Swellboy on… Grima

As Masterpiece London kicks off, our man feels sartorially challenged

Image: Brijesh Patel

Another of the joys that I anticipate at Masterpiece is the Grima stand.

Grima is one of my weaknesses and therefore I was delighted to learn that Andrew Grima’s widow Jojo will be reintroducing the Teak watch, a 1970s classic. The Teak is a fascinating piece of design, and not, as the name might suggest made of wood. It is rounded and rectangular with a rusticated gold case and a concealed strap closure that is fixed at one side and slots into the other side of the case. Such is the closeness of fit that the join becomes invisible. The glass is a hand-cut smoky quartz, the hands are rectilinear and the dial is plain.

The Teak is a unique-looking thing, with a strong period aesthetic. In fact, Grima designed a collection of truly “far out” one-off watches for Omega for both men and women, as well as helping out on a range of Constellation watches. Along with the timepieces that Gilbert Albert did for Patek Philippe they are some of the most intriguingly designed creations of the period.


In fact, Andrew Grima was so famous by the 1970s that Canada Dry launched an advertising campaign around him. In the days before celebrity chefs there were celebrity jewellers (you will remember that Pierre Arpels played himself in one of the Fantomas films) and there is charming old footage of Grima driving out to the country in his Aston Martin to select bits of lichen and what have you to find inspiration for his jewellery.

Whenever I see his stuff I do rather regret the fact that I am not Elton John and able to get away with wearing brooches and earrings – but then, in order to wear Grima, as well as Sir Elton’s sartorial daring I would need his earning power...

Fast forward a few decades to find out what Swellboy thinks of the Apple Watch.


See also