US 3789605 A
Water proof watches with gold exterior comprise heavily gold-plated stainless steel case bodies.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[baited States Patent [1 1 Kishida Feb. 5, 1974 GOLD PLATED CASES FOR  References Cited TIME-KEEPING INSTRUMENTS UNITED STATES PATENTS  Inventor: Motoki Kishida, Okaya, Japan 2,951,333 9/1960 Morf .4 58/90 R 12 9 58 O  Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Suwa Seikosha, 2,5530 51 schwalbold /9 R Tokyo, Japan FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS [221 Fi1ed= July 22,1971 333123 35323 2323232231133:1111:3311:1121:331383  Appl. No.: 165,008
Primary ExaminerGeorge H. Miller, Jr. Foreign Application Priority Data gttlggrghAgent, 0r FzrmBlum, Moscovltz, F rledman July 23, 1970 Japan 45-63972  ABSTRACT  US. Cl 58/88 R Water proof watches wlth gold exterlor comprise  Int. Cl. G04b 37/00 h 1d ltd l t l b 58 Field of Search 5s/ss R, 90 R y a e S 5 66 Case 0 3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED 5'974 3.789.605
' Mn 1 m z F/GZ INVENTOR MOTOKI KISHIDA ATTORNEYS PAIENIEU 3.789.605
sum a nr 2 INVENTOR. MOTOK! KISH IDA ATTORNEYS 1 GOLD PLATED CASES FOR TIME-KEEPING INSTRUMENTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Gold exteriors on conventional watches are prepared by gold-plating brass case bodies or by fitting gold caps to stainless steel case bodies. Where a gold-plated brass case body is used, removal and insertion of the watch crystal and the movement results in scratching and wear of the surface. Furthermore, where the rear side of the watch case is gold plated on brass, the rear is easily defaced and is rusted by perspiration during wear. This latter difficulty has been avoided by affixing a stainless steel back to the case body by soldering or cementing. However, this method of handling the problem is not very satisfactory because the cement gives way eventually and because rust occurs at the solder joint.
Another method of handling the problem of fixing a gold exterior to a watch has been to use a gold cap. To assemble the cap and the case, the cap is first pressed into place and then is essentially molded around the watch. A multiplicity of molds are required for the operation and the process requires considerable skill on the part of the operator as well as subsequent polishing and other hand operations. A further defect in this method of assembly is that the cap must be soldered to the stainless steel base. Moreover, where the case body has a reverse incline or a complex shape, it is very difficult to assemble the cap to the case. Also, the method cannot be used where the shape of the cap is complex, as for instance, when the case is square SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A case body for a water-proof watch is made of stainless steel and is heavily gold-plated over the exterior thereof. Such a case uses no solder andno brass and consequently is free of the problem of rusting. It also strongly resists abrasion. The back of the case, in the interest of economy, may be free of gold-plating. The case body may of one piece or may consist ofa plurality of pieces.
The terms gold-plated," gold-plating," goldplated" and plating" as used herein all refer to electroplating with gold.
Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide a water proof watch case having a gold exterior which is free of the problem of rusting.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a water proof watch case with gold exterior which may be manufactured economically.
A further object of the invention is to provide a water proof watch case with gold exterior which is resistant to abrasion and scratching;
Still another object of the invention is to provide a water proof watch case with gold exterior where the watch case may have a reverse incline or a complex shape difficult or impossible to cover with a gold cap.
Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification.
The invention accordingly comprises an article of manufacture possessing the features, properties, and the relation'of elements which will be exemplified in the article hereinafter described, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational cross section of a conventional watch having a gold plated body and a stainless steel back;
FIG. 2 is an elevational cross section of a watch of conventional construction to which has been fitted a gold cap;
FIG. 3 is an elevational cross section of a gold-plated watch in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 4 is an elevational cross section of a gold-plated watch in accordance with the present invention wherein the rear of the watch is free of gold;
FIG. 5 is an elevational cross section of a gold-plated watch in accordance with the present invention showing how the type of watch normally fitted with a gold cap can be covered with gold plate; and
FIG. 6 is a cross section of gold-plated watch crown.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the manufacture and in the subsequent repair of conventional gold-plated watches having a one-piece body, as shown in FIG. 1, case-body 11 is generally made of brass. The initial insertion and subsequent removal and replacement of movement 12 as well as of watch crystal 13 generally result in marring of gold plate 14 due to the fact that the brass substrate is relatively soft. Also, if the gold plate extends around the rear of the case, contact with the wrist and the perspiration thereon eventually result in wearing away of the gold and rusting of the brass substrate. The conventional method of handling this problem is to provide a rear cover 15 of stainless steel. To hold the rear cover 15 in place, it is either soldered or cemented to the case-body. However, this solution is hardly satisfactory since the cement frequently fails or rusting occurs at the soldered joint. Consequently, although such a water proof, one-piece case construction is in great demand, and is profitable to manufacture, nevertheless this type of construction is not widely used.
Another conventional method of providing a waterproof watch case with a gold exterior is to use a stainless steel casebody 16 as shown in FIG. 2. Here the body is covered with a gold cap 17. To assemble this construction, the cap 17 is forced into place by a press after which it must be polished and pressed into the desired shape with a spatula. For this operation, a number of molds are necessary to shape the cap. Then too, hand work is necessary for sharpening the corners with a spatula and for polishing. Moreover, solder applied between the base of the stainless steel and the gold cap becomes discolored. Also, it is virtually impossibleto force the cap around a reverse incline. It frequently happens that the cap fractures in the operation of application to the stainless steel body because of the fact that the cap is apt to be of uneven thickness due to the method of manufacture.
In accordance with the present invention an entire case body 18 is made of stainless steel. This is covered with a layer of gold plate 19 thick enough to withstand the anticipated wear. As shown in FIG. 3, the layer of gold plate 19 extends around the rear of the case body.
If desired, the rear of the watch may be covered during the plating operation so that no gold is deposited thereon. Alternatively, that portion of the gold plate 19 on the rear of the case body 18 may be removed mechanically. A watch having no gold on the rear of the case body 18 is shown in FIG. 4.
A watch having a two-piece case body is shown in elevational cross section in FIG. 5 where the case body consists of the case itself 16 and a rear portion 21, both parts being made of stainless steel. The case body construction is identical with that of FIG. 2; however, as the result of using a plating operation instead of forcing on a gold cap, it becomes possible to cover surface 22 which has a reverse inclination.
Other external components of a watch may also be gold plated; this is illustrated in FIG. 6 showing watch crown 23 coated with gold plate 24.
As the result of using stainless steel for the case body, a gold plate deposited thereon shows virtually no abrasion or other marring caused by contact with the movementor the watch crystal during assembly or during repair. Furthermore, such a watch can be worn for long periods without such discoloration as would result from the presence of solder and without corrosion of the watch from perspiration of the wearer. In addition, the application of gold by electroplating rather than as a cap makes it possible to coat undercut or reversely inclined surfaces.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above article without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawing shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.
What is claimed is:
1. A water-proof watch comprising a stainless-steel case-body of one piece construction and a coating of electroplated gold thereon, wherein said coating extends over the entire exterior of said case-body 2. A water-proof watch as defined in claim 1, wherein said coating extends over the entire exterior of said case-body save for the rear of said case body.
3. A water-proof watch as defined in claim 1, further comprising a stainless-steel crown and a coating of electroplated gold thereon.