John Watson, managing director, PJ Watson

It’s been a memorable year for jewellery manufacturer and wholesaler PJ Watson – and not just because the company celebrated its golden anniversary in the industry.

The proud family business, set up by Peter Watson in 1966, has also been passed onto the next generation, after Vivian Watson handed over the baton to son John.

The reins were certainly not given to him on a plate, though; rather John has spent 14 years paying his dues in every area of the business, from making the teas and coffees as an office junior, to dealing with repairs and productions, to spending four years on the road as a sales rep for the south.


As he looks to lay down his own marker on the business, he will be drawing on all the lessons he has learned over the past few years – particularly in terms of gemstone sourcing, which has seen him make numerous trips abroad to find the best products at the most attractive pricing.

“Close attention to our manufacturing programme has enabled us to win back an ever increasing amount of business which had been lost to Far East manufacturers,” he says. “Thanks to my buying trips we will be able to supply our customers with top quality items of jewellery at competitive prices. This, in turn, I hope will lead to a successful 12 months ahead of us as we have many new exciting gem set pieces being finished on a weekly basis.”

The fruits of John’s overseas travels will soon become even more evident as the firm launches its new autumn lines. And that will provide a great basis from which to grow the business as he starts to assert his own vision on the organisation.