28. November 2018

The Silk Road now leads to Gstaad

The Boghossian Family

Family business is programme in the Palace. And family tradition also runs the work of our partners. The most current example is only a few minutes’ walk away from our hotel: The Boghossian family of jewellers will be opening its new boutique in the middle of December 2018 opposite the tourism office. The family’s eventful history reaches back into the 1860s, when the young Ovannes Boghossian sets up his jeweller’s workshop on the Silk Road in 1868. A journey through time with a successful family of entrepreneurs - from Mardin to Gstaad.

Ovannes Boghossian starts his career in the middle of the thriving trading and culture scene of Mardin, an important Armenian community on the Silk Road: In his workshop, he manufactures jewellery for the local community and guest merchants. He first passes on his knowledge of and fascination for jewels and trade in precious stones to his son and then to his grandson Ohannes. Like his forebears before him, he travels through the Near East, to Aleppo, Beirut and Cairo, always on the search for pearls and diamonds – and for trade with other jewellers.

Aleppo after the First World War

With the outbreak of the First World War the Family Boghossian’s business also experiences turbulent times. Ohannes keeps his head above water by working as a waiter. With hard work and perseverance he manages to re-establish his jewellery business in 1919 and to open a boutique in the Syrian city of Aleppo. In the following years, Ohannes and his sons are constantly travelling and trading, establishing the essential elements of Boghossian business and consolidating the inter-cultural connections between East and West, which continue to characterise the unmistakeable style of the house.

From China to Beirut

In 1950, Robert Boghossian, Ohannes’ oldest son, undertakes his first trip to China, where he secures an excellent source for fine pearls, turning Boghossian into the leading supplier of natural pearls in the Near East. Ten years later, the family moves to Beirut in the Lebanon, a cultured city which is known for its appreciation of luxury and craftsmanship.

Relocation to Europe

The coming generation is daring to make the leap to Europe: Jean, Robert’s oldest son, moves to Antwerp in 1975, where he establishes himself as a specialist in emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. Five years later, Jean’s younger brother Albert joins the business and decides to settle in Geneva, which soon becomes the company’s headquarters. In the 1980s, Geneva is the hub of the trade in gemstones, a node between America, Asia, and the Middle East. Albert is here able to invest in unusual techniques of jewellery craftsmanship, thanks to high-spending customers: Inlaying work, in which for example a diamond is inlaid in a cut aquamarine, now becomes a signature feature of Boghossian.

The sixth generation

With the start of the new millennium, the family’s pioneering spirit takes on a new dynamism: With Roberto, Ralph, and Dalia, the sixth generation joins the company, bringing fresh ideas and new energy as regards both artistry and skill. Newly emerging: company-own collections of finest jewellery, such as the “Inlay”, the “Kissing”, the “Merveilles”, all of which are based on the innovative setting of precious gemstones. The Boghossian Foundation has been promoting humanitarian, educational, environmental and since 2006 also cultural projects. The artistic programme of their Villa Empain in Brussels, an art deco landmark, focuses on harmonious multiculturalism and aims to encourage the dialogue between East and West via the medium of art.

The new Boutique Boghossian opens in December 2018 in the heart of Gstaad:

44 Promenade, 3780 Gstaad
T : +41 (0)33 335 00 00


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