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Publication numberUS3707744 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 2, 1973
Filing dateMay 19, 1971
Priority dateMay 19, 1971
Publication numberUS 3707744 A, US 3707744A, US-A-3707744, US3707744 A, US3707744A
InventorsHarris J, Harris R, Manzo J, Mauch E
Original AssigneeBrite Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable end connector for watchbands
US 3707744 A
An adjustable end connector for watchbands and the like, said connector having means movable between and open and a closed position permitting the connector to be clipped onto a conventional mounting pin bridging the lugs extending from the watch case, said connector further having oppositely disposed end pieces protruding outwardly from opposite sides of the connector and surrounding the mounting pin, and resilient means urging said end pieces outwardly into engagement with the mounting lugs whereby the connector automatically adjusts itself to differently spaced lugs.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Manzo et a1.

[ 11 3,707,744 1 Jan. 2, 1973 [541 ADJUSTABLE END CONNECTOR FOR WATCHBANDS [75] Inventors: Joseph F. Mauzo, Cranston, R.l.; James P. Harris, Attleboro, Mass;

[58] fieififsirfi .(24/73 ww, 241 WB, 265 R,265 ws, 24/265 B; 224/4 D, 4 E; ss/s-s; ss/ss sc 1,709,053 4/1929 Anderson ..24/265 WS UX 2,652,612 9/1953 Valcourt ..24/265 B 2,986,794 6/1961 Boots ..24/265 B FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 414,994 8/1934 Great Britain ..24/73 WW Primary Examiner-Donald A. Griffin Attorney-Salter & Michaelson [5 7] ABSTRACT An adjustable end connector for watchbands and the like, said connector having means movable between and open and a closed position permitting the connector to be clipped onto a conventional mounting pin bridging the lugs extending from the watch case, said connector further having oppositely disposed end pieces protruding outwardly from opposite sides of the connector and surrounding the mounting pin, and resilient means urging said end pieces outwardly into engagement with the mounting lugs whereby the con- [56] References Cited nector automatically adjusts itself to differently spaced UNITED STATES PATENTS lugsl,654,7l8 1/1928 Bigney ..24/265 B UX 4 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures ADJUSTABLE END CONNECTOR FOR WATCHHANDS BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In mounting a watchband to a watch case, it is tradi tional to provide a connector or attachment secured to the end of the band and having means cooperating with a spring pin that extends across the spaced lugs carried by the watch case. In most cases, the end connector has a tubular portion through which the spring pin must be threaded, and then the spring pin, with the watchband connected to it, is mounted between the lugs of the watch case.

One of the problems faced by the prior art is caused by the fact that the spacing between the lugs in watch cases varies, thus making it desirable to provide an end connector that is adjustable to different widths so that the same connector may be used for watch cases having differently spaced lugs. ln-order to solve this problem, numerous types of adjustable end connectors have been provided, as exemplified, for example, by Rodriguez U. S. Pat. No. 2,807,855 and Sang U. S. Pat. No. 3,217,374. In these prior art patents, however, and others directed to similar constructions, considerable difficulty has been encountered in mounting the connector onto a watch case, since the operation of first threading the mounting pin through the tubular portion of the end connector and then securing the mounting pin between the spaced lugs of the watch case has proven to be a somewhat difficult and laborious one, further complicated by the fact that adjustable end connectors of this type traditionally have protruding portions normally resiliently urged outwardly of the connector, which portions have a tendency of interfering with the securement of the mounting pin between the lugs.

In order to overcome this problem, the present invention embodies an end connector having adjustable means of a generally similar nature to that shown in the aforementioned Sang patent, but wherein instead of having to thread the mounting pin-through the tubular portion of the connector and then secure the pin to the lugs, in the present invention the mounting pin may first be secured to the lugs, which is easy to do, and then theconnector is snapped or clipped onto the mounting pin, which is an equally simple operation to perform. Clip-on end connectors per se are known in the art, as exemplified by Legman U. S. Pat. No. 2,876,521, but the combination of an automatically adjustable end connector which maybe clipped onto a previously mounted spring pin is decidedly novel and defines the basic concept of the present invention.

It is therefore a primary object of our invention to provide an end connector which is automatically adjustable for differently spaced lugs, and which may be easily and quickly mounted to the watch case by snapping or clipping the connector onto a previously mounted spring pin.

A further object of our invention is the provision of an end connector of the character described having a novel and unique structural arrangement characterized by a minimum number of different parts which lend themselves to automaticassembly.

Still another object is the provision of an end connector of the character described which is economically feasible to manufacture, which is effective and durable in use, and which occupies a minimum of space, whereby said connector may attractively blend in with the watch band per se, rather than detracting from the aesthetic appeal thereof.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description thereof proceeds when considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 4 is an enlarged top plan view of our connector with the top wall of the outer shell. removed for purposes of illustratiomand FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the individual elements which make up the present invention, the elements being shown upside-down for purposes of illustration.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a watch case 10 having a pair of spaced lugs 12 extending outwardly therefrom, said lugs having conventional recesses 14 provided on the inner surfaces thereof for receiving a spring loaded mounting pin 16 which bridges the space between said lugs, all in a well-known and conventional manner. A watchband 18 which may be an expansion band of conventional structure, although this invention is applicable to any type of watchband or strap, has secured thereto at its end 20 an end connector generally characterized at 22.

Generally speaking, the connector 22 comprises a main outer shell 24, an end piece assembly 26, a resilient bottom wall member 28, and a bottom support member 30.

The main outer shell member 24 comprises a top wall 32, depending side walls 34, and depending rear wall 36. The bottom edge of rear wall 36 is provided with anintegral and rearwardly extending flange 38 terminating in a hook portion 40, said hook portion being adapted to engage a part of end link 20 of watch band 18 to secure the connector 22 to the end of the band, although it will be understood that the particular means of securing connector 22 to band 18 actually forms no part of the present invention and may be accomplished by a variety of different conventional mechanical expedients. Extending outwardly from rear wall 36 at opposite sides thereof are tabs 42, the purpose of which will hereinafter become apparent. Top wall 32, at its forward edge, integrally carries a generally tubular portion 44 comprising a bottom wall 46, an end wall 48, and a beveled top wall 50. As will be noted, the tubular portion 44 extends laterally across shell member 24 and has a longitudinal opening 52 which permits communication between the interior of tubular portion 44 and the remaining interior of shell 24.

End piece assembly 26 comprises a pair of oppositely disposed end pieces 54, each comprising tubular portions 56 consisting of bottom wall 58, an end wall 60, and a beveled top wall 62, it being important to note that the tubular portions 56 are configured and dimensioned so as to be snugly and telescopingly received within the aforesaid tubular portion 44, as will be seen most clearly in FIG. 3. Extending rearwardly from the inner portions only of top wall 62 are flanges 64 which terminate in rolled portions 66 having open inner ends as at 68 and closed outer ends defined by end walls 70. Aligned apertures 72 are provided in end walls 70, and an elongated pin member 74 extends through said roll portions 66 and outwardly through apertures 72. A coil spring 76 surrounds pin 74 and has its opposite ends abutting the inner surfaces of end wall 70 to normally urge the end pieces 54 outwardly with respect to each other, it being understood that the end pieces 54 slidably move along pin 74. When the end assembly 26 is assembled within main outer shell 24, it will be understood that the pin 74 is a snug fit within side walls 34. Expressed differently, the length of pin 74 is substantially equal to the dimension from the inner surface of one side wall 34 to the inner surface of the other side wall 34. This provides a firm support for pin 74 so that it may act as a bearing for the end pieces 54, it being understood that the flanges 64 are located within side walls 34, while the outer ends 78 of tubular portions 56 extend outwardly from tubular portion 44 under the biasing action of spring 76. Beveled top walls 50 and 62 cooperate to maintain tubular portion 56 slidably disposed within tubular portion 44, it being apparent that due to the cooperating beveled surfaces, the end pieces 54 can only move laterally with respect to shell member 24.

The open bottom of shell member 24 is covered by resilient bottom wall 28 which comprises a spring tongue 80 having an upwardly extending rear wall 82 reversely bent upon itself as at 84. A finger grip 86 is dapped or otherwise provided in the outer surface of tongue 80, and along the free lateral front edge of said tongue member there are provided a pair of upstanding lugs 88, the purpose of which will hereinafter be described.

The resilient bottom wall 28 is maintained in assembled relation to shell 24 by means of support member 30 which comprises a bottom wall 90, side walls 92 notched as at 94, and rear wall 96. In assembly, bottom wall 90 overlies the hinge end of spring tongue 80, and rear wall 96 fits snugly between rear wall 36 and rear wall 82, as shown most clearly in FIG. 3. When so assembled, the notches 94 in side walls 92 receive the outermost ends of pin 74 to further support same, it being apparent that side walls 92 fit snugly between the outer surfaces of end walls 70 and the inner surfaces of side walls 34. Thus, the support member 30 not only maintains resilient bottom wall 28 in its assembled position, but it also adds rigidity and support to bearing pin 6 74. With the parts so assembled, tabs 42 are bent into engagement with the outer surfaces of side walls 34 to maintain rear wall 36 and side walls 34 against inadvertent separation, and then the lower extremities 98 of side walls 34 are bent inwardly to sit in the depressions 100 at opposite ends of bottom wall 90 to lock the entire assembly together.

The upper surface of top wall 52 may be ornamented as at 102 to conform with the ornamentation of the links in band 18, if desired. It is important to note, as will be seen in FIG. 1, that the entire width of top wall 52 is only slightly greater than the width of the individual links in band 18, so compact is the structural arrangement just described. The various parts of connector 22 may be made of any desirable and suitable metallic material, such as brass or stainless steel, and, of course, resilient bottom wall member 28 is suitably spring tempered.

In operation and use, and with the parts assembled as previously described, it is simply necessary to depress resilient tongue 80 with ones fingernail, it being understood that gripping element 86 facilitates engagement of tongue 80 with the edge of ones fingernail to effect depressing action thereon. With the tongue 80 sufficiently depressed, the connector 22 may be snapped or clipped onto spring bar 16, it being understood that the spring bar will pass through the opening provided by depression of tongue 80 and then into tubular portions 56 and 44. When manual pressure on tongue 80 is released, its normal resiliency will return it to the closed position illustrated in FIG. 3, in which position the upstanding lugs 88 function to prevent undesirable shifting of connector 22 with respect to spring bar 16. Expressed differently, the lugs 88 maintain the spring bar 16 within tubular portions 56 and 44. With the connector so mounted on spring bar 16, the end pieces 54 will be resiliently urged outwardly until the outer ends of tubular portions 56 engage the inner surfaces of lugs 12. Thus, no matter what the spacing between lugs 12 may be, the tubular portions 56 will automatically and resiliently engage said lugs, assuming, of course, that the spacing between lugs 12 is greater than the width of shell 24, as it obviously must be. The manipulative step of depressing tongue 80 and clipping connector 22 onto spring bar 16 is a relatively simple one to perform, and certainly is much easier than having to thread the spring bar 16 through adjustable tubular portions and then mount the spring bar to the lugs of the watch case.

While there is shown and described herein certain specific structure embodying the invention, it will be manifest to those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements of the parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not limited to the particular forms herein shown and 7 described except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims. What is claimed is: 1. An adjustable end connector for watchbands and the like comprising A. An outer shell having l. a top wall, 2. depending side and rear walls, and 3. a generally tubular end portion extending across and connected to the front end of said top wall, said tubular portion having a longitudinally extending opening defining communication between the interior of said shell and said tubular portion, B. A pair of oppositely disposed end pieces, each having l. a tubular part telesco'pingly mounted in said tubular end portion for slidable movement therein, and having a longitudinal opening in registry with the said opening in said tubular end portion,

2. a flange extending rearwardly and integrally from the inner portion only of saidtubular part in close adjacency to said top wall and terminating in a rolled portion open at its inner end and closed at its outer end,

3. an elongated coil spring extending across and into said rolled portions and resiliently bearing against said closed outer ends thereof to bias said rolled portions and their associated tubular parts outwardly whereby said tubular parts resiliently protrude outwardly from said tubular end portion,

C. A bottom assembly carried by saidshell comprising a bottom wall normally closing theopen bottom of said shell, and further comprising an uplateral line, said bottom wall comprising a resilient tongue that is depressible from its normally closed position to an open position.

2 The connector of claim 1, further comprising a support member having a bottom wall overlying the portion of said resilient tongue opposite from its free end and further having upwardly extending rear and side walls, said rear wall being snugly received between said shell rear wall and said bottom assembly rear wall, and said side walls being snugly received between the closed ends of said rolled portions and said shell side walls.

3. In the connector of claim 2, said shell side walls having lugs bent inwardly over the bottom wall of said support member to lockingly maintain said outer shell, said end pieces, said bottom assembly and said support member in assembled relation.

4. In the connector of claim 2, the closed ends of said rolled portions each having an aperture therein, a pin extending through said coiled spring and through said apertures and terminating in abutting relation with the inner surfaces of said shell side walls, said support member side walls having notches therein receiving the ends of said pin.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1654718 *Mar 25, 1927Jan 3, 1928S O Bigney & CompanyBracelet hook
US1709053 *Feb 24, 1928Apr 16, 1929Anderson MauriceBracelet end hook
US2652612 *Jul 25, 1950Sep 22, 1953Kestenman Bros Mfg CoMeans for connecting bracelets to wrist watches
US2986794 *Apr 11, 1958Jun 6, 1961Foster Metal Products IncAdjustable connecting device for wrist watch bracelets
GB414994A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4837901 *Apr 25, 1988Jun 13, 1989Textron, Inc.End connector for expansible watch band
U.S. Classification24/265.00B, D11/94, 24/625
International ClassificationA44C5/14, A44C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA44C5/14
European ClassificationA44C5/14
Legal Events
Aug 8, 1983AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19830720
Aug 8, 1983ASAssignment
Effective date: 19830720
Sep 16, 1980AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Effective date: 19800609