Andrew Grima’s innovative and adventurous jewellery designs won him prestigious commissions from patrons such as Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, and numerous awards including a royal warrant and thirteen De Beers Diamond International awards. Based at his showroom on Jermyn Street in Mayfair, Grima’s profile had grown internationally throughout the 1960s, and in 1969 he attracted the attention of the Swiss watch brand Omega. Intrigued by Grima’s bold and visionary approach to jewellery design, Omega commissioned a collection of watches to be exhibited around the world. Launching in 1970 at the Goldsmith’s Hall in London, the collection consisted of 85 pieces under the title ‘About Time’. Each of the watches was set with a gemstone in place of a watch glass, allowing the owner to view the time through the stone. Each also represented a new challenge for Grima, to integrate the watch movement into his designs in a variety of new and inventive ways. The present pendant watch exemplifies Grima’s achievements in this seminal collection. The juxtaposition of the amorphous and organic qualities of the opal with the clarity and sharpness of the triangular diamonds that surround it amply demonstrates the flair for texture and the unique understanding of materials that have earned Grima such enduring acclaim.
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