Jewellery industry veteran dies on Sunday after 25-year retirement.

Peter Watson, founder of jewellery business PJ Watson, passed away on Sunday, aged 85.

Watson began his career in the jewellery trade in the 1940s, selling polished diamonds to jewellery manufacturers in the UK for an Antwerp-based company. The jewellery business was in his blood as his mother Constance Watson was a practicing gemmologist who had trained under the renowned gemmologist, editor and government gem consultant Robert Webster.


As Watson’s knowledge of the diamond trade and his reputation grew, he decided to co-launch The Eton Jewellery Co. And then, prompted by the proximity of his two sons Vivien and Philip Watson, finishing their education, he then went on to found family business PJ Watson in September 1966.

A true passion for gemstones shaped the collections offered by PJ Watson, and it is a passion that Watson shared with his sons. Due to this, the Watson family claim to be the only family in the world with four successive generations of FGAs.

Watson had been retired from the jewellery trade for the past 25 years but kept a hand in the industry, guiding his sons as they developed their own jewellery businesses and keeping in touch with the many friends he made during his own career.

PJ Watson continues to be run by Watson’s son Vivien Watson and grandson John Watson and is celebrating its 46th year in business. Meanwhile Watson’s other son Philip Watson and grandson James Watson run 24-year-old Hatton Garden-based jewellery business Anna James.

A statement released by the Watson family read: “Not only was he loved by his family, but he was admired and greatly respected by those in the trade who knew him. Peter had a long and happy retirement of 25 years. Following the death of Gwen, his first wife, he remarried and recently celebrated a second Silver Wedding anniversary with his wife Janet.

“Vivian, Philip, John and James wish to express to their customers, suppliers and friends in the trade sincere thanks for their kind and generous support. We all share in this sad loss of a great businessman, a gentleman, a friend, and a wonderful father and grandfather.”

Professional Jeweller readers who wish to pay their respects to the late Peter Watson can do so here by commenting below this obituary.



  1. I was in the RAF in India with Peter He was my best friend and we shared many adventures together. He was best man at my wedding to Audrey my first wife in 1948 and I at his to Gwen. I still have photos of him as a vibrant young man and I feel sad that he has passed on. I am 90 -a professional artist living in Plymouth. Happy to pass on any storiess about him to the family.