US 3685106 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Gandelman 1451 Aug. 22,1972
541 BUCKLE 1,989,153 1/1935 Reiter ..24/74R 72 Inventor, Morris G East 2,115,954 5/1938 Johnson ..24/265 RC 1 3,429,142 2/1969 Brunet ..63/4
Providence, R.l.  Assignee: Pale Corporation, Providence, R.l.
 Filed: Jan. 19, 1971  App1.No.: 107,732
 US. Cl. ..24/265 WS, '63/5 R  Int. Cl ..A44c 5/18, A44c 5/04  Field of Search.....24/20l EN, 265 WS, 265 CC,
24/74, 170, 191, 265 RC; 63/5, 6; 224/4 E4  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,700,489 l/1929 Dalo ..63/5 R UX 1,739,464 12/1929 Jones .L ..63/5 R UX 1,775,174 9/1930 Roy ..24/265 WS X 1,820,393 8/1931 Kestenman ..24/l91 1,970,400 8/1934 Slocum .63/5 R Primary ExaminerD0nald A. Griffin Attorney-Edgar H. Kent [5 7] ABSTRACT A buckle for adjustably securing a strap end such as an end of mesh bracelet has a casing with side walls and a spanning wall defining a channel for-receiving the strap end. A gripper plate member is hinged to the casing to pivot from an'inoperative position toward the inner surface of the spanning wall to an operative position engaging the strap end near an outer end of the spanning wall and retaining the end in the channel. Latching means releasably locks the plate member in operative position. A second such gripper plate member may be hinged about the same axis to similarly retain a second strap end in the opposite end of the channel.
10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures mmmmm I 3.685 106 SHEEI 1 OF 3 PATENTEDwszz 1912 3.685 106 sum 3 or 3 BUCKLE This invention relates to adjustable buckles for joining and securing together the ends of a bracelet, band, or the like, hereinafter generally designated a strap, and more particularly to a buckle whichclamps strap ends in position once they have been inserted to the desired extent into the buckle.
It is an object of the invention to provide an adjustable buckle to join together two strap ends at substantially variable distance apart so that material of the strap need not be removed in order to obtain a proper fit and a retailer need stock few sizes of each style of strap.
Another object is to provide such a buckle wherein both strap ends are concealed.
A further object is to provide such a buckle which is especially suited for adjustably fastening together strap ends formed of expansible mesh or links, particularly watch band ends.
A still further object of the invention is to provide such a buckle which can bemanufactured by an automatic machine process, thereby reducing manufacturing time and cost.
Yet another object is to provide an adjustable buckle which will provide a reliable and secure means to join the strap ends and which will not unexpectedly open and release.
The invention features a buckle comprising a casing having spaced sidewalls and a bridging wall forming an open-ended channel sized to receive therein a strap end to be fastened. A fastener in the form of a plate member is hingedly mounted between the sidewalls in an opening in the casing opposite the bridging wall to pivot toward and away from the bridging wall. The plate member is provided with gripper means to engage the strap end when pivoted toward the bridging wall to operative position and locking means are provided to releasably retain the same in operative position. In preferred embodiments, two such plate members are hingedly mounted on a single axis between the ends of the casing for fastening the respective strap ends therein, the gripper means comprises two spaced gripper members on the plate member, and the locking means is in the form of projections on the plate member engageable with inwardly projecting flanges on the casing side walls. Also, in preferred embodiments the plate members are formed by cutting and bending a single resilient strip to form hinge pin receiving loops at one end, and the gripper members and locking projections at the opposite end.
The foregoing and other objects and features of the invention will be more fully understood from the ensuing description of the preferred embodiments shown in the drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an enlarged bottom plan view of a buckle joined of a bracelet S and S in this instance illustrated as formed of metal mesh. A hinge pintle 18 has attached at each'end pins 10 which are slidable in the pintle toward and away from each other, being urged away from each other by springs 22, and pins 20 are snap-fit into openings (not shown) in the side walls 12 and 13 intermediate their length and depth to mount the pintle centrally of the channel in casing 10.
A first clamping plate member 24 is pivotally mounted on pintle 18 by means of three spaced loops 25 at one end thereof and a second such member 26 is also pivotally mounted on pintle 18 by means of two loops 27 at one end thereof located between loops 25 (see FIG. 5). Plates 24 and 26 and casing 10 arecontoured to wrist curvature with a longitudinal curve which is upward in FIG. 2 since the part of the buckle fitting against the wrist is the top part in that Figure. Plate 24 is provided adjacent its outer end and the opposite sides thereof with a pair of gripper members 28 which project toward wall 14 and plate 26 is provided with a like pair of gripper members 29' similarly located. Members 28 and 29 are each provided on the outer side edge thereof with a bulge or ear 30, the outer edges of the ears on each pair of gripper members being spaced apart slightly further than the distance between flanges 16 and 17 so that when plate members 24 and 26 are pivoted to the operative, clamping posiaccording to the invention applied to the two ends of a mesh bracelet;
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal section view on lines 22 of FIG. 1 looking in the direction of the arrows but with the bracelet ends omitted;
FIG. 3 is an end view of the buckle of FIGS. 1 and 2;
FIG. 4 is a top view of one of the hinged plates before forming;
FIG. 4a is a top view of the other hinged plate before forming;
tion shown in FIGS. 1-3 the ears are forced between the flanges to spring fit thereunder as shown in FIG. 3. The gripper members are thus locked' between meshes of the bracelet until the plates are pried outwardly to release the buckle.
It will be noted from FIGS. 1 and 2 that the gripper members of each pair are staggered longitudinally of the buckle, one being further outward thanv the other. The reason for this is to accommodate the buckle for gripping mesh of a type in which the cross rows of links are differently coupled at opposite ends so that when the mesh is stressed they separate in zig-zag fashion to provide V-shaped separations which are staggered at opposite sides of the mesh. A bracelet mesh of this type is disclosed, for example, in US. Pat. No. 3,496,719. The gripper members are staggered in conformity with the mesh separation pattern of such mesh type to insure proper engagement thereof in link separations. With meshes or linkages of the type which separate uniformly at opposite sides, the gripper members may be parallel, but they may also be staggered and the staggered arrangement makes the buckle more universally applicable.
Plate members 24 and 26 are preferably each formed by stamping and bending a single metal strip. The stamped blank for member 24, shown in FIG. 4, has two rectangular cut-outs 34 centrally thereof to define lands at opposite sides of and between them which, when the blank is bent back upon itself about a mandrel, form the hinge pintle encircling portions 25. At
one end, the blank is cut to define a pair of opposite projections of equal length but one offset forwardly of the other which are bent outwardly along lines 36 to form gripper members 28, these projections being provided at their outer edges with the cars 30. The blank for member 26 shown in FIG. 4a is similarly stamped with central cut-outs 38 complementary to cut-outs 34 to form the hinge pintle encircling loops 27 when the blank is rolled to final form and also with end projections which are bent out to form grippers 29 with ears 30.
Formation of the plate members in the manner just described is a simple mechanical forming process which lends itself readily to automation. In addition, it will be noted that the bent over portion of the plate carrying the grippers 28 or 29 is shorter than the portion it underlies and is held to the outer part only by the hinge pintle encircling portions. Thus the grippers are mounted at one end of a long, resilient lever arm extending therefrom about the hinge pintle to the outer plate portion extending beyond the grippers, which is used in manipulating the plate. This resilient mounting assists locking engagement and disengagement of the ears with the flanges and also provides a safety measure against accidental disengagement, since the outer of the plate may be lifted considerably before spring action through the lever arm forces the ears out from between the flanges.
It will be appreciated that adjustability of one end only of the strap may be provided by moving the hinge pintle to one end of the casing, fastening one end of the strap either permanently or releasably at that end and providing a single gripper plate member extending substantially the full length of the casing to adjustably retain the other strap end. This is done in the modification of FIGS. 6 and 7 wherein the buckle is also modified to make it more suitable for use as a belt buckle.
In the modification of FIGS. 6 and 7 the buckle casing has the same structure as the casing of the other Figures, with side walls 50 and 51, spanning wall 52 and flanges 54 and 55, except that the longitudinal curvature is reversed, the spanning wall being closest to the body leaving the gripping plate face exposed for ease of access. Hinge pintle 56 is mounted near one end of the casing by its spring biased pins 58 extending through openings (not shown) in the casing side walls. Plate member 60, which corresponds to plate member 26 of the other figures except that it is longer to extend from the pintle to the far end of the casing, has pintle encircling loops 62 and grippers 64 which are provided with ears (not shown) like ears 30 for releasable locking engagement with flanges 54, 55. Plate member 60 is the functional adjustment clamp for one end of the belt, from the position shown in FIG. 6 up to the hinge. The other end of the belt may be permanently or releasably fastened to the buckle casing in any suitable manner. In
is suitable for use with other materials. Where a nonexpandable material is used for the strap ends the grippers may be provided with pointed ends to bite into and so to retain the strap end. Alternatively, strap ends of leather or the like may be provided with eyelets to receive the gripper members, either in two rows for two gripper members or in a single central row for receiving a single centrally located gripper member.
In the manufacture of the buckle of both embodiments the buckle casing may be formed in a single stamping-bending operation and each plate member likewise formed by such an operation. The plate members are then placed with their hinge pintle encircling portions interleaved and the pintle threaded through them. The pintle is then assembled to the casing by inserting at one end and pressing it in until the spring pins on the pintle ends reach and snap into the retaining openings.
The parts of the buckle are normally made of metal. The plate members should have sufficient strength and resilience for effectively performing their retaininglatching functions and are preferably formed of thin stainless steel sheet. Some or all exterior surfaces of the buckle may be decorated as desired, as by silver or gold plating, engraving, etc.
1. A buckle for adjustably fastening a strap end which comprises:
a casing having side walls and a spanning wall defining a strap end receiving channel;
a plate member hinged to said casing for pivotal movement toward and away from said spanning wall and having gripper means including a pair of gripper members adjacent opposite side edges of said plate member projecting toward said spanning wall and arranged to project into said channel adjacent an outer end thereof to engage a strap end against withdrawal from said channel when said plate member is pivoted toward said spanning wall to an operative position; and
latch means for releasably locking said plate member in said operative position comprising opposed flanges on said side walls and ears on the outer side of said gripper members engageable with said flanges when said plate member is pivoted to said operative position.
2. The buckle of claim 1 suitable for fastening a strap end of expansible mesh wherein said gripper members are of a size to fit between expanded meshes of said strap end, said gripper members being offset longitudinally of said plate member and channel.
3. The buckle of claim '1 wherein said casing and plate member are correspondingly curved longitudinally.
4. A buckle for adjustably fastening a strap end which comprises:
a casing having side walls and a spanning wall defining a strap end receiving channel; plate member hinged to said casing for pivotal movement toward and away from said spanning wall and having gripper means arranged to project into said channel adjacent an outer end thereof to engage a strap end against withdrawal from said channel when said plate member is pivoted toward said spanning wall to an operative position, said plate member being formed of a strip of resilient material bent back upon itself intennediate its ends to form a two layered member with an end loop;
a hinge pintle extended through said loop and fastened at its ends to said casing to hinge said plate member to said casing; and
latch means for releasably locking said plate member in said operative position.
5. The buckle of claim 4 wherein said gripper means comprises at least one gripper member formed by bending outwardly a bent back portion of said strip.
6. The buckle of claim 4 wherein said pintle is provided at each end with a pin slidable therein and a spring urging said pin outwardly, and said side walls are each provided with an opening for receiving and retaining the end of one of said pins.
7. A buckle for adjustably fastening a strap end which comprises:
a casing having side walls and a spanning wall defining a strap end receiving channel;
a first plate member hinged to said casing for pivotal movement toward and away from said spanning wall and having gripper means arranged to project into said channel adjacent an outer end thereof to engage a strap end against withdrawal from said channel when said plate member is pivoted toward said spanning wall to an operative position;
latch means for releasably locking said plate member in said operative position;
a second plate member hinged to pivot about the same axis as the first named plate member toward the end of said spanning wall opposite the end toward which said first named plate member pivots, said second plate member having gripper means arranged to project into said channel adjacent a second outer end thereof to engage a second strap end against withdrawal from said channel when said second plate member is pivoted tovgard said spanning wall to an operative position; an
latch means for releasably locking said second plate member in its said operative position.
8. The buckle of claim 7 wherein said latch means for each said plate member comprises opposed flanges on said side walls and projections on the plate member engageable with the flanges when the plate member is pivoted to its said operative position.
9. The buckle of claim 7 wherein each said plate member is formed of a strip of resilient material bent back upon itself intermediate its ends to form a two layered member with at least one end loop, and which includes a hinge pintle extended through said loops of said plate members in alternation and fastened at its ends to said casing to hinge each plate member to said casing.
10. The buckle of claim 7 wherein said casing and both of said plate members are correspondingly curved longitudinally.