – with three stores in Switzerland and two in Italy – and has more than 130 retail stockists worldwide.
The expansion plans come following the arrival of de Grisogono’s new chief executive, Gerald Roden, in 2010. Roden said he wanted to continue the brand’s development towards ambitious targets. This has included replacing the in-house manufacturing team for its watch development, something Roden is particularly focused on.
Speaking with Professional Jeweller yesterday, Roden said; “We want to move into Asia, particularly China and Hong Kong, though our focus this year is going to be more on product development than expanding too quickly.
“I don’t want us to lost the DNA of de Grisogono by going to Asia – we will of course adapt our products for the Chinese market but we will not give up the soul of de Grisogono.”
Roden said that the brand has already trialled the market and has had a good reaction, with feedback suggesting that the brand should not change its style too dramatically to fit with the luxury Asian market.
However de Grisogono will continue to produce limited edition watches and jewellery lines. Roden explained that as many of its customers want to buy directly from de Grisogono boutiques, they desire and expect the special service and limited editions that come with shopping there.
The brand yesterday officially launched its new Otturatore timepiece in London, a new 18ct gold watch with a rotating dial. Along with the hour and minute hands at center, the Otturatore displays on demand the seconds, the date, the phases of the moon and the movement’s power reserve.
The timepiece comes after several years of development, and the movement was first unveiled at BaselWorld earlier this year. The brand has said that, in view of the groundbreaking technology it incorporates, the Otturatore should be seen as an initial step in the development of a new generation of timepieces.
The company currently operates on a small scale, with only 150 employees in total across its jewellery, watchmaking and head office operations.