- 1789Creation of Backes & Strauss
In the year of the French Revolution, Georg Carl Backes, the founding father of the company, was first registered as a goldsmith in Hanau, Germany.1814Backes & Strauss in London
Even though the building no longer exists, the Backes and Strauss group still has offices in London on Jermyn Street - Mayfair.1819Georges Carl, founder dies and the company's name changes to J.F. Backes & Co
Jewellery Manufacturing begins in London to add to the production in Hanau and Paris.1851Johann Franz's sons Charles and William join the company1851Backes & Strauss Jewellery masterpieces presented at The Great Exhibition of All Nations
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations or The Great Exhibition, sometimes referred to as the Crystal Palace Exhibition in reference to the temporary structure in which it was held, was an international exhibition that took place in Hyde Park, London, from 1 May to 15 October 1851. It was the first in a series of World's Fair exhibitions of culture and industry that were to become a popular 19th-century feature. The Great Exhibition was organized by Henry Cole and Prince Albert, the spouse of the reigning monarch, Queen Victoria.1856Max Strauss joins the company
Max Strauss, the second founding father, entered the London office in 1856. Fifteen years later he was managing JF Backes & Co and two years later the company started trading as Backes and Strauss.1870J.F. Backes & Co set up subsidiary office in Toronto, Canada1871Max Strauss becomes Managing Director of the company1873Max Strauss becomes a partner and the company starts operating as Backes & Strauss1878Official Registration of the Backes & Strauss Hallmark
The Backes & Strauss hallmark was officially registered in London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall in 1878.1888Commercial quantities of diamonds discovered in Southern Africa by Londoners Cecil Rhodes and Barney Barnato
Company transitions from jewellery manufacturer exclusively to diamond polishing and manufacturing.1890Charles Backes dies
Ben, Albert and Franck Strauss start travelling extensively establishing business relationships all over the world. Archives show clients in the USA, Canada, Western and Central Europe, Egypt, India and in the near and far East.1903Max Strauss dies and is succeeded by eldest son Albert1904Backes & Strauss worldwide expansion
Towards the turn of the century, Mr. Ben and Mr. Frank Strauss travel extensively establishing business relationships and promoting Backes & Strauss in Alexandria, Vienna, Rome, Bucharest, Paris, Japan, Singapore and India.1915Albert Strauss changes family name to Stroud1928Albert’s son Gerald joins the business and is trained in Amsterdam and Antwerp1929-1932Great depression severely curtails business activities resulting in the closure of the Canadian office1946Having survived the depression and WWII, Gerald Stroud starts building Backes & Strauss, London as a limited company1953Creation of the Antwerp Office
Antwerp office is founded by Gerald Stroud under the direction of Robert Lee and Gustave Ponet1957Backes & Strauss sets up an office in Melbourne, Australia.1966Stroud (Strauss) family sells Backes & Strauss to Mr. Benjamin Bonas,
fourth generation of the Bonas family, part of the original South African Syndicate.1972Gerald Stroud retires and is succeeded by Denis Fay
Robert Lee leads overseas operations out of Antwerp1976Vartkess Knadjian joins Backes & Strauss1976-1980Growth leads to openings in Paris, Houston, Los Angeles, Sidney and Toronto1980Backes & Strauss carries on expanding rapidly.
Offices are opened in Paris, Houston and Sydney; the Toronto office is re-opened.1982Management changes in Antwerp Office
Robert Lee, the former Managing Director, retires and Vartkess Knadjian takes over the reigns of the Antwerp office.2000Vartkess Knadjian becomes the group CEO.2003Vartkess Knadjian leads management buyout of Backes & Strauss from the Bonas family2004Backes & Strauss expansion in Dubai, Mumbai & Shanghai
Backes & Strauss sets up offices in Dubai, Shanghai and Mumbai, as they were becoming major diamond trading centres in the world.2006The Meeting of Masters
Backes & Strauss gets into strategic tie-up with the Franck Muller Group and launches its flagship collection of Regent, Berkeley & Piccadilly watches in November 2006.
Image: Vartkess Knadjian, Backes 6 Strauss CEO & Vartan Sirmakes, Franck Muller Ceo2007Backes & Strauss timepieces first showcase
Backes & Strauss showcases its watch collection for the first time at WPHH. Retail launches in Harrods, Asprey and Theo Fennel in London.
Subsequent launches in USA, Japan, Italy, Canada and France2007The Prince Regent2008The Royal Berkeley2009The Royal Regent2010The Berkeley Imperial2011The Princess Collection2012Backes & Strauss granted royal warrant to use Her Majesty’s Royal Cypher making a limited edition watch to mark the Diamond Jubilee2012Launch of the Regent Diamond Jubilee watch at Harrods, London
The Diamond Jubilee Collection is aptly a Regent, designed, crafted and inspired by our Diamond Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 1952 – 2012, in celebration of her 60 year reign.2013Backes & Strauss forms partnership with English National Ballet. Tamara Rojo, Creative Director and Prima Ballerina becomes Victoria Collection Brand Ambassador2013Red Rose and Blue Velvet2014Backes & Strauss celebrates 225 years since it was founded and 200 years of presence in London by crafting the Piccadilly Princess Royal Colours2014Partnership with William Goldberg, legendary Manhattan diamond dealer, creating the Royal Ashoka Empress2014Launch of the Harrods Princess made exclusively for Harrods using ethically-sourced Zambian emeralds from Gemfields2015Regent Beau Brummell Tourbillon Pocket Watch2015The House of Backes & Strauss opens on Grosvenor Street in London