Prestons Heritage

Prestons of Bolton founded by Goldsmith James Preston

The premises illustrated are in the original location on the corner of Deansgate and Bank Street and after the death of James Preston in 1905, the business was inherited by his niece Gertrude Duckworth, a highly ambitious and pioneering retailer who recognised the potential for building the biggest jewellery store outside of London in the booming town of Bolton and so in 1912 this store was demolished.

A New Era

Featuring a clock tower with one of the few Timeball’s, allowing the locals to accurately set their pocket watches. The new premises was opened on 24 July 1913 shortly before the outbreak of the great war. It was the only jewellery store outside of London to trade on four floors and feature the novelty of a lift.

The 1960s and The 1970s

As the economy prospered the business was now in the hands of the entrepreneurial Gordon Duckworth, who took the radical decision to market Prestons of Bolton nationally on both television and cinema. It was Gordon who coined the phrase ‘It’s always worth a journey to Prestons of Bolton, the Diamond Centre of the North’.

Diamond Rings and Wedding Ring World

This was pioneering retailing and from the mid 1970’s. Prestons of Bolton became one of the most famous jewellery stores in England with couples travelling from all over the UK to buy their engagement rings and wedding rings. The store became so busy that prospective customers were greeted and taken to the coffee lounge where they were given a ticket and when a sales person was available their number was called. On one record Saturday in 1976, 168 wedding rings were sold and the average Saturday saw 40 diamond engagement rings purchased.


After a sympathetic and creative refurbishment our Wilmslow showroom opened its doors in November 2005. This Art Deco masterpiece is a temple of style, and with collections from Patek Philippe, Rolex and Tudor wristwatches, our showroom represents the North West¹s uppermost venue for haute horology.


Rolex at Prestons is the only solus Rolex and Tudor boutique outside of London. Situated in the centre of Leeds the store, designed by the architects in Rolex Geneva, is the perfect environment to select your Rolex or Tudor watch. Andrew Duffy and his team show their dedication through the exemplary service they offer, ensuring every client is able to choose a watch that reflects their own personality and style perfectly.


Our new store in Guildford opened on Thursday, 5 March 2015 and is inspired by late 20th Century Scandinavian design with a truly organic feel. Our champagne bar is brilliant blue glass with ripples that flow outwards, it is the perfect place to celebrate the purchase of your new watch, toast your engagement or simply enjoy 'Champagne Sundays'.