Accurist Watches Ltd is an English watch manufacturer, headquartered in Leicestershire. The company has a reputation of providing high quality watches.
In 1946, Asher Loftus and his wife, Rebecca, founded Accurist Watches, in Clerkenwell, London. They felt that there was a gap in the UK watch market, for a brand that combined Swiss made quality parts, with a distinctive style and competitive prices, and at the same time providing longer guarantees. To achieve that, in 1968 they opened a Swiss office in La Chaux de Fonds, in order to manage the manufacturing more closely.
In Spring 2014 Time Products UK Ltd acquired Accurist and after then, Time Products UK Ltd has given a new life to this true British watch brand. With the introduction of the new product, branding, advertising and a show-stopping in-store display, it has been a quite exciting time for Accurist.
Innovation and Old England
Accurist Watches was one of the first manufacturers that introduced fashion into the watch industry. In 1967, Asher's brother, Richard, launched the collection, which were soon worn by celebrities such as Twiggy, The Beatles and The Princess Anne. In keeping with the fashions of the time, this collection was far from traditional as it was characterised by oversized numerals, bright colours and contemporary designs.
Digital Quartz Technology
In early 1970s, after the invention of digital quartz technology, Accurist Watches introduced a collection using the digital quartz movement. This range was so cutting-edge at that period that became the official watch for the pilots of the newly launched Concorde aircraft .
In 1983, the company decided to move its manufacturing from Switzerland to Japan, in order to take advantage of the cutting-edge Japanese technology which was booming at that time. It proved to be a strategic move, as after that Accurist Watches enjoyed a 500% increase in their UK business.
By 1993, Accurist Watches had become the largest brand in the UK in value terms and started expanding into international markets.
Just before the new millennium, in 1999, Accurist Watches launched their Accu.2 Collection, targeting mainly younger consumers. Strongly advertised by the "No ordinary old timer" campaign, the collection became soon one of the most successful ranges of the company, stocked in more than 1500 shops and retail outlets across the UK.
Accurist Watch business was purchased by Time Products UK Ltd in 2014. Time Products additionally own the brands of Sekonda, Seksy, and Limit watches.
Advertising and sponsorship
Advertising and sponsorship has always been an important part of the Accurist Watches marketing strategy. In the 1960s, Accurist Watches sponsored the most popular television show in the UK, Sunday Night at the London Palladium, providing the company with national exposure.
During the 1970s, John Cleese starred in a series of television spots, the so-called "Accur-ankle, Accu-wrist" advertising campaign, selling watches in various unusual locations. That campaign was voted as one of the world's top ten commercials by US television presenter Johnny Carson. In December 2009, John Cleese agreed to lend his voice when the same commercial, but with contemporary watches, was re-launched.
Other significant campaigns by Accurist Watches include the "Sec's Machine" and the "Two Timer".
In 1998 Accurist launched its innovative 'Put a few weight on' campaign to promote its range of solid silver watches. The campaign set about highlighting the fashion industry vogue of using unnaturally thin models, stimulating public debate about the danger of using such images. One particularly arresting image of an ultra-thin model with the caption 'Put a few weight on' succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue, drawing comment from women's groups, medical organisations and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).
In 2006, Accurist Watches became the first brand in the UK to be co-featured in the English football team's advertising campaign.
In 2010, the company promoted the Charmed by Accurist collection, using print and television advertisements. The print advertisements were included in various magazines such as Grazia and Marie Claire. The television campaign was shown on Living TV and on 500 screens of 50 UK shopping centres. The idea behind these advertisements was show that women can use different beads using the same watch and totally change the way it looks. The campaign started running in September 2010, but in November and December of the same year, the appearances were much more frequent.
The Speaking Clock
The Speaking Clock arrived in the UK on 24 July 1936, 9 years after it was first introduced in the USA. Callers were greeted with the phrase "At the third stroke the time will be ...". The service had received 13 million calls by the end of its first year
In March 1986, Accurist Watches became the first organisation to sponsor the BT Speaking Clock which received 30 million calls per year. The recorded greeting changed to "At the third stroke, the time sponsored by Accurist, will be ...". Brian Cobby, was chosen to lend his voice throughout the sponsorship years and he was the first male to be recorded for this service. The company used the slogan "Accurist- the standard by which all watches are set", supporting their credibility and quality. Accurist Watches decided to cease the sponsorship in August 2008, due to the change in the way people read and keep the time. They announced the launch of the
British Real Time
In autumn 2008, after Accurist Watches decided to end its sponsorship to the Speaking Clock, they launched the "" website. This website is Accurist's online version of the Speaking Clock using video clips British people speaking the time More than 13.000 video clips were recorded. As of January 2015 the website is no longer operational.
Royal Observatory, Millennium Countdown and the Maritime Museum Collection
In 1997, Accurist Watches started sponsoring the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, London, being the first and only brand ever being associated with it. Accurist Watches created an atomic clock, in order to count down the last 1000 days to the new millennium, which was placed on the Prime Meridian and was controlled by eight satellites, showing the days, hours, minutes seconds, tenths of seconds and hundredths of seconds until the new millennium. Accurist Watches was immediately associated with the Royal Observatory and was promoted around the world, as there was a big event at Greenwich to celebrate the new millennium. Accurist Watches took advantage of this partnership and started using the slogan "Accurist. The standard by which all watches are set" and "Accurist Mean Time". At the same time, the company launched a range of replica Accurist Millennium Countdown Clocks, in a worldwide scale. In 2003, Accurist Watches strengthened the agreement with Royal Observatory and produced a collection of replica clocks from the National Maritime Museum and the Observatory itself.
The company's commercial "Accur-ankle, Accu-wrist", starring John Cleese, was awarded the Palme d'Or Advertising Award in the 1970s.
In 1986, Accurist Watches was awarded by the National Association of Goldsmiths the first ever "Award of Excellence", in recognition of their contribution and influence in the UK watch market.
In 1997 Accurist Watches won the "Volume watch brand of the year" Award and in 2001 they gained the "Client Service" Award at the UK Jewellery Awards, for their commitment and continuous support to their customers.