* Prices may differ from that shown
== Background ==
You quite often read these days newspaper articles about how wristwatches are a dying breed now that everyone uses their mobile phones or iThings to tell the time. Well, that's as maybe, but personally I wouldn't ever want to be without a wristwatch, simply for the sake of convenience. And yes, though I'm by no means the most fashion-conscious of individuals, I also like having a timepiece that looks and feels nicer than a plastic-and-glass slab with which to tell the time. This Accurist watch, which doesn't seem to have a model number beyond the MS075 engraved on the back, fitted the bill nicely.
In the past, I tended to go for very cheap watches, the sort you can pick up for a fiver in Wilkinson shops, but when I was looking for one most recently I took the decision to move up a notch. Not, naturally, to the rarefied level at which you find the Swiss giants such as Rolex - I don't think most of those oversized things look very nice in any case, quite aside from their terrifying price tags - but I did want a watch that I could reasonably expect to last quite a few years without falling to bits, and this one was the one that stood out. Clearly others agree: this model is still sold new today, despite my having bought it two or three years ago now.
== Look and feel ==
As I've said, I didn't want a watch that was overly flashy, but I *did* want one with just a little touch of style about it. The Accurist has a relatively restrained design, which I like, with a nice large dial in plain silver and the rim, hands and numbers picked out in gold. A rather unusual feature, which divides opinion but which I like, is that the date window (which is in the usual place at three o'clock) has a little magnifying bump over it; this does slightly spoil the smooth lines of the watch and is very slightly vulnerable to scratches, but my poor eyesight makes it extremely useful.
The Accurist branding is very discreet, amounting to nothing more than the company name in small black, plain lettering, and this too attracted me; I certainly don't wear a wristwatch in order to flaunt it. The hours are picked out with simple single lines, except for the double line that marks twelve o'clock, and the hands are quite thin and in my view rather elegant. I much prefer leather to metal straps, and that was a factor too, though as supplied this dark brown one had a fake-croc texture I wasn't all that keen on. I've now had that replaced with a plainer near-black one (at Timpson) and it looks excellent, and just as comfortable as the original.
== Features and reliability ==
Given that I was going to consider my new watch as something a bit more than an ultra-cheap disposable, durability was an important factor, especially as I wear my wristwatches all day and every day. Thus, the Accurist's promise of a 10-year battery life was of great interest. As I haven't owned the watch for anything like that long (yet!) I can't say whether or not the claim is a reasonable one, but it's certainly shown no signs yet of running out of juice; should that happen, though, it takes a standard CR2012 battery so should be pretty cheap to repair. On the usual stainless steel back, along with the good old "Japan Movt." note, is mentioned that the watch is water resistant to 50 metres, which means you don't have to worry too much about it if you go fishing or rafting, though it's not a diver's watch by any means.
I have been very pleased with the way the Accurist has stood up to my fairly hard use of it over a considerable period of time. Yes, there have been one or two tiny - and I do mean tiny - nicks and scratches, and so you wouldn't call it pristine any longer, but it still looks remarkably nice for a watch that's been worn all the time for several years, and I would still have no qualms about wearing it (as I have done) to events such as weddings or interviews where a smart turnout is required. It really hasn't missed a beat on any score, and I can't fault it on its staying power.
== Where to buy and verdict ==
This watch is still available new from Argos, where it has catalogue number 251/2163; I mention this specifically because they also sell several other very similar Accurist models. Argos charge £34.99, which I think is a pretty fair price, though don't get too excited about their description of it as "gift boxed" as the box is functional rather than stylish and to be honest doesn't quite match up to the standard of the watch itself. I've rarely seen it sold in High Street jewellers, though again some very similar timepieces are.
All in all, I have been very satisfied indeed with my purchase, and have not had cause to change that decision over the course of the time I've owned it. This is not a wristwatch with which to impress movers and shakers or to record your next cross-Channel swim. It is a wristwatch with which to tell the time (and date) clearly, unfussily and reliably, and that it does very finely indeed. Four and a half stars (the half off is for the original strap) but that's enough of a minor point that I'm rounding it up to five. If I had cause to do so, I'd certainly buy another one of these.