August 24, 2008 / 4:44 PM / 11 years ago

Accurist calls time on speaking clock

LONDON (Reuters) - At the third stroke, the time will no longer be sponsored by Accurist...

After 22 years and three billion calls, the watch-maker said it has called time on its sponsorship of the BT Speaking Clock.

Accurist’s managing director Andrew Loftus said the company had decided to launch its own online service instead.

“The company feels it is time for a change to give the British public a time keeping service that is current, modern and useful,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

Its new Web site, www.britishrealtime.com, will feature video clips of 4,620 members of the public announcing the time. It will go live on September 5.

Callers dialling “123” to check the time will stop hearing the name Accurist “imminently”, Loftus added.

A BT spokesman said the service would continue, although no decision has been made on future sponsorship. The value of the contract has not been released.

The BT Speaking Clock has kept time since 1936, when it was also known as “TIM” — the three-letter code short for “time” which callers dialled on old-fashioned alphabetic phones.

Since its launch, only four people have leant their voice to the service.

Reporting by Peter Griffiths, editing by Kate Kelland

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