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Privately Held Company
Industry Retail Jewellery
Founded Clerkenwell, London
Founder Asher Loftus
Rebecca Loftus
Headquarters Leicester, Leicestershire
Products Watches
Parent Time Products (UK) LTD

Accurist Watches Ltd is a watch manufacturer, headquartered in West Hampstead, London. The company has a reputation of providing high quality watches at comparatively low prices.[1]



In 1947, 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.[1][2][3][4]

Innovation and Old England[edit]

Accurist Watches was one of the first manufacturers that introduced fashion into the watch industry. In 1967, Asher's brother, Richard, launched the Old England 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.[1][2][3][4][5]

Digital Quartz Technology[edit]

An example of two Accurist watches

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 [1][2] .[3][4][5][5]


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.[1][2][4]

By 1993, Accurist Watches had become the largest brand in the UK in value terms and started expanding into international markets.[5]

Accu.2 Collection[edit]

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.[2][4]

Distribution of other brands[edit]

Accurist Watches is responsible for the UK distribution of various brands. Since 2007, the company is the official UK distributor for Versace Watches [4][6]


Accurist Watch business was purchased by Time Products UK Ltd in 2014. Time Products also own the brands of Sekonda, Seksy, and Limit watches.

Advertising and sponsorship[edit]

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.[4][7]

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.[4][7][8]

Other significant campaigns by Accurist Watches include the "Sec's Machine" and the "Two Timer".[4]

In 1998 Accurist launched its innovative 'Put some 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 some weight on' succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue, drawing comment from women's groups, medical organisations and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).[4][9]

In 2006, Accurist Watches became the first brand in the UK to be co-featured in the English football team's advertising campaign.[4][10]

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.[4][11][12]

The Speaking Clock[edit]

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 [4][13][14][15][16]

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 during 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 website[4][13][14][15][16][17]

British Real Time[edit]

In autumn 2008, after Accurist Watches decided to end its sponsorship to the Speaking Clock, they launched the "British Real Time" 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.[4][17] As of January 2015 the website is no longer operational.

Royal Observatory, Millennium Countdown and the Maritime Museum Collection[edit]

In 1997, Accurist Watches started sponsoring the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London, being the first and only brand ever being associated with it [3] Accurist Watches created an Atomic Clock, in order to countdown the last 1000 days to the new Millennium, which was placed on the Meridian and was controlled by 8 satellites, showing the days, hours, minutes seconds, tenths of second 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.[3][4][5][16][16][18][19][20][21][22][23]


The company’s commercial "Accur-ankle,Accu-wrist", starring John Cleese, was awarded the Palme d'Or Advertising Award in the 1970s.[3][4][5][24]

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.[2][3][4][24][25]

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.[1][2][4][10][24][25][26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f ,"Accurist Watches: The History of one of the Leading Watch Brands" 28 July 2011
  2. ^ a b c d e f g ,"Accurist Watches: The History of one of the Leading Watch Brands" WatchesTime 2011
  3. ^ a b c d e f g ,"Accurist Watches: A Watch for every Occasion"
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s
  5. ^ a b c d e f ,Roger Trap "Time has come for Accurist" 30 March 1997
  6. ^ ,Versace Official Customer Service
  7. ^ a b ,, "John Cleese set to reprise Accurist ad role" 27 October 2009
  8. ^ ,"Cleese Turns Back Time With Rejuvenated Watch Ads" 26 October 2009
  9. ^ ,by Ben Bold, "Accurist censured after complaints about indecency in watch ad",, 6 July 2005
  10. ^ a b ,"Accurist Watch" 27 June 2011
  11. ^ ,"Accurist pushes Charmed with six figure campaign", 2010
  12. ^ ,"Accurist Charms TV Audiences" 2010
  13. ^ a b ,BBC "The Speaking Clock in the UK" 4 April 2003
  14. ^ a b ,Rich Jarrott "“At the tone, I will be 75 years old.” - The Speaking Clock Celebrates its 75th Anniversary" 29 July 2011
  15. ^ a b ,Distributed by PR Newswire on behalf of BT "TIME HAS A NEW NUMBER AS SPEAKING CLOCK TURNS SIXTY: NEWS BACKGROUNDER" 2011
  16. ^ a b c d ,Melody Ng,"Accurist announces timely set up of new travel retail division", 20/06/11
  17. ^ a b ,Martin Wainwright "Speaking clock sponsor says it's time for change" ,25 August 2008
  18. ^ ,Lydia Conway "Evening Standard Childrens London 1999" 2000
  19. ^ ,New scientist Volume 160, Issues 2154-2158, 1998
  20. ^ ,Astronomy & geophysics: the journal of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 38, 1997
  21. ^ ,Derek Howse "Greenwich time and the longitude", 1997
  22. ^ ,Graham Dolan "The Millennium"
  23. ^ ,visit4ads "Accurist Watches - Accurist Watches The Grand Complication"
  24. ^ a b c ,"Accurist Watches A Timeless British Classic" 30 July 2011
  25. ^ a b ,Tiffany "Accurist Watches A Timeless British Classic nbsp nbsp by Find Watches" , 21 July 2011
  26. ^ ,Mark Warr "Accurist Watches – The History of One of the Leading Watch Brands" ,12 January 2011

External links[edit]