Accurist Chronograph (Landeron Cal. 51)…
With its electric blue bezel, this 1960’s Accurist chronograph had the potential to be a real eye-catcher.
(Click pictures to enlarge)
Started in London in 1946 by Asher and Rebecca Loftus, Accurist have always been proud of their British heritage. Creating the “Old England” series of watches in the 1960’s, they spearheaded the idea that a watch should be regarded as a fashion accessory rather than a ‘once in a lifetime’ purchase. The Old England series with colourful and striking designs found favour with a variety of celebrities at the time including Twiggy, and The Beatles.
When the fashionable quartz and LCD watches arrived on the scene in the 1970’s, Accurist were sure to include them in their range and made a series of popular TV commercials starring John Cleese with his “Accu-wrist / Accur-ankle” tag-line. Here is one such example.
As well as commercial success, other achievements have included supplying watches for Concorde pilots and an ultra-accurate Millennium countdown clock for the Greenwich Royal Observatory. A full history of the brand can be found here.
Accurist are still in business today and have a constantly evolving collection, though mechanical watches are no longer included (unfortunately!). If you would like to see their current line-up, you can do so here.
Ok, enough of the history, back to the watch…. The movement in this watch is a Landeron cal. 51, cam lever chronograph. Like many of Landeron’s chronographs, this calibre operates differently to a ‘regular’ chronograph. In most chronograph calibres the top button starts and stops the mechanism, and the lower button performs the reset. With a Landeron chronograph, the top button starts the mechanism, and the lower button is used to stop and then reset.
The cal. 51 is one of a long line of chronograph calibres derived from the cal. 48, the basis for all Landeron’s cam lever chronograph calibres. Rather than repeat a whole section on the history of Landeron and their calibres, I’ll direct any interested parties to this blog post about a Portex Chronograph that I wrote a couple of years ago
As you can see from the picture above, the movement was in a pretty scruffy state and obviously hadn’t been serviced for quite some time. It was running and the chronograph was functioning correctly, but time hadn’t been too kind to the lume on the dial markers and hands, so they would also need some attention to restore this watch back to its former glory.
All went according to plan, the service was straight forward and in addition to tidying up the dial markers and main hands, the sub-dial hands were painted white and the centre sweep second hand given an orange tip to match the orange highlights in the dial.
Finally, the case was cleaned, the pushers cleaned and re-lubricated, and a new crystal fitted to finish the job. It’s a shame that Accurist aren’t making watches like this any more.
** Many thanks to Menno van Rij for letting me feature his watch on the blog. **