Andrew Grima's Unusual Omega & Led Watches 1969-76
Andrew Grima was a famous British mid-century modern jewelery designer, commissioned to create unusual one-of-a-kind watches for Omega and Pulsar in the 60's & early 70's. He was commissioned by Omega to create a highly aesthetic avant-garde collection called 'About Time'. Grima was given a free hand and chose to stick to one principle: he would create the watch around the dial, no matter what its form or dimension. 'Grima’s 80+ piece collection comprised nearly 60 watches and matching jewels, such as cufflinks, rings and earrings. The watches were futurist designs with every dial submerged beneath a gemstone. The designs were so architectural and out-of-the-ordinary, one hesitates to describe them as watches. They are sculptures.' -via therake.com
'Grima's 1969 About Time collection of 85 one-off Omega watches made by 64 craftsmen: gemstones, not glass, cover their faces. Some Grima bibelots are fabulously naff, some will always be witty, such as the "gin and tonic" with glass and booze carved from rock crystal, garnished with a lemon slice of yellow diamonds. Grima galleries opened in Zurich (fronted with rusty boilerplate), New York, Tokyo and Sydney. All British royals flourished his gems, as did Jacqueline Onassis and a substantial swank of movie stars.' -via the Guardian
'Grima, who was arguably his generation’s foremost jeweler, counted Queen Elizabeth II among his clients. The Emerald line, from the About Time collection, is distinguished by the generous proportions of its emerald-cut crystals of precious stone, quartz or mineral glass. Initially, the pieces were reserved for the top of the Constellation range but as the Emerald line was extended, were increasingly seen in the De Ville line and to a lesser extent, the Genève collection. The Emerald line was only produced at OMEGA until 1973 but it left a lasting impression. Though a lost line at OMEGA these watches remain a "Premiere" collection today showing just how good the design was.' -via Omegamuseum.com
An original advertisement of the more mainstream De Ville/Geneve collections for Omega (above left) next to a page from a Grima retrospective (above right) of his more unusual About Time watches.
Grima became the foremost modern jewelry designer in the West End of London in the 1960s and 1970s, selling designs from his exclusive gallery in Jermyn Street, Mayfair. In 1970 he designed the rare "About Time" watch collection for Omega (above) featuring wristwatches, ring watches and pendant watches -- and in 1976 a collection of one-off solid gold digital LED watches for Pulsar (below).
Pulsar Time Computer commissioned Grima in the mid-seventies to create a small variety of solid gold LED (light emitting diode) wristwatches. (Grima's original sketches shown above) Only surfacing in recent years after a liquidation of a Middle East jeweller's estate. All are one of a kind and part of Simon Alexander and Bruce Wegmann's important collection (shown below).
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