In 1946, working from premises in St John Street in London’s Clerkenwell district, Asher and Rebecca Loftus established Accurist with the intention of creating a brand name of lasting value. Like much of the competition at that time, Accurist watches were made entirely from Swiss components; a positive sales point that guaranteed quality, and which coupled with competitive pricing
helped establish our reputation for value.
Accurist became the first watch company to actively promote the 21 JEWEL lever-movement and Accurist 21 JEWELS became the Company Slogan setting a standard in watches that was later to be followed by many of our competitors. In an effort to increase market share and to position Accurist as a national brand in a somewhat conservative market place, Accurist broke out of the traditional watch advertising mould by producing a T.V. Campaign which was aired regularly on “Sunday Night at the London Palladium”, probably the most widely viewed television program of its day.
However, a watch was still seen to be a ‘once in a lifetime’ purchase – Accurist set out to change this by introducing fashion into watches. Richard Loftus, fresh out of University, created a range of watches that was to revolutionise the watch market worldwide. Soon Accurist’s Old England watches were seen on the wrists of the famous and fashionable: – Princess Anne, The Beatles and Twiggy were amongst the millions worldwide who wore the large brightly coloured watches that became synonymous with the mini skirt, Carnaby Street and London of the swinging 60’s.
As the sixties developed, so did Accurist and in 1968 a Swiss office, Accurist S.A. was opened in La Chaux de Fonds, the heart of the Swiss watch making industry, to co-ordinate the manufacturing and sourcing for the company.
The’70’s saw the introduction of the digital quartz movement and as the technology developed from L.E.D to L.C. D it was Accurist’s digital quartz watch which was chosen as the official watch for the pilots of the newly launched Concorde aircraft. Brand awareness remained an important factor in the success of the Accurist product range and 1978 saw the launch of one of the Television’s most memorable campaigns; John Cleese featuring the “Accur-ankle, Accu-wrist!” commercial. The commercial went on to win awards around the world including the Palm d’Or Advertising
Award. It was even featured on the USA’s Johnny Carson show as one of the world’s ten best adverts!
In 1983 after two years of careful research and planning, Andrew Loftus applying all the principles on which his parents had established the business, switched the manufacturing base from Switzerland to Japan and in the following three years Accurist’s UK business increased by over 500%.
Flushed with the success of the new collection, Accurist achieved a major marketing breakthough by being appointed as the first ever, official sponsor of British Telecom’s Speaking Clock. Since the original sponsorship agreement in 1986 Accurist’s speaking clock has received the incredible number of almost 3 billion calls. Making this the “greatest sponsorship deal of all time”. Accurist continued to maximise on its association with the Speaking Clock, developing a new advertising and marketing campaign with the slogan “Accurist – the standard by which all watches are set”. In 1987 Accurist were awarded The National Association of Goldsmiths first ever Award of Excellence in recognition of their contribution and influence in the UK watch market.
In 1993 Accurist had become the UK’s largest brand in value terms and now set its sights on the international market. Again it was creative and opportunist marketing that would provide the platform for its most ambitious project to date. The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, home of Greenwich Mean Time and The International Meridian Line was undergoing major renovation. Accurist seized on this opportunity and became the first and only Watch Company to be formally associated with the Observatory, providing them with the new Atomic Clock, which officially records the time for the world. In 1995 to celebrate this association with Greenwich Mean Time, The “Greenwich Commemorative collection”, was launched in over 20 countries.
In April 1997 Accurist started the official countdown to the Millennium by providing the Old Royal Observatory at Greenwich with a Satellite controlled clock accurate to within 1/10,000,000th of a second to countdown the last 1000 days of the 20th century. In 1884 at the International conference in Washington the meridian line at Greenwich was chosen as the “meridian line for the world” 0 degrees longitude and it was decreed that the universal day for the world starts at midnight on the meridian line.
Later in 1997 Accurist moved its Headquarters’ to its current location in London’s West Hampstead district The custom built facilities have created a modern and efficient infrastructure from where Accurist can uniquely provide an efficient and co-ordinated service across every facet of its business from product design, and distribution, to after sales service and product assembly.
In July 1997 Accurist won “Volume watch brand of the year” at The UK Jewellery Awards.
1999 saw the launch of Accurist’s youth orientated accu.2 range, backed by a high impact advertising campaign “no ordinary old timer” success was instantaneous and the collection is sold in over 1500 outlets across the UK. Innovative product design and strong advertising campaigns (including “sec’s machine” and “two-timer”) have insured that accu.2 has remained at the forefront of
January 1st 2000 saw the Accurist name emblazoned across television screens and newspapers world-wide as camera’s from across the globe focussed on the meridian line and on it the prominently placed Accurist millennium countdown clock at Greenwich, to usher in the new millennium.
In 2001 Accurist’s commitment and dedication to service was acknowledged by the trade in general as Accurist became the only watch company to have been awarded the most prestigious “Customer Service Award ” at The UK jewellery awards ceremony.
March 2003 has seen Accurist further strengthen their original agreement to support the Old Royal Observatory at Greenwich by signing an exclusive license with the National Maritime Museum to produce a range of replica clocks and watches from the Observatory’s and Museum’s historic collections.
In September 2005 to capitalise on their expertise in the UK market Accurist set up a new division to distribute other brands in the UK. 2006 saw Accurist become the first brand to be co-featured in the English football team‘s advertising campaign. From Jan 1st 2007 Accurist started distributing Versace watches and Jewellery.
In 2008 Accurist launched ‘British Real Time’ with faces and voices from across the United Kingdom. Accurist’s research shows that our relationship to time and how we access it has changed. We focus more on what we do with our time rather than being dictated to by the constraints of time. British Real Time.com is a celebration of British culture and what contemporary Britain is doing at any given moment, giving a snapshot of Britain today.
The past 60 years tell a remarkable story of the development of one of the industry’s most famous independent watch companies. With a young and dynamic management team committed to the companies original principles, the future promises to be just as exciting.
From Accurist Website.