The House of Mouawad, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of fine jewellery, has a heritage of excellence in diamond jewellery and diamond-encrusted timepieces. Now, under the fourth generation management of Fred and Pascal Mouawad, the Mouawad Diamond Co. continues to build on the legacy
It’s no mean task to be the guardian of diamonds, especially when you are referring to one of the richest jewellery companies in the world – Mouawad Diamond Co., which was founded in 1890 and ranks globally among the largest manufacturers of fine jewellery and timepieces. Well, that is exactly what Pascal Mouawad does as Co-Guardian of the Company, along with his brother, Fred Mouawad.
Fred and Pascal are fourth generation leaders, who inherited the mantle from their father, Robert, in 2010. We meet Pascal in the office of Mouawad in the Almas Tower in Dubai and get to hear from him of the history and heritage of the conglomerate.
The Mouawad saga began with their grand grandfather, David Mouawad (1865-1951), moving from Lebanon to Mexico, where he learnt jewellery and watchmaking, and then returning to his home country to put his acquired skills into practice. His son, Fayed, emigrated to Saudi Arabia, where he became one of the country’s principal makers of fine jewellery and watches, laying the foundations in Jeddah of what is today the Mouawad Diamond Co. His fourth son, Robert, was appointed to take over the family business.
Pascal says, “It was my father, Robert, who shifted the growth of the company into high gear, establishing businesses in twelve countries. He had a passion for watches and diamonds. He is an avid collector of diamonds and buys many of the best-known and largest diamonds in the world. In addition to his personal collection we have a museum in Lebanon.”
It was during Robert’s time that they started incorporating diamonds and gemstones in their watches in a big way. He acquired a Swiss watch factory that is responsible for the watches made under strict Swiss horological traditions. Their main collections are Robergé (combining the letters of the names, Robert and Genéve) and Trebor (that is Robert spelled backwards).
“Apart from making watches in Switzerland and perfumes in France, we manufacture jewellery pretty much all over the world like we do here in Dubai,” says Pascal. “Premier Diamond Alliance is our joint venture with New York’s prestigious diamond house, Premier Gem Corporation, which assures vertical integration of both companies through the value-chain of the diamond pipeline, from production of rough diamonds to retail sales of polished diamonds and diamond jewellery.”
In 1999, Pascal set up base in New York. The United States and specifically Hollywood were at the heart of Pascal’s vision for the company. Pascal imparted an innovative twist to Mouawad’s reputation as jewellers to royalty by courting modern day ‘royalty’ – iconic celebrities – with traditional European craftsmanship.
Pascal tells us why Mouawad’s jewellery remains exclusive, “Each Mouwad piece is laser marked and serially numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity, witnessing that we use the finest gemstones and precious metals. The average price point for pieces from our boutique collections is four thousand five hundred dollars and the one-of-a-kind statement pieces – we call them masterpieces – could be priced anywhere from a hundred thousand to fifteen million dollars.”
About their plans for the Middle East, he says, “We are aggressively expanding to strengthen our presence in this region. With stores opened in Kuwait, Jeddah, Doha and Muscat, we are present in every city in the Gulf. This one, in The Dubai Mall, is a new generation store, opened in November 2010, when we moved our Regional Office to Dubai. Here you have great infrastructure. It’s a free trade zone – we are able to import goods without duty; we can easily ship them overseas; it’s easy to get visas; and, most important, Dubai is the third leading trading centre for diamonds in the world.”
Through Robert’s sons, Fred and Pascal, the brand’s legacy of excellence lives on. As guardians of the brand, their vision is to broaden and enhance the rich heritage of Mouawad.