Preston’s of Bolton

In 1905 with the death of the Watchmaker James Preston, the business was inherited by James’ niece, a Gertrude Duckworth.

The store became Preson’s Ltd and also relocated No. 2 Deansgate at to the junction of Deangate and Bank St. Their address for some time was quoted as 2 Deansgate & 1 Bank Street.

Keen to continue in business, in 1905 Gertrude published her aim for taking the business forwards.

In 1913 the corner site was refurbished into the existing building. During the rebuild the Time Ball was added to the building.

The Time Ball would rise on a daily basis at 12.55pm and fall at 1pm, and signalled the time to mill workers for many years. The clock was removed in 1998, and a new clock commissioned from Peter Dooley Design Ltd, of Macclesfield, as part of a store refurbishment.

“Prestons of Bolton” and its impressive corner building became one of the region’s most iconic jewellery stores.

Clock making moved more to retailing, where branded goods from other manufacturers were sold and the jewellery range expanded, however there were some branded products and private label commissions for Prestons Ltd.

The store finally closed for good in 2016.

The Preston Junior pocket watch by Waltham.
The watch has quite a rare Waltham movement that was only made in the year 1918, with just two manufacturing runs. The watch was specially made as a private label piece for Prestons Ltd. The movement is fully signed and it also has the serial number 22,324,172 which confirms the date as 1918.

The white enamel dial is in lovely condition too, with blued steel hands, a subsidiary seconds dial and an outer minute track.

The movement has a handsomely damascened plates. The movement is protected by an inner hinged cover. 
The watch measures 50mm diameter excluding the winding stem and the loop.

The case was made in England for Waltham by the watch case maker Aaron Dennison and is gold plated.

Prestons 1905 store..

An evening picture of the later shop with the falling ball clock just visible

An early 20th century oak longcase clock, the brass face with silvered dial set with Roman and Arabic numerals with subsidiary dial and retailer’s plaque for Prestons Ltd Bolton, raised on plain oak case with carved beading to the door, with inscription plaque to the interior.

Prestons under Frank Duckworth also used the Prestex brand for their own label products.

Frank Duckworth founder of the Prestex Brand

Gents 1930’s Art Deco Prestex Watch, with an unsigned Swiss Movement.

This brand has since been revived by Neil Duckworth, one of Frank Duckworth’s descendants as the Duckworth Prestex watch.