Five ultra-rare Omega X Andrew Grima timepieces from today’s Bonham’s jewelry auction that you have to see to believe.
By Logan R. Baker
This afternoon, Bonham’s hosted the sale of the largest-ever private collection of Andrew Grima’s jewelry. Andrew Grima was one of the most important jewelry designers of the 20th century, with daring and influential jewelry designs worn by such style icons as Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, and Ursula Andress. The sale today totalled 55 pieces, including multiple timepieces from the About Time collection commissioned by Omega from 1969 to 1975.
Grima had the innovative idea to incorporate rare and colorful gemstones into the crystal of his watches. With all sorts of modern brands incorporating new textures into their dials—like Hublot’s collaboration with Berluti —it’s fascinating to look back into horological history and see previous generations’ attempts. Today’s sale includes five timepieces from the About Time collection—the Cerini, the Greenland, the Teak, the Carré, and a watch with a “stepping-stone” bracelet.
The Cerini uses a citrine gemstone as a crystal inside a gold bezel decorated with baguette-cut diamonds on a matchstick-inspired bange. Grima designed it to resemble the tiny wax-coated matches that could be found at bars throughout Italy. It was originally sold in 1969 and today went for $30,464.
The Greenland is perhaps the oddest-shaped watch Grima designed with Omega. It has a pink tourmaline crystal and a gritted gold bangle for a bracelet, was created in 1970, and sold for $47,388 today.
The Teak is the most traditionally shaped watch from today’s auction—if you discount the bright-orange citrine crystal and textured yellow-gold case. It was originally designed and sold in 1970 and sold for $44,004 today.
The Carré has a strap that resembles the yellow brick road from The Wizard of Oz with its 18-karat yellow gold interspersed with diamonds. This aspect is offset by the bright aquamarine crystal. Constructed in 1972, the watch sold for $33,849 this afternoon.
Finally, the Stepping Stones timepiece boasts a clear green beryl crystal, giving it the most traditional dial structure of the five lots and a bracelet made out of—you guessed it—18-karat gold uneven stepping-stones. Originally developed in 1972, it sold for $37,234 today.
Look out for a more detailed report in the October/ November issue of Watch Journal.