he history of P O N C I N I is closely linked to its historical building which hosts the head office in Port Louis, a unique basaltic and wooden structure which is an architectural reference of the Mauritian capital city. This house is one of the oldest of Port Louis and dates back to 1750. This building hosted an arms room before being transformed into a hotel. During 1860 the French Guillemin Brothers used it as their offices for their Indian Ocean operations.
At the time of the French colony, Guillemin & Co opened a shop specialised in Swiss watches, jewellery optics and luxury gifts. Along time Guillemin & Co became the most reputed shop on the island. In 1925 the company recruited Alfred Poncini a Swiss watchmaker who arrived at the age of 23 and was in charge of the watch department.
In 1940, after the difficulties following the World WarII the Guillemin brothers decided to pull out of Mauritius and Alfred Poncini bought back the company with Roger Mathieu, himself optician within the company. The business was named Mathieu-Poncini until the sons of Alfred Poncini, José and Aldo bought back the share of Roger Mathieu in 1956. “There was an opportunity to take at that time” explain both directors. Since then the company trades under the family name P O N C I N I.
Today, P O N C I N I is still very active in luxury items and exports to Europe and to the United States Jewellery made in its sister companies. The company also markets fine jewellery on the local market since a package of incentives (Duty free) was given to the industry by the government. A team of 75 workers and collaborators are busy creating and manufacturing high quality products in a modern workshop.
In the watch industry, P O N C I N I has set up a state of the art centre recognised by the most prestigious brands. A network of high standard shops (17) offering high quality watches for sale are operating around the island. Nevertheless the old colonial style house in Port Louis also hosting the Swiss General Consulate remains the attraction.