US 3585794 A
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United States Patent lnventor Hans Ulrich Klingenberg St. Nlklaus near Merslingen, (Canton of Berne), Switzerland App]. No. 817,926 Filed Apr. 21, 1969 Patented June 22, 1971 Priority May 1, 1968 Switzerland 6487/68 WRISTWATCH WITH ADJUSTABLE CASE HOLDER 9 Claims, 13 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 58/88 W, 58/88 SC int. Cl G04b 37/00 lField ofSearch ..58/88, 88.1, 88.5, 89, 91, 94
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,786,762 12/1930 Lyons 58/88 W 2,824,419 2/1958 Graber 58/88 W FOREIGN PATENTS 204,917 5/1939 Switzerland 58/88 W 71,946 12/1943 Czechoslovakia 58/88 B Primary Examiner-Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant Examiner-George H. Miller, Jr. Attorney-Stevens, Davis, Miller & Mosher ABSTRACT: A frame composed of two side bars and of two screws acting as wristlet lugs clamps the case between the bars. The appearance of the watch can be varied by changing the position of the case within the frame, by substituting a different case or different frame parts, or by any combination of these ways.
SHEET 2 OF 3 5.15 H5. 5 H510 B511 WRISTWATCI'I WITH ADJUSTABLE CASE HOLDER I BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Among the Wristwatches of the prior art are those having a case holding a movement and removably fixed in a frame. In some of these known watches, a frame composed of resiliently connected parts is hung from one end of the wristlet and the case from the other end. The wristlet is closed by inserting the case in the frame. In other known watches, the two ends of the wristlet are connected to the frame, which is rigid and precisely dimensioned to suit the case, enabling the latter to be held frictionally within the frame.
In these known embodiments, the parts of the frame are adapted to a case of particular dimensions. The case is not interchangeable. The parts of the frame surround the case in such a manner that the outer dimensions of the watch are increased, but this greater bulk is not accompanied by any market advantage;
In another known wristwatch the ends of the wristlet are connected to a holder having adjustable clamps between which a case can be 'removably held. Part of this holding arrangement extends underneath the case, increasing the thickness of the watch. The arrangement, moreover, is suitable for only one kind of case.
Speaking generally, in these known Wristwatches the holder (frame or holder with clamps) for the case must be made of metal. These arrangements, which have long been known and have failed to gain a foothold in the market, have been replaced by cases equipped with permanent means for holding the wristlet. These means first consisted of bars permanently installed on the case, and later of horns machined out of the principal member of the case. The frame-and-removable-case arrangements consequently have been abandoned, partly because they are bulkyand partly because they are difficult to manufacture.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The chief object of the invention is to provide a wristwatch that can be easily changed in appearance, the watch being composed of various outer parts that are simple in shape, interchangeable, and easily and quickly adapted to each other.
Another object of the invention is to provide a watch of interchangeable parts, of which certain visible parts can be made of some material other than metal, notably of a material that cannot be machined as metal, such as synthetic precious stone, or of which these visible parts can be covered with a material, such as cloth.
These and other objects of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of several embodiments of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention will be described, with reference to the FIGS. of the drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top view of a first embodiment of the invention;
FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 are top views of three modifications using some of the parts of the watch shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged view partly in cross section, taken along a plane passing through the axis of the watch shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a view partly in cross section and on reduced scale of a modification of the watch shown in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a view partly in cross section of another embodiment in which the case is self-closing;
FIGS. 8 and 9 are views corresponding to that of FIG. 7 of two other embodiments of the invention;
FIGS. 10 and 11 are partial views on expanded scale in elevation and in cross section, respectively, of the connection between two parts of the frame of the watch shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 12 is a top view, partly cut away, of the last embodiment; and
FIG. 13 is a partial axial section, on expanded scale, taken along line XIII-XIII ofFlG. 12.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS With reference to FIG. 1, the wristwatch illustrated is composed of .two major parts: a case 1 and a mount comprised of two arcuate bars 2 and 3 arranged longitudinally and connected together by screws 4 and 5 The details of the case construction are shown in FIG. 5. The case is composed of a round cap, or calotte, 6, constituting both the back and the middle of the watchcase and of a watchglass, or crystal, 7, pressing on a gasket 8 held in an annular recess incorporated in the upper edge of the sidewall of the cap 6. The edge of the watchglass is held in place by the upper part of the sidewall of this recess. The watchglass is held to the cap 6 by reducing the pressure within the case I, as will be explained.
The case I holds a movement 9 of conventional construction, such as a round mechanical movement of which the plate edge rests on a shoulder 10 of the cap sidewall. Two hands 12 and 13 move above the dial 11. A ring 14 holds the movement 9 within the case I. The movement is automatically kept wound by an oscillating weight, and comprises a winding but-' ton, or winding crown 15, located outside of the cap 6 at the end of a pipe (not shown) provided with a watertight seal. The watchglass 7 is held to the case by putting the space holding the movement under vacuum, causing the watchglass to be pressed against the gasket 8.
As shown in FIG. 5, the bars 2 and 3 have a generally U- shaped section, the opening, or hollow, of the U facing the case 1. Each leg of the section embodies at its end a bevelled edge that extends the entire length of the bar. The upper bevelled edge presses against the slanting edge of the watchglass 7, and the lower bevelled edge presses against the slanting outer side face 16 (defining a truncated cone) of the cap 6. The inner face of the bar 3 embodies a recess 17 accommodating the winding crown 15. The recess can be square, cylindrical, or any other suitable shape whatever. The presence of this recess causes each leg of the bar 3 to press at two points against the watchglass 7 or the cap 6, as the case may be. Since the bar 2 has no recess corresponding to the recess 17, its two legs press at a single point, or over a single area, the one leg against the glass 7 and the other against the cap side face 16.
Each of the screws 4 and 5 connecting together the bars 2 and 3 carries at one end a knurled head that is sufficiently high to cause it to project outside of the bars 2 and 3. The head end of the screw shank passes freely through an opening in the neighboring bar, whereas the other end of the same screw is turned into a threaded hole in the other bar. By turning down the screws 4 and 5, after having positioned the case 1 between the bars 2 and 3, the case is clamped within the frame 2, 3, 4, and 5; and the glass 7 is simultaneously secured on the case. The latter is held between the bars 2 and 3 at six points: the four points of contact located at the intersections between the bevelled edges of the bar 3 and the sides of the recess 17, these four intersections contacting the glass 7 or the face 16; and, on the other side, the two points of contact of the bevelled edges of the bar 2 with the glass 7 and the cap face 16.
The diameter of the shanks of the screws 4 and 5 is preferably 1.6 mm., the usual diameter of lugs for attaching the wristlet. As shown in FIG. 1, the screw shanks serve as lugs that connect the watch mount, consisting of the bars 2 and 3, to the lengths of the wristlet 18. l
The embodiment of FIG. I comprises a simple round case, not connected to a wristlet, and a rigid frame, constituted by the bars 2 and 3 and the screws 4 and 5. The embodiment is easily taken apart, since it is only necessary to unscrew the screws 4 and 5 in order to remove the case 1.
By using interchangeable cases and frames, the embodiment described enables the appearance of a watch to be easily and greatly varied. FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 particularly illustrate this feature of the invention. The watch shown in FIG. 2 has the same mount as that of FIG. 1. In particular, although the recess 17 is not shown, it is, nevertheless, present, and receives the winding crown of the case 19 held in the mount. The appearance of this case, because it is rectangular, is entirely different from that of the case 1. The construction of the case 19, however, is similar to that of the case 1 and comprises the same parts, which are shown in FIG. 5. The edges of the watchglass and the side faces of the cap are flat rather than in the shape of a truncated cone, but they are inclined at the same angle. The ends of the long sides of the case 19 contact the bevelled edges of the bars 2 and 3.
Not only can the appearance of the watch be changed by using different, and interchangeable, cases, it can also be changed by shifting the position of the same case. This possibility is illustrated in FIG. 3, in which the appearance of the watch is modified by turning the case through 90 to occupy a transverse position between the bars 2 and 3. Since the bars 2 and 3 are now spaced farther apart than is the case with the watches illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the transverse screws 20 and 21 are necessarily longer than the screws 4 and 5. ln accordance with the invention, the screws 4 and S can be replaced by elements (not shown) consisting each of several parts, enabling the elements to be lengthened sufficiently to be used with the watch illustrated in FlG. l or with that illustrated in FIG. 3. Thus, for example, the bars 2 and 3, instead of each having a threaded hole for a screw, can carry threaded tubes slightly shorter than the width of the wristlet 18, thereby increasing the extent to which the bars 2 and 3 can be spaced apart with screws of the same length.
FIG. 4 shows a modification in which the bars 22 and 23 have the same dimensions and shape as do the bars 2 and 3, but each incorporates at one end a respective recess 24 and 25 in which are countersunk the heads of the screws 26. The mount shown in FIG. 4 is in other respects exactly the same as that shown in FIGS. 1 to 3; but the case 27 is square with slightly bowed sides, the construction of the case corresponding to that shown in FIG. 5. The curves of the sides of the monocoque, or shell, case 27 being the same as those of the bars 22 and 23, the edges of the watchglass and the side faces of the case 27 contact along their entire length the bevelled edges of the bars 22 and 23.
Not only can the appearance of the case be varied, but it is also possible to change the appearance of the watch by using the same case but different frames. in particular, the bars 2 and 3 can be replaced by bars that are straight, narrower, or wider.
FIG. 6 illustrates another way of altering the appearance of the watch described. The bar 2, shown in cross section, is covered by an interchangeable sleeve 28 made of cloth, leather, or of a synthetic plastic, the two longitudinal edges of the sleeve being turned down against the inner face of the bar so as to be clamped against the side faces of the case 1.
As previously stated, it is not essential that the bars 2 and 3 have a sectional profile that will hold the watchglass against the case, which, instead, can be kept closed by conventional means, as is the case 29 in FIG. 7. This modification permits an elastic suspension of the case between the two bars 30, by incorporating between each bar 30 and the case 29 a rubber lining 31 constituting a shock absorber.
FlGS. 8 and 9 show two additional modifications of the sectional profile of the bars. The case 29 in FIG. 8 is clamped between the two inner edges of the lips of a bar 32 (the other bar is not shown) having a semicircular outer profile and a general U-shape. The bars 32 can be straight or arcuate.
in FIG. 9 the case 33 is round. lts outer face embodies a V- shaped groove rather than the outwardly projecting, truncated-cone surfaces of the previous FlGS. The bars 34 for the case 33 are hexagonal in cross section. In this instance where the case is round and the bars are hexagonal, it is essential, of course, to provide recesses, similar to the recess 17 in FlG. 1 and centered between the ends of the bars, for ensuring the several points of contact necessary to hold the case 33 rigidly in place.
The embodiments described thus far are particularly suited to metal mounts. The bars 2 and 3 can be made from sectional bar stock-of nickel-silver or stainless steel, for examplewhich is then finished to the desired shape. In this case, it is not difficult to cut the threads for the transverse screws. Where the bars are metallic it is easy to provide a connection between these screws and the bars at the height of the screwheads, as seen in FIGS. 10 and 11. To this end, there is cut in the lower part of the bar a slot 35, of which the width is approximately equal to the diameter of the screw shank, and in the outer face a shallow circular recess 36, with a flat bottom, for holding the screwhead. When the screw is tightened down, the head presses against the recess bottom, which is sufficient to make the parts of the frame rigid. The case is very easily removed merely by loosening the screw the few turns necessary to free the head from its recess 36, enabling the screw to be freed by moving it through the slot 35, and the entire frame to be disassembled in a moment.
The construction described also permits the bars to be made of materials other than easily machined metals. Any material having an acceptable appearance can be used. The bars 2 and 3 can be made, for example, ofa mineral, such as glass or sapphire, of wood, of a synthetic material, such as sintered ceramic, or of a thermosetting synthetic plastic. When the material used makes it difficult to cut threads directly in the bar itself, a threaded sleeve can be countersunk in a slightly conical hole of the bar, as is the threaded sleeve 37 in the bar 38 shown in FIG. 12.
FIGS. 12 and 13 show a last embodiment of the invention. The mount consists of two straight bars 38 and 39 that are held together by screws 40 and 41 with countersunk heads. The case 42, which is shown in cross section in FIG. 13, is clamped within the mount and comprises a round cap 43 holding the movement 44, and a watchglass 45 having a peripheral cone-shaped wall 46 of which the lower edge presses on a watertight gasket 47. The means for fixing the movement within the cap 43 are not shown. The movement does not have a minute hand. Mounted on the pipe 48 of the hour wheel is a disc-shaped dial 49 positioned just below the watchglass 45 and comprising a peripheral wall 50 in the shape of a truncated cone and marked with the hours. The dial 49 makes a 'complete turn once every 12 hours, each point of its periphery successively passing underneath a magnifying glass 51 shaped like a bar and mounted crosswise between the bars 38 and 39.
The magnifying glass has a flat inner surface which is tangent to the truncated-cone wall 46 of the watchglass. The magnifying glass incorporates a hair 52 positioned radically along the generant of the tangent between this glass and the watchglass. Since only that part of the dial 49 visible below the magnifying glass 51 is used to show the time, the rest of the watchglass can be given any suitable ornamentation. Owing to the magnification of the glass 51 and to the marking of the hours on the dial periphery, which is nearly equal in size to the circle of maximum diameter of the case 42, the time can be read with sufficient accuracy. It has been shown that it is possible to read the time to within nearly one minute on a dial 49 of about 20 mm. diameter.
A movement having a dial turning every l2 hours in a case of the kind described has the following advantage: to set the time of a watch thus designed it is only necessary to loosen the screws 40 and 41 slightly in order to turn the case 42 about its axis until the correct time appears under the hair 52. Since the movement 44 can be self-wound by an oscillating weight, the case does not require a winding button, enabling the movement to be completely and permanently sealed.
The bars 38 and 39 for clamping the case 42 each embody a concave recess shaped to fit the case. The bars also have two diametrically opposed recesses 53 and 54 located next to the recesses for the countersunk heads of the screws 40 and 41. The inside faces of the bars 38 and 39 each incorporate a shallow recess (not shown) that receives a respective pin 55 embodied by each end of the glass 51, for holding the glass in place. Consequently, when the screws 40 and 41 are tightened, the case 42 and the glass 51 are simultaneously clamped between the bars 38 and 39.
The case 42 and glass 51 can be removed simply by loosening the screws. The case can be replaced by a round watch of the same dimensions, such as a pocket watch or even a pendant watch having on one side a winding crown and, on the other side, a ring for hanging the watch, the crown and ring being contained within the recesses 53 and 54.
In accordance with the invention, cases for mechanisms other than watches-such as compasses and manometers for divers and radio sets-can be provided for clamping between v the bars.
Although the'preferred embodiments of the invention have been described, the scope of, and the breadth of protection afforded to, the invention are limited solely by the appended claims.
What l claim is:
l. A wristwatch comprising a frame having a plurality of mutually adjustable parts, a wristlet connected at its two ends to said frame, and an interchangeable case holding a move ment and removably held within, and by, said frame, said wristwatch further including two spaced longitudinal bars comprised by said frame, each said bar having an inner face that faces said case, and means incorporated by each said bar inner face for holding said case between said bars, two crossmembers comprised by said frame, and means for fixing said bars to said crossmembers and for adjusting the spacing between said bars is dependence on the dimensions of said case.
2. The wristwatch as defined in claim 1, wherein the two ends of said wristlet are secured to respective ones of said crossmembers. I
3. The wristwatch as defined in claim 1, wherein said bar inner faces incorporate each a hollow for holding cases of different dimensions and shapes between said bars.
4. The wristwatch as defined in claim 1, wherein said bars have the same cross section over their entire length.
5. The wristwatch as defined in claim 1, wherein each said bar is arcuate.
6. The wristwatch as defined in claim 1, including an interchangeable sleeve for covering each said bar.
7. The wristwatch as defined in claim 1, including between each said bar and the said case elastic means for resiliently suspending said case within said frame.
8. The wristwatch as defined in claim 1, wherein said bars in cross section are generally U-shaped over at least part of their length, the legs of the U projecting towards said case, and said case has slanting side faces of opposed inclination that contact one of the legs of the U of each said bar.
9. The wristwatch as defined in claim 8, wherein said case includes a watchglass and a monocoque member, and said case side faces comprise an upper face formed by said watchglass and a lower face formed by said monocoque member, and including a gasket held between said watchglass an'd monocoque member.