Bahrain Confidential speaks with the Bahrain Jewellery Centre’s Director, Mohammed Shirazi about success, luxury, and what’s next.
Though it is rapidly approaching its 40th year, high-end marque Bahrain Jewellery Centre hasn’t lost its shine. It has grown from a small unit in the Souk to an exclusive dealer for the world’s most renowned watches, jewellery, leather goods and fashion. The company’s long history, loyal customer base and excellent after sales service have propelled them to their position as leaders in the market. Here, it’s Director Mohammed Shirazi talks to Bahrain Confidential about what makes it so special.
Tell us more about yourself and what you’re doing as a Director of BJC.
Bahrain Jewellery Centre is a family business and I am from the second generation, from my father, Abdulrazak Shirazi. BJC was established in 1978. I came into the business in 2004. My responsibilities included looking over the company’s operation as a director, buying merchandise and liaising with our clientele. It’s a very exciting time for BJC as we are expanding and opening up new boutiques.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
The thing I enjoy most is working with beautiful watches. Next, would be interacting with our clients.
What is it that you love about watches?
The workmanship. A watch is something of an engineering marvel. I smile when I look at them.
What makes a great watch brand?
History, professionalism, and rarity. The brand has to be careful in creating its models. Rarity makes the brand more exclusive. The story, tradition and exclusivity value are what makes a great watch brand – everything else follows.
What is the watch that has a biggest place in your heart?
It is the watch that my late father gave to me. It is a beautiful Baume & Mercier. That watch has a sentimental value to me as my father used to wear it all the time. Whenever he removed the watch, he said “I can’t breathe without it”. For me, it is a very special watch. That is elegance for me.
Any trends that you observe in watches?
Watches are getting smaller in size again. For nearly twenty years the fashion in men’s watches has been for them to be as big as 45-47 mm. Now they’re going back to 37-38 mm. I think that is the ideal size for a watch. The attraction to smaller timepieces driven by the popularity of the vintage continues to grow. Luxury brands are also presenting smaller collections which are easier for people to apprehend.
Do you see any threats to the watch industry from technology?
No, a quality watch lasts for generations. The Swiss endured almost the same circumstances before in the 70s with the so called “Quartz Crisis”, and Swiss watches have bounced back brilliantly and enjoyed decades of up trending sales. I think that the watchmaking industry will never die.
What’s your favourite new watch on the market?
To be honest, I really like the Patek Philippe World Time Platinum 5131.
How do you define luxury; in watches and in life?
Luxury in a watch can be seen in its sleekness, eloquence and charisma. It is not a single thing, but the sum of many parts put together and the realization of what those aspects amount to.
In life, luxury for me is happiness.
Any future projects planned?
The upcoming Jewellery Arabia is the major one. BJC has been a participator in Jewellery Arabia since its launch in 1992. Our stall covers an impressive area of over 2500 sq. metres, the largest one in Jewellery Arabia. BJC has always been the prime motivating force behind this showcase and we feature a wide array of luxury brands from Patek Philippe to Breguet, Harry Winston, Frank Muller, Lange & Sohne, Hublot, Jaeger Le Coultre, Barthlay and Tag Heuer.
We have recently redesigned and re-opened our monumental store at the Manama Souk. Also, we are set to open a multi-brand store in Oasis Mall. In terms of expansion, we are set for now. ν