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Publication numberUS3177646 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 13, 1965
Filing dateApr 12, 1963
Priority dateApr 12, 1963
Publication numberUS 3177646 A, US 3177646A, US-A-3177646, US3177646 A, US3177646A
InventorsErnest Robert O, Mcleod Charles A
Original AssigneeSunbeam Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3177646 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 13, 1965 R. o. ERNEST ETAL CLOCK Filed April 12, 1963 WATM United States Patent M 3,177,646 CLOCK Robert 6. Ernest, Oak Park, and Charles A. McLeod,

Evanston, Ell, assignors to Sunbeam Corporation, Chicage, Ill, a corporation of Illinois Filed Apr. 12, 1%3, Ser. No. 272,644

4 Claims. (Cl. 5S-2) This invention relates to clocks and more particularly to the face and crystal configuration of a wall clock.

In the design and styling of clocks, it is frequently desirable to utilize a face having a spherical curvature. The spherically curved face provides opportunities for the stylist to produce an unusual and appealing clock design. It is conventional to provide such a clock face with indicia spaced around the hands which are adapted to rotate about a horizontally disposed axis. The hands rotate along a spherically curved path in close proximity tothe clock face and the indicia provided thereon.

To enclose the face and dial, a transparent crystal having a curvature corresponding to the face is conventionally provided. While the spherically curved face and crystal have .an appeal from a styling standpoint, there are functional disadvantages which have limited their use or made the clocks in which they have been incorporated unsatisfactory from the standpoint of ease of telling time. This functional problem is particularly noticeable in connection with wall clocks and involves the reflections associated with both the face and crystal. These reflections consist of the images of the artificial lights in the room being reflected into the eyes of the user preventing him from observing the position of the clock hands. The glare of natural light from Windows is similarly reflected preventing easy observation of the clock hands.

A flat face and crystal have a tendency to reflect light into the users eyes only at a very few selected positions. A spherical surface, however, has a tendency to pick up light from almost any source in the room in which it is located and reflected toward the user. It would be desirable, therefore, to provide a clock with a spherically curved face which would have little tendency to reflect light toward the user of the clock.

An object of this invention is to provide an improved clock having a spherically curved face which has little tendency to reflect light.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved crystal for a clock having a spherically curved face.

Another object of the invention is to provide a clock with a nonreflecting time indicating display which includes a spherically curved clock face.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds and the features of novelty which characterize the invention will be pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification.

Briefly, the above objects are realized in accordance with the present invention by the provision of a cylindrically curved crystal superimposed over a spherically curved clock face. The cylindrically curved shape of the crystal in combination with a forward inclination virtually eliminates undesirable light reflections normally associated with clocks having spherically curved faces.

For a better understanding of the present invention, reference may be had to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wall clock embodying our invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the clock of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view with the front portion 3,177,646 Patented Apr. 13, 1965 2 gf the:1 clock shown in section taken on line 3-3 of FIG.

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the clock of FIG. 1.

Referring now to the drawings, in FIG. 1 a clock 11 is illustrated embodying the features of our invention. The clock includes a casing 12 which is formed with a spherically curved face 13 and rearwardly extending side walls 14. The casing 12 forms a rearwardly facing cupshaped structure within which a motor and movement 15 are received. This motor and movement 15 may be of the spring wound variety or may include a battery or alternating current operated electric motor.

In the form disclosed, the clock 11 is a wall clock and would normally include some means (not shown) whereby it could be supported from a hook on the wall of a room. It should be appreciated, however, that the invlentlion may also be applied to a table or desk type of 0 oc The motor and movement 15 are drivingly connected to an hour hand 16, a minute hand 17 and a second hand 18 in a conventional manner. The face 13 positioned immediately behind the hands 16, 17 and 18 is provided with a spherical curvature as was mentioned above. The clock hands are supported for rotation about a horizontal axis Which may be considered extending radially with respect to the curvature of face 13. The hands are curved rearwardly so that they rotate along spherical paths in close proximity to the face 13. To facilitate accurate reading of the time, the face 13 is provided with minute and hour indicia 19 positioned around the axis of rotation of the hands 16, 17 and 18.

To enclose and protect the face 13 of the clock 11 and the hands 16, 17 and 18, there is provided a transparent crystal 21 which includes a cylindrically curved front wall 22 and rearwardly extending sides 23. The sides 23 engage the casing 12 thereby cooperating with the face 13 to form a chamber 24 within which the hands of the clock are enclosed. As may best be seen in FIG. 2, the front wall 22 of crystal 21 is provided with a cylindrical curvature which is substantially the same in radius as the curvature of the face 13. The axis of the cylindrically curved crystal 21 lies in the same vertical plane as the axis around which the hands rotate. It should be noted, however, that this axis of the crystal 21 is inclined forwardly so that the face 22 of the crystal is inclined with respect to the vertical. As is shown in FIG. 3, the angle A between the horizontal axis around which the hands rotate and the front wall 22 is less than degrees. In one preferred embodiment, it was found that an angle A of 3 /2 degrees functioned well while retaining an esthetically appealing configuration. It should be appreciated that too great an inclination of the front 22 of the crystal creates a design problem in integrating the crystal 21 with the clock case 12.

The purpose of the cylindrical shape of the crystal 21 and the inclination with respect to the vertical is to reduce the amount of light which would normally be refiected into the eyes of a person attempting to read the clock. It has been found that a spherical crystal and a spherical clock face have a tendency to reflect toward the user images of any and all bright light sources within a room. Because of the nature of the spherical reflecting surface, all such undesired reflections are seen by the person attempting to read the clock from almost any position and regardless of the location of the light sources. It may be appreciated that with a flat crystal there would be only a single position of the user in which he would receive the undesired reflection from a single light source. The spherical surface, however, has the disadvantage of having many different angled surface portions which may 3 reflect regardless of the position of the source or the user of the clock.

In addition to providing the inclined cylindrical wall 22 on the crystal 21, there has also been a modification made in the face 13 to minimize'reflections therefrom. The face 13 has been roughened or textured so as to substantially eliminate reflections therefrom. A similar reis evident from FIG. 1, the curved intersections of the front wall 22 andside walls 23 of crystal 21 tend to create the illusion that the crystal does not depart from the shape of the face 13 as much as it actually does.

Other advantages associated with the cylindrically shaped crystal as compared to' the spherically curved crystal are the simplicity in tooling, ease of manufacture and lessening of visual distortion. The simple cylindrical curvature embodied in crystal 21 presents no tooling or manufacturing problems. The resulting crystal may easily be manufactured so that there are no areas which distort the users view of the face enclosed therein. In contrast, the manufacture of a distortion free spherical crystal by the usual techniques of plastic molding is al most impossible.

While a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown, it will be understood, of course, that the invention is not limited thereto since many modifications may be made, and it is, therefore, contemplated by the appended claims to cover any such modifications as fall Within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed as new and desired tobe secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A clock comprising a face extending substantially tions, a crystal covering said face and inclined forwardly,

2. A clock comprising a face extending substantially vertically and having a spherical curvature, hands rotatable about a horizontal axis in close proximity to said face to cooperate with said face in providing time indications, said face being provided with a roughened surface to minimize light reflection therefrom, a crystal covering said face and inclined forwardly, said crystal being curved in horizontal section with the radius curvature corresponding to the radius of curvature of said face.

3. In a wall clock, a nonreflecting time indicating display comprising a face formed of a spherical section, hands mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis extending radially with respect to said spherical section,

indicia spaced around said axis to cooperate with said hands to provide time indications, and acrystal of cylindrical section having the axis thereof lying in a vertical plane including said horizontal axis and being inclined to the vertical so that the crystal is tilted downwardly to minimize reflections, the radius of curvature of said crystal being substantially the same as that of said face.

4. In a wall clock a casing enclosing a motor and movement, aface on the front of said casing, hands driven by said movement and positioned in front of said face to cooperate with indicia thereon to provide a time indication, said face having the shape of a spherical section with said indicia being spaced around a horizontally extending axis, said hands turning about said a iis which extends radially of said spherical surface, a transparent crystal covering said face and having a front wall of cylindrical section and side walls extending rearwardly from said front wall into engagement with said casing, the axis of said cylindrical section intersecting said horizontally extending axis and being inclined forwardly 'to minimize reflections.

, References tilted in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,672,666 2,233,708 Norton Mar. 4, 1941 2,285,658 Hitchcock June 9, 1942 2,444,748 Parissi July 6, 1948 FOREIGN PATENTS 910,600 Germany j May 3, 1954 Walsh .4. June '5, 1928

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1672666 *Jun 13, 1927Jun 5, 1928Gen ElectricIndicating instrument
US2233708 *May 6, 1940Mar 4, 1941Norton Charles EAutomobile windshield
US2285658 *Jan 10, 1940Jun 9, 1942Westinghouse Electric & Mfg CoInstrument cover
US2444748 *Aug 28, 1945Jul 6, 1948Parissi Anthony JClock with visible and audible alarm means
DE910600C *Nov 25, 1939May 3, 1954Siemens AgBlendungsfreier und staubsicherer Abschluss fuer Messinstrumente od. dgl. fuer elektrische Schaltanlagen
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US3344988 *Nov 12, 1965Oct 3, 1967Kent Ltd GCounter-boxes
US3488439 *Jul 18, 1966Jan 6, 1970TelemationTelevising system
US4718773 *May 23, 1985Jan 12, 1988The Brampton Clock Company LimitedClock
US4884256 *Oct 20, 1988Nov 28, 1989Bernard WeinsteinDial face for clock or watch
US4999822 *Nov 27, 1989Mar 12, 1991Bernard WeinsteinDial face for clock or watch
US5010533 *Mar 2, 1990Apr 23, 1991Bernard WeinsteinDial face for clock or watch
US7023764 *Dec 12, 2003Apr 4, 2006Gottfried WolfClock
US7158448 *Jul 12, 2006Jan 2, 2007Breitling AgTimepiece with date mechanism
US20040228221 *Dec 12, 2003Nov 18, 2004Gottfried WolfClock
US20070019507 *Jul 12, 2006Jan 25, 2007Breitling AgTimepiece with date mechanism
USD746717 *Apr 30, 2014Jan 5, 2016Tudor Watch U.S.A., LlcWatch hands
USD747233 *Apr 30, 2014Jan 12, 2016Tudor Watch U.S.A., LlcAssembled watch hands
WO1990004813A1 *Oct 19, 1989May 3, 1990Weinstein, BernardClock or watch
U.S. Classification368/296, 968/302, 359/440, 368/228, 968/368
International ClassificationG04B37/00, G04B39/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04B37/0066, G04B39/00
European ClassificationG04B39/00, G04B37/00C