US 3739570 A
A column-wheel timer or timepiece having at least one hand rotatably mounted on a housing base, and including a return-to-zero hammer, a stopping lever, a push-piece, a control lever and re-engaging lever, which cooperate with a column-wheel for stopping the timepiece movement, returning the hand to a zero indicating position, and re-engaging the timepiece movement with the hand.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 n 1 3,739,57n Bachmann June 19, 1973  COLUMN-WHEEL TIMER 3,457,720 7/1969 Bachmann 58/76  Inventor: Peter Bachmann, Bettlach, (Canton of Soleure), Switzerland Primary ExaminerGeorge H. Miller, Jr  Asslgnee: Ebfuches Bemach Bemach Attorney-Richard K. Stevens, Davidson C. Miller,
swtzefland Ellsworth H. Mosher et al.  Filed: Feb. 24, 1972  Appl. No.: 228,842
 ABSTRACT  Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 10 1971 Switzerland 3501 71 A time timepiece having at least one hand rotatably mounted on a housing base, and includ- 521 vs. Cl. 58/76 ing a rewm-w-Zew r, a sto in lever, a push- 51 Int. Cl. G04f 7/04 P a Control lever and re-engaging lever, which  Field of Search ..58/7479 Operate with a column-Wheel for pp the timepiece movement, returning the hand to a zero indicat-  References Ci ing position, and re-engaging the timepiece movement UNITED STATES PATENTS the hand 3,045,418 7/1962 Heuer 58/74 12 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PAIENIED JUN 1 9 I975 sum 3 or 4 PATENIEDJUNIQIQT3' 3.739.570
- saw u or '1 COLUMN-WHEEL TIMER This invention relates to a column-wheel timer or timpiece comprising a retum-to-zero hammer with at least one hand, a stopping lever functioning together with a movement wheel-and-pinion and a control-lever, these three components functioning together with the column-wheel to activate the engaging, stopping, and returning to zero of the hand(s) under the influence of pressures exerted upon a push-piece activating the control-lever.
Timer-mechanisms of this kind are known as threetime mechanisms. Generally they comprise a second hand making one revolution per minute, and a minute hand advancing by one step every minute. In the zero position, the stopping lever blocks the movement, the stopping lever generally resting on the felly of the balance wheel. When starting from this position, a first pressure exerted on the push-piece frees the hands from the movement. A second pressure causes the hands to stop, and a third pressure causes return to the starting position, the movement remaining stopped when the hands are brought back to zero.
Attempts already have been made to improve mechanisms of this kind to allow re-engaging the hands motion from the stopped position without again having to pass through the zero-setting position, to obtain, for instance, continuous timing which for one reason or another had been interrupted by a pressure upon the stopping push-piece. In those known mechanisms, a more complicated column-wheel construction is used rather than ordinary column-wheels, and this construction comprises two ratchet toothings which are superposed and operative in opposite directions. Such a mechanism also comprises a second push-piece activating a jointed lever which carries a spring pawl functioning together with the second ratchet toothing in such a manner as to make the column'wheel rotate opposite to its ordinary direction.
The goal of this invention is to realize a columnwheel timer of the kind mentioned at the beginning and which allows re'engaging, when starting from the stopped position, by pressure exerted on a second push-piece, and which is of a simpler construction and operates more reliably than mechanism of this kind that are already known.
' Towards that end, the column-wheel timer according to the invention and of the kind mentioned above comprises re-engaging means for starting from the stopped position and is characterized by the fact that said reengaging means comprises a pivotable lever which extends to the lever of column-wheel blocks for activating said blocks to force the column-wheel to regress by one step, starting from the stopped position, when pressure is exerted upon the push-piece.
The attached drawings shown a top view of certain components of an embodiment of the timer according to the invention.
FIG. I shows the re-engaging mechanism.
FIG. 2 shows the position of operation.
FIG. 3 shows the stopped position.
FIG. 4 shows the setting-to-zero position.
The timer partly shown in the drawing in its general construction is a timer of the three-time type and comprises the common components of timers ofthat kind. A description of such a mechanism, for instance, may be found in'the work by M. B. Humbert under the title of le chronographe and published by EDITIONS DU JOURNAL SUISSE DHORLOGERIE. FIGS. 273, 274 and 275 of that work in particular show the various positions of the control components of a timer of that type.
In the attached drawings, column-wheel I is provided with six blocks or columns 2 of trapezoidal shape distributed along its periphery. The column-wheel is provided with a ratchet toothing 3 having 18 teeth. This wheel pivots round a screw 4 and is kept in place by jumper-spring 5 which engages toothing 3. Hence the wheel may stop in three different positions during each step-advance by the blocks 2. p
The drawing shows that hammer 6 is made up of a blanked plate rotating about a screw 7, and is provided with: a first arm 8 under the influence of strip-spring 9; a second arm 10 the end of which comprises the hammer which brings to heart-piece 22a which is fixed to the hand of the summer back to zero; a third arm 1 1 the end of which makes up the hammer which brings back to zero heart-piece 23 which is attached to the secondhand; and a fourth arm 12 functioning together with blocks 2 of the column-wheel in a manner illustrated below.
Stopping lever 13 pivots about a screw 14 located near the column-wheel. One of the levers ends 15 functions together with blocks 2 whereas the other, 24, is provided with a pin 25 which in the position shown in the drawing rests against the felly of balance 26 and locks the movement. But when end 15 is located between two blocks 2, 'lever 13 pivots in response to spring 16 and the pin pulls away from the balance to allow the movement to operate.
In order to control the two components 6 and 13, the described mechanism comprises a control lever 17 and a re-engaging lever 18. Lever 17 is elbow-like in shape. Its end opposite beak 19 pivots with a certain amount of play about screw 27 which is located near the winding shaft 28, as in conventional constructions. On the other hand, this lever 17 is connected to the winding shaft by a hinge-screw 29 and pulled by a spring 30, so that normally the shaft 28 is displaced towards the outside of the movement. In that position, which is the one shown in the drawings, one may notice that beak 19 is wholly clear from ratchet toothing 3. However, by means of pressure exerted on the crown mounted on the end of winding shaft 28, one may activate lever 17 of which beak 19 then will engage toothing 3 to advance the latter by one step, jumper-spring 5 now defining the new position. In that manner successive pressures exerted upon the control push-piece will make the column-wheel advance step by step in the direction opposite to that of the hands and of the clock when the mechanism is viewed as in the attached drawing.
The re-engaging lever 18 generally assumes a shape similar to that of lever 17. Its beak end 20, which may be seen in the drawings, is bent towards the center of the column-wheel to allow engagement between the two blocks 2. Its other end 31 pivots by means of screw 32 upon the movement and near a flat component 33 where lever 18 is jointed on the second push-piece 35. This second push-piece may be dimetrically opposite to the rewinding crown.
In order to explain operation of the mechanism illustrated in the drawings, the initial position is that shown in FIG. 1. The mechanism being in the stopped position, the user is about to push upon'the second pushpiece 35 so that beak 20 moves the column-wheel in the direction opposite to its usual one. As seen, hammer 6 by its arm 12 pushes upon block 2a so that the hammer 6 is kept away from the heart-pieces. End 15 of blocking lever 13 pushes against block 2b so that the movement is locked, but when the movement lever 18 has run its course pushing block 2b clockwise, this block frees lever 13 which it previously retained. Lever 13 then pivots in response to spring 16 and therefore allows the movement to operate. Then the mechanism is in working condition (FIG. 2) and lever 18 returns to its initial position in response to spring 34.
As in known mechanisms, a pressure exerted at this time upon control push-piece 28 causes an advance by one step in the column-wheel in the direction of arrow 21. Block 2a locking hammer 6 moves below arm 12 leaving the hammer in its free position, while block 2b-which now is in front of end 15 of lever l3passes beyond end 15, causing lever 13 to pivot, again locking the movement. The mechanism thereof again is in the stopped position (see FIG. 3). A new pressure exerted on the push-piece of lever 18 commences a new engaging procedure as described above.
If, however, in lieu of a repetition of the re-engaging that would start from the position in FIG. 3, the control push-piece 28 is again depressed and lever 17 is displaced, the column-wheel will advance another step. Lever 13 remains motionless during this displacement and keeps on locking the movement while block 2a moves counterclockwise in front of arm 12 (FIG. 4). Hammer 6 is released and pivots, bringing the heartpieces back to zero.
When the mechanism is in the position of settingback to zero (FIG.4), a push upon the re-engaging push-piece has no effect because in that case block 2a will hit the front edge of arm 12 and the column-wheel cannot turn.
Finally, the time of interlocking which necessarily follows the zero-setting operation proceeds as in a conventional mechanism. The pressure from the control push-piece 28 by the intermediary of beak 19 will cause a new advance of one step in the column-wheel. Then block 20 will hit the rear edge of arm 12 and will raise hammer 6 while block 2b moves beyond end 15 of pivoting lever 13, so that the latter rotates while releasing the balance. The mechanism is again in a position similar to that of FIG. 2. In this position, pressure upon the push-piece of lever 18 also will have no effect because pivoting lever 13 is locking the column-wheel.
In this fashion a mechanism is realized which, without undue complication, allow re-engaging the secondhand without having to pass through the zero-setting position. I-leretofore, this function could not be realized in timing mechanisms such as sports timers which, with respect to conventional chronographs, are of a very simplified construction since they include neither hour nor minute hands and because all of the movement in locked except during the periods of timing.
The above described mechanism, in other embodiments, might also be incorporated in permanently running timers or in wrist chronographs for which the locked component (when the timer is in the stopped position) is not the balance, but rather a wheel ganged to the second-hand and friction-coupled to the second wheel-and-pinion itself.
For the timer shown in the drawings, the interlocking lever 18 is made up of a single, solid piece. It is provided with a rest position determined by a stop, and in which rest position its beak 20 is out of the path of blocks 2 of the column-wheel. Its course, as measured from the rest position, need not be limited by another stop, since, as seen previously, the rotation of the column-wheel, when actuated by this lever, is restricted by the other components functioning together with this part.
What is claimed is:
l. A column-wheel timer, comprising:
a housing base member;
a column-wheel rotatably mounted on said base, said column-wheel having a plurality of columns projecting from one side face of said wheel, said columns angularly spaced apart and located at the same radial distance from the axis of said wheel;
at least one time indicating hand rotatably mounted on said base member; and
means for locking said column-wheel, stopping the timer, and returning said hand to a zero indicating position, said means comprising:
a return-to-zero hammer pivotally mounted on said base, and having an arm for engaging the column-wheel columns and another arm for returning said hand to a zero-indicating position,
a stopping lever pivotally mounted on said base for engaging the column-wheel columns and for stopping engagement with a rotating member in the movement of the timer,
a push-piece slidably mounted at the edge of said base,
a control lever pivotally mounted on said base, one end of which is adapted to engage the periphery of said column-wheel, said control lever also being engageable with said push-piece and a re-engaging lever pivotally mounted on said base,
one end of which is adapted to engage the column-wheel columns, said re-engaging lever being adapted for engagement with a push-piece for regressing the column-wheel an increment from the stopped position of said column-wheel when pressure is exerted upon the re-engaging lever through a push-piece.
2. A timer according to claim 1, wherein the reengaging lever is biased by a spring in a direction to normally keep said lever out of contact with the column-wheel columns.
3. A timer according to claim 1, wherein the end of the re-engaging l'ever which is adapted to engage the column-wheel columns comprises a beak, bent towards the center of the column-wheel for locking engagement between two columns of said wheel.
4. A timer according to claim 1, wherein the periphery of said column-wheel comprises a ratchet wheel.
5. A timer according to claim 1, wherein said means additionally comprises a heart-shaped caming surface coaxially mounted with said hand and the arm of said return-to-zero hammer for returning said hand is engageable with said caming surface.
6. A timer according to claim 1, additionally comprising a jumper spring attached to the base member and engaging the periphery of said column-wheel for limiting the rotation of said wheel.
7. A timer according to claim 1, wherein both the retum-to-zero hand hammer and the stopping lever are biased by spring means for rotation in a direction out of engagement with the column-wheel columns.
11. A timer according to claim 1, additionally comprising a second push-piece slidably mounted at the edge of said base, said second push-piece engageable with the re-engaging lever.
12. A timer according to claim 11, wherein the second push-piece is engageable with the re-engaging lever between the point at which said lever is pivotally mounted on said base and the end of said lever which is adapted to engage the columns of the column-wheel.