“One of my earliest memories is of sifting through emeralds and rubies at my father’s manufacturing business in Hatton Garden, London in the 70s”, says Michael who has been in the jewellery trade for over thirty years. His passion for precious gems was harnessed whilst selling jewellery throughout the Caribbean before getting his first shops in and around London. On his buying road trips he would often make a detour into local antique markets, vintage fairs and auctions using his expertise to source diamond and ruby set Art Deco lockets, classic 30s Rolex watches and unusual Victorian charms. “It was during this time that I became fascinated by the design aspect of timepieces. Each era is represented so vividly both technically and through its manufacturing style”. One of his favourite recent find is a rare black 60s Omega chronograph.
Grace, his wife and business partner, began her career in the style industry at the fashion department of British Elle. Here she would use her magpie eye to source new trends and innovative takes on jewellery and accessories. “I would get a real buzz from mixing a Victorian vulcanite locket and pearl set charm from a niche antique emporium with a coveted pair of Vivienne Westwood pirate boots”. It was as a fashion writer on the magazine that she really fell in love with antique lockets and charms and the story they told of the past. While writing best-selling lifestyle books she has more recently refuelled her passion for one-off treasure trove jewellery by customising her own collection. She’s just sourced an exquisite Art Deco hand engraved silver locket and diamond with tourmaline set peacock charm that she’s planning to mix and match with a cornelian bead or two and add to the collection.
Michael and Grace have moved their three children to a remote and idyllic finca in the Northern hills of Ibiza. The farmhouse has belonged to their family for many years and has been lovingly renovated and brought back to life. It is here with the backdrop of the pine forest and aquamarine ocean that the couple have fused their love of antique jewellery, charms and watches. Nestled beside the stone fireplace, Indian scatter cushions and a vast array of books, a growing work in progress design studio is evolving. A 5ft canvas moodboard, an array of jewellers’ loops, a heap of pearls and coral flowers taken from strands – all waiting reinvention – sit alongside velvet pads of eclectic turn-of-the-century jewellery and watches. Straddling life on a remote hilltop with workshops in London the couple continue to carefully source, restore and customise their first collection, Circa, which launches this Spring in Ibiza.