Vivian Celebrates Golden Anniversary
In September 1967, you could buy an ounce of gold for $35. Today the same ounce would cost you $1290. Fifty years have made a huge difference. It was in September 1967 that Vivian Watson joined his father in the family business, then located in London’s Hatton Garden. Now 50 years on it is an appropriate time to see how that investment has paid dividends.
Training played a critical role in getting established in the trade. Five years were spent in attaining professional qualifications which laid a firm foundation for the years of experience and on the job training that was to follow and to some degree continues today. Vivian was privileged to shadow his father from the word go and learned a lot by observing his skills and in particular, enjoying his sense of humour.
Hatton Garden in the ‘60s was a very different place, both in architectural terms and in the way business was conducted. At that time, we relied on a network of local suppliers and dealers for all our needs. Today we source all over the world and are able to go further up the supply chain than those who might consider themselves our competitors.
Over the decades we have seen good times and bad times. We have had to modify the business to meet demand from discerning clients. Experience in buying beautiful gems and fine diamonds in many exotic places has stood us in good stead and enabled us to be particularly competitive with our pricing.
Although the business has almost changed out of recognition, there are some factors that would be recognisable, from either direction, in the 50-year span. Perfection was always the name of the game and we have never been swayed by the person who says I can do it cheaper. Listening to clients and understanding their needs is essential to satisfying their needs.
The baton is now in the hands of the next generation to determine where we go from here. However, Vivian plans to be around for a while yet. The love of beautiful jewellery, the thrill of helping friends with their needs and the sheer joy of being part of someone’s life-story, are things you cannot walk away from.