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Publication numberUS3360922 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 2, 1968
Filing dateMar 11, 1966
Priority dateMar 11, 1966
Publication numberUS 3360922 A, US 3360922A, US-A-3360922, US3360922 A, US3360922A
InventorsRogers Donald J
Original AssigneeHamilton Watch Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electric watch calendar setting and detenting mechanism
US 3360922 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D. J. ROGERS Jan. 2, 1968 ELECTRIC WATCH CALENDAR SETTING AND DETENTING MECHANISM Filed March ll, 1966 ATTORNEYS United States Patent C 3,360,922 ELECTRIC WATCH CALENDAR SETTING AND DETENTING MECHANISM Donald J. Rogers, Lancaster, Pa., assignor to Hamilton Watch Company, Lancaster, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Mar. 11, 1966, Ser. No. 533,513 Claims. (Cl. 58-58) This invention relates to a mechanical calendar or datering setting mechanism for use in watches or clocks and other timing devices having date-indicating mechanisms. It is intended primarily for electric watch movements having or being adaptable to a three-position setting stem where the additional stem position is for manual date setting.

There are in existence many timepiece calendar systems in which the movement of a watch or like timepiece is provided with a date-bearing indicia member which is operated in timed relation to the hour wheel of the timepiece, so as to indicate successive dates. In typical existing calendar-watch systems, the dial side of the movement is provided with a calendar ring or disc that is rotatably mounted below the dial and bears 3l equally spaced members which are successively exposed through a Window in the dial as the disc is advanced al of a revolution each twenty-four hours by means interconnecting the calendar ring with the dial train of the watch.

In existing calendar-watch systems, the dial train is ef,-

Afectively disconnected from the calendar indicia ring or ldisc for about twenty-one hours, with the appropriate date number of the calendar ring being exposed through a window in the watch dial to indicate the date. In the remaining three-hour period, the dial train is drivingly engaged with the calendar ring, usually by a camming arrangement, so as to cause the calendar ring to advance ,ll/31 of a revolution. The dial ring is thus progressively moved in the remaining three-hour period, which is usually around midnight, until the next date number is beneath the aforementioned dial window. The date number is exposed for the next twenty-one hours and is thereafter replaced by the next successive number when the calendar ring is again drivingly engaged with the dial train by the intermediate camming arrangement and thus displaced.

Such existing calendar-watch systems are not completely desirablein that the Ydate-change takes place over a substantial period of time (i.e., approximately three hours) andgfor muchof this time the numerals are not readily readable through the dial window. In addition, they impose a quite high load on the source of power driving the dial train, and this load is more than existing electrical watch systems can bear with a compact, long-lived power source. Also, due to the relatively high power requirements of such prior watch calendar systems, they are a problem with so-called automatic or self-winding springdriven watches when they are not in a full-wind state.

In' order to overcome these and other disadvantages of the prior constructions, I disclose in my copending application Ser. No. 533,512, entitled, Watch Calendar Drive Mechanism, and tiled on even date herewith, a novel calendar-ring indexing mechanism which combines the features of calendar-ring drive and detenting in a single, unitary assembly which imposes a light load on the `watch driving mechanism, and for this reason is particuice larly suited to electric watches and other timepieces having a limited power source. The indexing mechanism of that application is believed to be unique in that it combines all desirable calendar features in one mechanism which does not require excessive energy as do other calendar mechanisms previously proposed. These desirable features include instantaneous date change, accuracy and repeatability in date change, accurate date positioning, calendar ring detenting (holding and releasing), and rapid calendar-ring setting-all features being combined in a simple mechanism requiring little space and energy.

However, as with most known calendar constructions, the mechanism of the aforesaid copending applications requires some provision in the timepiece for manually setting the calendar ring to the desired date. For example, if for some reason the watch should stop running, it becomes necessary upon reinitiation of watch operation to reset the calendar ring so as to compensate for the elapsed time during which the watch was stopped. In addition, calendar-ring constructions incorporate an annular ring provided with date indicia in the form of 31 equally spaced numerals representative of the 3l days of the longest months of the year. At the ends of those months which in fact have less than 3l days, it is necessary that a wearer of the timepiece advance the calendar ring from the last day of the month (eg, from the numeral 30 for the end of September) to numeral 1, representative of the rst day of the following month. Thus it is apparent that, even if the watch is continuously in proper operation,

-some provision must be made in the calendar mechanism end of certain months of the year.

The present invention is directed to a novel watch calendar setting mechanism which, while adapted for use with all types of calendar-ring drives and indexing systems, is particularly sui.ed for use in conjunction with the calendar-ring index mechanism disclosed in the aforesaid copending application. The setting mechanism of this invention is of simple and reliable construction and makes it possible to set the calendar ring completely independent of the position of the hands of a timepiece. To this end, it is particularly adapted to mechanisms employing a three-position setting stern wherein the setting stem of the timepiece is longitudinally movable from a normal or watch-running position to one of two remaining positions, namely, a hand-setting position and a calendar-ring-setting position.

One object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved calendar setting mechanism for a timepiece.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a calendar-ring setting mechanism particularly suited for use in electric watches.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a mechanism usable in setting the calendar ring of a time piece completely independent of the timepiece indicatin g hands.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a novel rack-type setting mechanism for rapidly, acurately and reliably advancing a calendar ring, particularly at those times when it is necessary to advance the calendar-ing date at the end of a month having less than 31 days.

In the present invention, the watch incorporates a setting stern carrying a kpinion movable into three different positions. In the normal or run position, the pinion of the setting stem is disengaged from the remainder of the watch works and the watch runs in a normal manner. By moving the stem longitudinally into a second position, where the setting pinion engages a portion of the dial train, the setting stem may be manually rotated to set the hands of the watch or timepiece. In a third or intermediate position, the setting pinion engages a movable rack such that manual rotation of a setting stem in' this third position acts to move the rack and ultimately results in a step-wise advancement of the calendar ring to the next or subsequent following date. Provision is made for avoiding over-setting of the rack and for automatically returning the rack to a proper neutral position for further advancement of the calendar ring in the event this is necessary.

An important feature of this invention includes the provision of a pivotal detenting device for the calendar ring and an arm attached to the rack, which arm is provided with a portion lying in the same plane as the pivotal support for the detent. This arrangement of the manual setting mechanism allows considerable location freedom of the detent-support pivot point. Without this provision of a movable arm on the rack, the detent pivot point must be selected such that the teeth of the calendar ring when forcibly rotated, as during manual setting, lift the -detent by a cam-type action and thereby cause it to act as a spring-loaded detent. Although the movable arm of this invention carried by the rack is disclosed in conjunction with a pivotally-mounted detent, the invention is equally applicable to other types of detents, such as where the detent is attached to a sliding member or the like.

These and further objects and advantages of the invention will be more apparent upon refernce to the following specification, claims, and appended drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a partial plan view showing a portion of an electric watch mechanism constructed in accordance with the present invention with the rack in its normal position;

FIGURE 2 is a plan view similar to that of FIGURE 1 showing the rack moved into position for calendarring indexing and the calendar-ring detent released; and

VFIGURE 3 is a vertical cross section through the setting mechanism of FIGURES 1 and 2.

Referring to the drawings, the numeral generally indicates a watch which may be any presently commerically available watch having a movement of suitable design. For example, the movement may be that used in the Model 505 electric watch of the Hamilton Watch Company, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, disclosed in Service Bulletin #220 but modilied to incorporate the watch calendar system of this invention as hereinafter amplified. Alternatively, the watch may be o f the more recent type identied as Hamilton electric watch Model 510.

The watch movement includes a pillar plate which is provided on its dial side with an annular peripheral ring havingv an internal shoulder for seating the lower portion of an annular geared calendar ring as illustrated in the drawings at 12. A dial-train bridge is concentrically mounted on the dial side of the pillar plate, and the circular edge portions of the dial-train bridge and annular shoulder on the periphery of the pillar plate provide face 14 with thirty-one equally spaced ,numerals 16, numbered successively from 1 to 3l. The lower internal annular portion of the calendar ring 12 is provided with thirty-one internal gear teeth 18 uniformly spaced around the entire periphery of the calendar ring by slots 20. The teeth are each provided with concave surfaces 22 for a purpose more fully described below.

Longitudinally movable through the watch case is a setting stem 24 which is rotated in a conventional manner to set the hands on the Watch, This setting carries at its inner end a setting pinion 26 adapted to be moved longitudinally to one of three different positions, labeled positions A, B and C, respectively, in the figures of the drawings. The A and C positions are illustrated in dashed lines in FIGURE 3, while the B position for the setting pinion is illustrated in solid lines in that figure. Position A is the fully-in position where the setting pinion rests during normal operation of the watch. Position B is an intermediate position where the setting pinion 26 engages with the teeth 28 of a rack 30 for calendar-ring setting, and position C is the fully-out position where the setting pinion 26 engages with the contrate teeth 32 of the minute wheel 34 forming a portion of a dial train or drive train for the watch hands. The minute wheel is connected to the remainder of the dial train by the peripheral teeth 36.

Connected to the rack, adjacent one end, is a vlaterally-projecting extension member 38 provided with a threaded aperture at 40 receiving the lower end of a threaded screw 42. Rotatably mounted about an unthreaded portion of the screw 42 is a pawl assembly, generally indicated at 44, including a pawl 46 which carries an indexing pin 48 adapted to be received in one of the slots 20 between the calendar-ring teeth 18. Pawl 46 is lightly spring-loaded in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURES 1 and 2, by a iiat spring 50 and is restricted from excessive counterclockwise rotation by a shoulder 52 of the pawl assembly 44.

The timepiece mechanism of the present invention is also provided with a circular detenting segment 54 adapted to closely engage the concave surface 22 of one of the calendar-ring teeth 18. Circular segment 54 acts as a portion of the calendar-ring drive as well as a detent element, in a manner more fully shown and described in the aforementioned copending application led on even date herewith. The segment is rotatably mounted ron an arm 56 pivoted to a stationary portion of the Watch movement at 58, and such arm is spring-biased so as to cause the segment 54 to engage the concave surface 22 by a detent -bias spring 60.

An important feature of the present invention includes the provision of an arm 62 attached to the rack 30 such that it extends beyondrdetent supporting arm 56 by passing above it (or below it). The end of arm 62 has attached to it a linger 64 projecting into the plane containing arm 56.

In order to reset the calendar ring 12, such as would be the case at the end of a month having less than `thirtyone days, the setting stem 24 is manually pulled to its intermediate position so that the setting pinion assumes position B illustrated in ther drawings, where is meshes with the teeth of rack 30. Upon rotation of the setting stem 24 in a counterclockwise direction (as viewed from the crown end), rack 30 advances against the force of a spring 66. This spring is secured at one end to the extension member 38 of the rack and at its other end is retained slidably between a pair of stationary pins 68 secured to a stationary portion of the watch movement. Advancement of the rack from the norm-al position (illustrated in FIGURE l) to the setting position (illustrated in FIGURE 2) by manual rotation of the setting stem 24, causes setting pin 48 to slide past the calendar-ring teethIS until it springs into a tooth slot 20 due to the counterclockwise spring loading of the pawl spring 50, as illustrated inv FIGURE 2. At this stage, the counterclockwise setting-stem rotation is `stopped and the setting stem is released. Spring 66 forces rack 30 to its original Yligure l position, thereby causing setting pin 48 to drive the calendar ring 12 in a clockwise direction. Should the setting stern 24 be rotated farther in a counterclockwise direction than is necessary for the pin 48 to fully engage in the slot 20, this continued rotation does not continue to advance the rackbecause the tooth portion of the rack ends at this point, as illustrated in FIGURE 2. The geometry of the travel of tooth slot 20 and pin 48 is such that the pin disengages from the tooth slot 20 after about 3A of the desired index rotation of the calendar ring 12, thereby allowing the detent or positioning segment 54 to engage the concave surface of the next tooth to force the calendar ring the remaining 1A part of the index rotation.

Spring 66 automatically returns and holds rack 30 in its normal ligure l rest position such that the pin 4S is not in engagement with the calendar-ring teeth 18 during normal operation of the movement, such as when the setting pinion 26 is not meshed with the rack. Thus, spring 66 prevents the rack from interfering with the normal periodic calendar-ring indexing, as is described in the aforementioned copending application tiled on even date herewith. Spring 66 also returns rack 30 to its meshing figure 1 position with the setting pinion 26, in the event that the user attempts to index the calendar ring through `a clockwise stem rotation (as viewed from the crown end).

In order to provide more accurate and reliable calendar-ring indexing, and in order to provide an optimum arrangement of the mechanical parts in the watch, the rack 30 is provided with the arm 62 previously described. When setting pinion 26 is rotated for calendar-setting movement of the rack 30 from the position illustrated in FIGURE l to the position illustrated in FIGURE 2, this causes finger 64 to engage the pivoted support arm 56 for the detent segment 54, and during the latter portions of the rack movement, finger 64 draws the circular segment 54 away from the concave surface 22 of the adjacent calendar-ring tooth, as illustrated in FIGURE 2. The movement of the circular segment is suicient to completely clear teeth 18, so that the initial indexing movement of the calendar ring under the influence of setting pin 48 is free of any detent resistance. However, as the rack returns under the inuence of spring 66 (i.e., after it has completed about 1/2 of its return movement), iinger 64 begins to release circular segment 54 so that the circular segment again begins to return to its figure 1 position under the iniluence of its bias spring 60. The length of arm 62 is chosen in accordance with the physical dimensions of the system such that by the time the calendar ring has completed 3A of its index movement, circular segment 54 is again in position to engage the concave surface of one of the teeth 18 so as to properly detent the calendar ring the remaining 1A of its movement after release by the pin 48. The relationship between circular segment 54 and its drive wheel 70 is such that the circular segment is at all times drivingly coupled to wheel 70, so as to retain proper synchronism between the calendar ring and the automatic calendar-ring indexing drive which indexes the calendar ring during normal running of the watch. Because of the action of arm 62, the pivot point 58 for the detent support arm 56 need no longer be chosen strictly from a standpoint of the detent action of this arm, but may be provided in a more optium position such as to provide more reliable operation of the system and to reduce the space occupied by the calendar mechanism, all-important in a watch structure which of necessity is of limited size.

It is apparent from the above that the present invention provides a simplified and reliable arrangement for accurately setting the date-indicating mechanism of a timepiece. Important features of the present invention include the provision of a three-position setting stem and setting assembly wherein the calendar ring can be adjusted-into a new position independently of the watch hands. While usable in conjunction with all types of calendar drive systems, the setting mechanism of the present invention is particularly suited for use in conjunction with the calendar-drive detent mechanism disclosed in copending application Ser. No. 533,512, liled on even date herewith, and makes possible independent calendar adjustment while maintaining proper lsynchronism between the calendar drive and the dial train of the watch. It is usable in conjunction with the low load system of that invention particularly adapted to electric watch construction wherein the power supply in the form of a small, compact battery is limited.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to -be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to he embraced therein.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:

1. A calendar setting mechanism for a timepiece comprising movable date-indicating means, a detent engaging said date-indicating means, means for manually moving said date-indicating means to a new da-te, and means responsive to said manual means for disengaging said detent from said date-indicating means during a portion of said movement.

2. A setting mechanism according to claim 1 including means for disengaging said detent during the initial portion of the movement of said date-indicating means.

3. A setting mechanism according to claim 1 wherein said date-indicating means comprises a calendar ring having a plurality of uniformly spaced slots, said manual moving means including an indexing pin receivable in one of said slots to drive said calendar ring.

4. A setting mechanism according to claim 3 including a rotatable setting stern longitudinally movable into three separate positions-namely, a timepiece running position, a hand-setting position and a calendar-ring-setting position-and means coupling said setting stem to said indexing pin when said setting stem is in said calendar-ring-setting position.

5. A setting mechanism according to claim 4 wherein said coupling means comprises a reciprocatable rack carrying said indexing pin, and a pinion on said setting stem engageable with the teeth of said rack when said setting stem is in said calendar-ring-setting position.

6. A setting mechanism according to claim 5 including means resiliently biasing said rack toa predetermined rest position with said indexing disengaged from said calendar ring.

7. A setting mechanism according to claim 1 wherein said date-indicating means comprises a calendar ring having a plurality of uniformly spaced slots, said manual moving means including an indexing pin receivable in one of said slots to drive said calendar ring, a reciprocata-ble rack carrying said indexing pin, spring means for resiliently biasing said rack to a rest position with said pin disengaged from said calendar ring, a rotatable setting stem longitudinally movable into three separate positionsnamely, a timepiece running position, a hand-setting position and a calendar-ring-setting position-and a pinion on said calendar ring for engaging the teeth on said rack when said setting stem is in said calendar-ring-setting position, said calendar ring having -a plurality of spaced portions with a concave surface, said detent comprising a rotatable circular segment engaging one of said concave surfaces.

8. A setting mechanism according to claim 7 wherein said segment is mounted on a pivoted arm, resilient means acting on -said arm to urge said segment against a concave surface,and means carried by said rack for moving said segment clear of said concave surface when said rack is moved.

9. An electric watch comprising a calendar ring having a series of date indicia thereon, a three-position setting stern, a rack and pinion coupling said setting stern to said calendar ring for manually indexing said calendar ring when said setting stern is in one of said three positions, a detent acting on said calendar ring, and means responsive to movement of said rack for moving said detent free of -said calendar ring.

ylil. A watch according to claim 9 wherein said detent is mounted on a pivoted support, said movement-responsive means comprising an arm mounted on said rack and RICHARD B. WILKINSON, Primary Examiner.

10 MICHAEL LORCH, Assistant Examiner.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,360,922 January 2, 196g Donald J. Rogers v It is certified that error appears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 2, lines 62 and 63, "calendar-ing" should read calendar-ring Column 3, line 36, "refernce" should read reference Column 4, line l0, after "setting" insert stem Column 6, line 55, after "indexing" insert pin Signed and sealed this 5th day of August 1969.

(SEAL) Attest:

Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. JR-

Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3451211 *Sep 13, 1967Jun 24, 1969Seiko Instr & ElectronicsCalendar watches
US3866407 *Apr 25, 1974Feb 18, 1975Timex CorpStem locking mechanism for electric calendar watches
US5083300 *Jul 10, 1991Jan 21, 1992Timex CorporationSetting mechanism for a timepiece
US7823476 *Apr 4, 2008Nov 2, 2010Eta Sa Manufacture Horlogère SuisseSingle direction coupling device and correction device including the same
US7957226Mar 27, 2008Jun 7, 2011Eta Sa Manufacture Horlogère SuisseCorrection device for timepiece display mechanism and wheel fitted thereto
US20080245171 *Apr 4, 2008Oct 9, 2008Eta Sa Manufacture Horlogere SuisseSingle direction coupling device and correction device including the same
US20080247277 *Mar 27, 2008Oct 9, 2008Eta Sa Manufacture Horlogere SuisseCorrection device for timepiece display mechanism and wheel fitted thereto
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/35, 968/172
International ClassificationG04B19/253, G04B19/25, G04B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04B19/25
European ClassificationG04B19/25