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Our History

A brand reborn

Duckworth Prestex may sound like a new name, but it goes back a very long way in the history of watchmaking. Almost 100 years, in fact.

For Neil Duckworth, the founder of Duckworth Prestex and the man who originally brought TAG Heuer to the UK in the 1980s, this is a very personal story.

Frank Duckworth, Watchmaker and Cellist
Pictured above; Frank Duckworth, Watchmaker, founder of Prestex and Cellist

Founding of Prestons and launch of Prestex watches

Neil’s family firm, Prestons, was originally founded in 1869 in Bolton and by the 1920s it was making its own pocket watches under the Prestex name: which enjoyed tremendous success all over the world. Over the next few decades, Prestex produced a variety of timepieces including chronographs, pocket watches and some stunning dress watches.

Prestex watches

Expansion into Swiss brands

When Neil’s father, Gordon Duckworth, took over the business in 1948 it grew and diversified, selling Swiss watches such as Omega, Rolex and Heuer. The home-grown Prestex range – where it all started – was quietly discontinued. Neil's older brother Andrew took charge of the business in 1982 which continued to thrive, at which time Neil decided on a different path...into the world of watches.

Gordon Duckworth and Andrew DuckworthNeil's father Gordon Duckworth, visionary (left) and Andrew Duckworth, pillar of the community (right)


Neil Duckworth and Alain Prost 1987

Neil Duckworth (right) pictured with World F1 Champion Alain Prost in 1987,  driver at Mclaren with Ayrton Senna and sponsored by TAG Heuer. Neil was responsible for bringing Tag Heuer to the UK in 1982 where he remained as UK managing director until 2001. 

A long held dream becomes a reality

Neil enjoyed a successful career in the industry working with some of the world’s top watch brands, but there was one thing he always desperately wanted to do: resurrect the original family watch brand that was lost in the 1960s. Now this dream becomes a reality.

Duckworth Prestex will produce practical, affordable, yet innovative and exciting watches that can be worn every day for any occasion and will last a lifetime. Just as Neil’s grandfather did.

These new watches are designed in England and inspired by the original models of Prestex watches that came before them.  

Prestons, Bolton pictured though the ages, from the 1920s, through to the 2000s