The Antonio Group’s corporate origins date back to 1932, although our first retail store was acquired in the early 1950’s by Tulsidas Mahtani, a Sindhi merchant who had been working in Gibraltar since just after the Second World War. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Royal Navy carried out frequent, large-scale exercises in the Straits of Gibraltar. As a result, a large number of servicemen would often visit the Main Street looking for souvenirs and fancy gift items to take back home and Antonio’s became quite famous not only for its original hand-made souvenirs, but also for its fine silver jewellery and collectible gift items.
The business evolved through the 1970’s and 1980’s under the stewardship of Tulsidas’ son, Sunder Mahtani, into a classy porcelain boutique, with many of the souvenir lines and cheaper goods replaced by world-famous branded giftware like Lladró porcelain, Swarovski crystal, Wedgwood china, Herend porcelain, Goebel figurines, Royal Crown Derby and Royal Doulton.
In 1992, Tulsidas’ grandson, Suresh Mahtani, took over the running of the company as Managing Director. His first move was to promote high-end sapphire, ruby and emerald jewellery as well as pieces incorporating tanzanite, morganite and opal gemstones. He also expanded the retail operation by adding two more outlets and in so doing, re-badged the company as the Antonio Jewellers Group in 1997.
The year 2004 saw Suresh’s brother Prem Mahtani, joining the family business, and bringing valuable UK retail experience into the company. Since then, the business has seen the introduction of state-of-the-art CRM and POS systems, as well as the provision of over-the-counter purchase certification and after-sales insurance. We also acquired the premises at 119 Main Street, bringing our retail operation to four stores in total.
Additionally, and of more significance, Prem’s considerable exposure to the UK watch and diamond trade has allowed the Group to venture into the certificated diamonds and branded Swiss watches market with remarkable success. Today, the Antonio Group are major stockists of GIA certificated diamonds as well as authorized tax-free agents for Omega, IWC, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Longines, Montblanc, Oris, Raymond Weil, Tissot, Rado, Bell & Ross and a host of other world-famous brand names.
The Antonio Jewellers Group is very much a family-run operation, with the present Board of Directors now in its third generation:
Sunder Mahtani is the Chairman of the Board, with overall responsibility for financial and non-retail matters. He is a qualified Management Accountant, a long-standing member of the Hindu Merchants’ Association and a prominent member of the Gibraltar Business Community.
Suresh Mahtani has served as Group Managing Director since 1992. He holds a first-class honours degree in Computer Science from the Imperial College and a distinction-grade Masters in Law from the College of Law. As a practising barrister-at-law, Suresh is also a founding partner of Wilkinson Law Barristers & Solicitors.
Prem Mahtani joined the company in late 2004. Prem holds a degree in Retail Business Management from Oxford Brookes University and has undergone extensive management training with Signet Group in the United Kingdom where he completed a one-year stint with H. Samuel’s ‘flagship’ millennium store in Milton Keynes and an 11-month term managing the Ernest Jones Rolex branch in Watford. An award-winning photographer and videographer, Prem is rarely seen without his camera gear and most of the images on this website were captured by him.