Jump to content
  • Sign Up to reply and join the friendliest Watch Forum on the web. Stick around, get to 50 posts and gain access to your full profile and additional features such as a personal messaging system, chat room and the sales forum PLUS the chance to enter our regular giveaways.
Sign in to follow this  

Recommended Posts

It is quite extraordinary how the amount of available information on two different modern clock/watch companies can be so different, even when both have a substantial presence in their respective markets. I am currently doing research for a Forum topic on a particular watch company - whose name is my secret for now - and I have found myself sifting through an enormous amount of analysis and information for the topic. And yet, in the case of Acctim, there is hardly any real information to go on pertaining to its history and workings, although Acctim claims that it "has a history dating back to 1929".

There may be a key to the history of Acctim in the names of the three companies that make up Acctim Limited today, with Acctim acting as the ultimate parent company and having two subsidiaries - the Anglo Continental Clock Co. Ltd., and Time Instruments Limited. More about that here below.

Acctim Ltd. is a private limited company with relatively few main shareholders, and it was incorporated on 4 October 1999 - at which time it moved its registered address from 60 Tabernacle Street in London to an address in Bromley, Kent. There have been changes in the Bromley address but it is now, Acctim Ltd., Leonard House, 5-7 Newman Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 1RJ. The company is run by its two directors, Kevin Jon Leonard and Neil Joseph Carney, and they have been Directors for 14 and 15 years respectively (and note that the premises is named Leonard House). The Company Secretary is Trevor Ronald Passfield, who has been in post since 2007.

The problem for the researcher of Acctim is that all three of the companies involved - Acctim itself and its two subsidiaries - are all located at one address, and this causes confusion as to who does what and what is actually done at this location. A related problem is that different sources of information give a certain amount of conflicting information about the activities and address of these three companies. There is even some difference given for the name of the building at this location, although I am now certain that it is called Acctim House, and is located at Interchange Park (or Jenna Way) Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.

The various activities that I can find listed for this conglomerate of companies at Newport Pagnell include the sale of barometers and clocks, the wholesale of jewellery supplies including precious stones and perhaps even complete items of jewellery, the manufacture, repair and wholesale of clocks and watches, the production of time logging software and time recording machines, including tachographs and rear vision cameras, and now the sale of a collection of presentation giftware. Acctim themselves mention that they have "specialist manufacturing knowledge and expertise" and so that raises the question of whether or not any clocks and watches are actually manufactured at Newport Pagnell - it seems unlikely since the staff at this "depot" only number about 35. I might be sticking my neck out a bit here but I would say that most of Acctim's clocks are made in the Far East although there is no doubt a design and quality control input from Newport Pagnell.

Fortunately, this is a Watch Forum and so I can concentrate here on clocks and watches produced by Acctim and its subsidiaries and leave aside other products. In fact, I am going to concentrate on the clocks here because this particular subforum is mainly for collectors of clocks and pocket watches. For those interested in Acctim watches, I shall be placing a separate topic on the Watch Discussion subforum to introduce collectors to the limited but interesting range of Acctim watches.

So, let's get back to the clocks, which are a common sight these days, either as mechanical or quartz alarm clocks, and wall and mantel clocks in either modern or traditional styles. Acctim claims that they have now "become the leading brand in the UK clock market" and one speciality of Acctim would seem to be the use of radio control to maintain the accuracy of time and date on clocks (and watches).

The brand names most commonly found on Acctim clocks are as follows: Acctim or acctim, Anglo Continental Clock Co, and Towcester Clock Works Co. However, it is clear that Acctim also manufactures clocks for other clients on a private label project basis, and these will presumably not bear the Acctim own-brand marks. In the case of the mark, "Towcester Clock Works Co." there is an amusing and waspish criticism of Acctim by "Magpie Moth: Brand new you're retro" for misappropriating Magpie's home town to invent an old clock company there which never actually existed. As she says, having herself been taken in by an Acctim Towcester-marked clock, "TCW is a brand name for a retro-style clock brand based in Newport Pagnell invoking Towcester as some token of early-to-mid-twentieth century authenticity."

If one is looking for any real history for Acctim, it seems that the subsidiary, the Anglo Continental Clock Co. Ltd. might be the most likely contender. This company was apparently founded in 1946, but this might have been a resurrection of an earlier Anglo-Continental Clock Co. Ltd., whose demise is listed in a pun-filled extract found in the London Gazette of 12 September 1941. The extract reveals that it had been decided "That Anglo-Continental Clock Co. Ltd. be wound up voluntarily and that Mr. Robert Kenneth Crane of 117 Queen Victoria Street, London, E.C.4, Incorporated Accountant, is hereby appointed Liquidator to conduct the winding up." In fact, we can place the Anglo-Continental Clock Company back further, into the 1930s, when they made synchronous clocks for Kienzle.

So that about wraps it up for Acctim clocks, apart from illustrations and my admission that I recently purchased one of their mechanical hand wind alarm clocks - an example marked "acctim" - which are very cheap indeed and in varieties that are really nice and retro. Their new radio controlled clocks are certainly handy in our country where the hour changes twice a year, and if the radio control updates the time on these clocks on a regular basis, then they should keep to a high degree of accuracy.

Here then is a classic Acctim wall clock with mechanical timer, based on a famous Max Bill design and chosen by Country Homes and Interiors as one of their 10 best wall clocks:

9-Acctim-from-Homebase--clocks--country--Country-Homes--Interiors.jpg

And here is a selection of Acctim clocks which barely does justice to the huge range of Acctim clocks available, from the retro to the ultra-modern, and including classic sunray models, skeleton clocks, carriage clocks, and many types of alarm clocks. Having looked carefully at the range of Acctim-branded clocks, I have noticed some that I have seen under different labels, and one in particular was clearly manufactured by Zeon. So you can see how difficult it is to pin down manufacturers of many modern clocks as opposed to companies that are, like Acctim, essentially "producers" who mainly market, wholesale and distribute clocks, marking them with their own branding or with the branding ordered by a private client company of clocks and watches.

Acctim-Clocks.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny I just sold a load of acctim travel alarms clock on the sales thread very interesting read , hope you don't mind me saying but in today's world we write in quick slang ie lol fsot etc etc it's very refreshing to read some of your threads , not just a quick read but thought and effort put into it thumbs up my friend

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much Thomasr and Iceblue for your really kind comments. It really does mean a lot to me when members and browsers alike read my topics, even if they don't always agree with everything I say. Also, it is useful when they read them and can fill in some of the missing gaps which always ocur, however long you research a topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just stumbled across this while staring at the clock on the wall...

I can provide some information; many years ago, as a teenager, in the summer holidays, I worked at acctim, as the parent of one of my schoolmates was, I think, a Director of the company. I can confirm the acronym stands for Anglo Continental Clocks Time Instrument Manufacturers. The site was a warehouse in North Finchley, London. I was under the impression(?) they were importers, rather than manufacturers, but, who knows. I do remember a warehouse full of small boxes, and the name Kienzle rings a bell (no pun intended). Oh, and in my memory I was told they were the first importers of Seiko watches into UK. Again, I wouldn't stake any money on this being the case!

Hope this helps, and if anyone has a Grand Seiko to give me, I'd be more than happy to accept it :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...