US 3834151 A
A timepiece has an automatic calendar with a correcting means that takes account of the months having less than 31 days, and leap years. The correcting means, and preferably also the timepiece itself, is electrically actuated, as by a battery carried by the timepiece. The month indicator of the calendar drives slowly rotating cams that close first electrical contacts on February 28, February 29, and the last day of each month having 30 days. The day of the month indicator is driven by mechanism that also turns relatively rapidly rotating cams once a day that close second electrical contacts at midnight. There are three pairs of first and second contacts in series with each other and with an electric motor or electromagnetic device; and the cams of the second contacts ensure that each pair of contacts will be closed the correcting means thus actuated, for an interval or a number of pulses sufficient to advance the day of the month indicator to skip one, two or three days at the end of each month having less than 31 days.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Bodet TIMEPIECE WITH AUTOMATIC- CALENDAR  Inventor: Pierre Bodet, 49340, Trementines,
France 22 Filed: Apr. 3, 1973 211 Appl. No.: 347,436
 Foreign Application Priority Data Primary Examiner-Edith Simmons Jackmon Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Young & Thompson [111 3,834,151 [451 Sept. 10, 1974  ABSTRACT A timepiece has an automatic calendar with a correcting means that takes account of the months having less than 31 days, and leap years. The correcting means, and preferably also the timepiece itself, is electrically actuated, as by a battery carried by the timepiece. The month indicator of the calendar drives slowly rotating cams that close first electrical contacts on February 28, February 29, and the last day of each month having 30 days. The day of the month indicator is driven by mechanism that also turns relatively rapidly rotating cams once a day that close second electrical contacts at midnight. There are three pairs of first and second contacts in series with each other and with an electric motor or electromagnetic device; and the cams of the second contacts ensure that each pair of contacts will be closed the correcting means thus actuated, for an interval or a number of pulses sufficient to advance the day of the month indicator to skip one, two or three days at the end of each month having less than 31 days.
9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSE-PI 0.1914 3.834.151
SHEET t 0F 6 TIMEPIECE WITH AUTOMATIC CALENDAR The present invention relates to timepieces having automatic calendars mounted thereon, and more particularly concerns such calendars that automatically accurately tell the date regardless of the number of days in the month.
Such timepieces with automatic calendars will indicate, in addition to the time of day, the day of the week and the day of the month, and possibly also the name of the month itself. Ordinarily. such timepieces are actuated in such a way as to indicate the minutes, the minutes in turn actuating the hours indicator, which in .turn actuates the day indicator; for example, Wednesday the th will change after one day to Thursday the 16th, and then to Friday the 17th. 1
If all the months of the year had 31 days, such a system would suffice to change from one month to the other at the end of the fixed interval of 31 days. However, as certain months have less than 31 days, it is necessary at the end of those months to make an automati correction.
An object of the present invention is to provide such a timepiece, in which the correction at the end of months shorter than 31 days is effected automatically by electric means.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of such a timepiece, which will be relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture, easy to maintain and repair, reliable in operation and rugged and durable in use.
These objects are achieved by providing an electric timepiece according to the present invention, in which special electrical or electromagnetic means are provided for effecting a correction at the end of short months. These means are actuated bya circuit which is opened or closed by commutators whose opening and closing is a function of the months in progress, which commutators may be controlled by the rotation of the axle of the device that rotates to show the various months and the number of the day of the month.
The drive axle for. the numeral indicating the day, may be driven either by mechanical connection with the drive axle for the names of the days of the week, or"
by that special electrical means for the short months.
Three sets of cams are provided, one for the months having 30 days, one for 29 days, and one for 28 days. These cams are driven in such a way that the 30-day cam rotates once a year while the other two rotate once every 4 years. One of the 4-year cams has three actuating portions corresponding to three years in which February has 28 days, while the other cam has only a single actuating portion corresponding to leap year.
There is also another set of cams, three in number, which determine the duration of actuation and which correspond respectively to the three cams previously described. In the three latter cams, the length of the actuating portion is proportional to the duration of actua- The correcting motor is electrically actuated from the same or another source as the timepiece itself.
The timepiece itself is preferably of any known electrical type, battery driven or driven from an outside source of current, and may be a clock or watch or other timepiece.
In the case of a timepiece with self-contained power, such as a battery-driven timepiece, with an automatic calendar, it is undesirable that the calendar drive should be connected to an outside source of power, and so it is preferred also to drive the calendar from the self-contained power source of the clock itself.
The invention is also characterized by periodic correcting mechanism for an automatic calendar, in which the correcting motor is actuated by one or more batteries so mounted that the calendar and the batteries are fixed to the same support and are simultaneously removable. Such an arrangement combined with a timepiece is independent of any external power source. Moreover, in the case of a battery-operated watch, the batteries may drive not only the watch and the calendar, but also the correcting mechanism for the calendar.
In this latter case, the correcting motor may be driven by batteries which feed either an electronic generator for alternating current of, say, 50 cycles, which generator feeds the correcting motor through contacts controlled by the cams, or else the battery may directly actuate the correcting motor by meansof the camcontrolled contacts.
Thus numerous variations are possible for driving the correcting mechanism.
When the timepiece is actuated by an external source of direct current, the correcting mechanism may be characterized in that its motor is actuated, at appropriate times, by the same direct current impulses as those actuating the timepiece and driving the calendar.
Such a correcting motor may be a direct-current motor whose voltage corresponds to that of the impulses that drive the timepiece, or if preferred an alternating current motor of suitable voltage but fed by an electronic generator of an alternating current of 50 or tion of the correcting motor so as to actuate the corcycles fed by direct current which may be inverted or not and which feeds the drive motor for the timepiece.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a timepiece according to the present invention; with emphasis on the correcting mechanism for months having fewer than 3l days;
FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a modified form thereof; and
FIGS. 3-6 are views similar to FIGS. 1 and 2 but showing further modifications of the invention.
Referringnow to the drawings in greater detail, and first to FIG. 1, there is shown an electrical timepiece whose hour and minute indicator is driven by an electric motor 1 which drives the minute indicator 2, and through the minute indicator the hour indicator 3. Upon the expiration of the 24 hours of the day, that is, when 23 hours and 59 minutes changes to 24 hours and 0 minutes, a mechanical linkage 4 drives the day of the week indicator 5, which thus changes through the days of the week each time 24 hours and 0 minutes is reached. The day of the week indicator turns, through a mechanical linkage 6, the day number indicator 7, with the same frequency as indicator 5.
Between indicators 5 and 7, on the linkage 6 is disposed a friction or pawl device 8 in the form of a oneway clutch which permits leaving the indicator 5 fixed while turning the number indicator 7.relative to indicator 5. It is thus possible. mechanically to advance the number of the days without correspondingly advancing the day of the week, thereby to skip over one, two or three day numerals at the end of the month, as the case may be, as will be explained in greater detail hereinafter.
Although the days of the week shown by indicator 5 follow a regular succession, every week having seven days, the indicator 7 must be subject to correction at the end of months which have less than 31 days, which correction must automatically change the reading on month indicator9 at the passage of 31 on indicator 7.
'Of course no correction is necessary at the end of, say, December, which has 31 days, and which will naturally change to the 1st of January. But at the end of, say, November which has 30 days, it is necessary that indicator 7 skip the numeral 31 and so two successive day change signals must be registered, to pass from November 30 to December 1. The same is true of the other months having 30 days.
At the end of February, when February has 28 days, it is necessary to impart four successive impulses to indicator 7, that is, three additional impulses, so as to change from February 28 to March 1; and in the case of the leap year, it is necessary to impart three successive impulses, that is, two supplementals.
Means have been devised in the prior art to effect these changes mechanically, but the present invention is characterized in that these changes or corrections are effected entirely electrically.
The supplemental impulses, according to the present invention, are given by the electric motor 19 which, at the proper time and for the proper duration, will drive the linkage 6 which turns the indicator 7. On the axle of linkage 6 are fixed three rotary earns 20, 21 and 22, which make a complete turn in a relatively short interval, e.g., once a day or once every 31 days. Cam 20 has an actuating portion of a length such that the contact 16 which it activates or closes passes current for the period of time necessary to correct by one day. Cam 21 has an actuating portion that actuates contact 17 to permit a two-day correction; while cam 22 has an actuating portion that actuates contact 18 for a three-day correction. The month indicator 9 drives three corresponding rotary cams 10, 11 and 12, but which rotate in a relatively long interval. Cam 10 turns once per year and bears as many actuating portions as there are months of the year with 30 days. Cams 11 and 12 turn once each four years and are shown on the same drive axle as cam 10 merely for simplicity. In fact they will be driven by a supplemental gear train (not shown) of a ratio 1:4. The cams 11 and 12 actuate the contacts and 14, respectively. 1
Cam 11 has three actuating portions which are used for the three years out of four in which February has 28 days, and on those February 28's actuates the contact 15. Cam 12 has but a single actuating portion, corresponding to the leap year in which February has 29 days, and on February 29 actuates the contact 14. Thus the contacts 13, 14 and 15 are actuated or closed at the end of each month having 30, 29 or 28 days, respectively.
The contacts 13, 14 and 15 correspond respectively to the contacts 16, 17 and 18 which actuate the correcting motor 19. As a result. for the months having 31 days, all the contacts 13-18 remain open. that is, nonactuated. The indicator 7 then passes naturally from the numeral 31 to the 1st of the following month and correspondingly drives the indicator 9.
But during the months having 30 days, cam 10 on the 30th day of the month closes contact 13 which permits current to flow to contact 16, which is open until the end of that day. But at midnight on that day, cam 20 closes contact 16 and the current flows to motor 19 for an interval just long enough to permit motor 19 to drive indicator 7 from numeral 30 past numeral 31 to numetal 1. Motor 19 has thus caused indicator 7 to skip 31. The actuating portion of the cam 20 then passes contact 16, which reopens and interrupts the circuit to motor '19, leaving indicator 7 on the numeral 1. As mentioned above, the passage from 31 to 1 on indicator 7 has drivenindicator 9 one step to the next month.
During an ordinary February, with 28 days, contact 15 is closed by cam 11 on the last day of the month,
that is, February 28, so that current flows to contact 18 which is open until midnight. At midnight on February 28, cam 20 through its contact portion closes contact 18 and current flows to correcting motor 19 for a period of time (or for a number of impulses) sufficient to move indicator 7 from 28 past 29, 30 and 31 to numeral l, the passage from 31 to 1 again turning the month indicator 9 from February to March.
Once every 4 years, contact 15 does not function at the end of February, but rather the actuating portion of cam 12 closes contact 14 a day later, that is, on February 29, permitting current to flow to contact 17, which remains open until the actuating portion of cam 21 at midnight closes contact 17 and current flows to correcting motor 19 for an interval or a number of im pulses necessary to advance indicator 7 from 29 three steps, through 30 and 31 without stopping, to numeral 1, whereupon contact 17 opens and motor 19 stops.
The one-way clutch 8 permits this correcting overdrive of the indicator 7, without interrupting the ordinary chronological drive of motor 1. Hence the correcting mechanism does not detract from the accuracy of the time indication nor introduce any cumulative error into the operation of the device.
It will also be understood that the motor 19 can be replaced by an electro-pulsing device (not shown) that will give three, two or one supplemental pulses to change indicator 7 one step each, when actuated by contact 18, 17 or 16, respectively.
It is also possible, in an unillustrated alternative embodiment, to turn cam 11 once a year as though February had 28 days every year, the cam 12 then deactua'ting contact 15 once every four years and actuating contact 14 a day later on leap year.
Turning now to FIG. 2, there is shown at 31 a storage battery secured to the support 33 by known means (not shown), and feeding an A.C. generator 32 which is similarly fixed to support 33 and which in its turn feeds the correcting motor 19 by means of contacts 13-18, with alternating current of, say, 50 cycles.
The combination of an automatic calendar correction driven by battery 31 with a timepiece driven by battery 34, thus comprises an assembly which is completely independent of any outside source of current.
On the other hand, although the correcting device,
will be electrically driven in any case, the timepiece itself can be mechanically driven if desired.
When the timepiece itself is battery driven, the battery 34 which actuates the synchronously vibrating member or diapason (not shown) may also directly drive the correcting motor 19 and may generate a lowvoltage direct current. Thus the same battery can drive both the timepiece and the correcting mechanism, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. In FIG. 3, the motors are fed directly by battery 34, thus eliminating the battery 31 and the AG transformer 32 of FIG. 2. In this case, the motor 19 is a direct current motor. In FIG. 4, the AC. generator 32 is driven from battery 34 and so motor 19 is of course an A.C. motor.
FIGS. 5 and 6 show two other embodiments, corresponding to FIGS. 3 and 4, respectively, but in which the battery 34 is replaced by an external source of direct current.
From a consideration of the foregoing disclosure, therefore, it will be evident that the initially recited objects of the present invention have been achieved.
Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in connection with preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention, as those skilled in this art will readily understand. Such modifications and variations are considered to be within the purview and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
I. A timepiece having an automatic calendar with a changeable display indicating the day of the month by successively displayed numerals, comprising electrical correcting means for skipping the numeral 31 at the end of a month having 30 days, and for skipping the numerals 30 and 31 at the end of a month having 29 days, and for skipping the numerals 29, 30 and 31 at the end of a month having 28 days, said correcting means having in circuit therewith a first contact, a first rotary cam that rotates once a year and closes said first contact at the end of eachmonth having 30 days. and in series therewith a second contact, and a second rotary cani rotating faster than said first rotary cam to close said second contact and to advance said day of the month indicator from 30 past 3! to l at midnight on the 30th day of a said month.
2. A timepiece as claimed in claim 1, said timepiece being an electrical timepiece having a common source of electrical current for actuating both the timepiece and said correcting means.
3. A timepiece as claimed in claim 1, including means to indicate the hours and minutes, and means driven by the hour indicator to drive said day of the month indicator.
4. A timepiece as claimed in claim 1, including further first contacts in series with said correcting means and in parallel with each other and with said firstmentioned first contact, further first rotary cams that rotate with a frequency once every 4 years and having actuating portions to close said further first contacts, further second contacts in series with a respective one of said further first contacts and in parallel with each other and with the first-mentioned said second contact and in series with said correcting means, and further secondary rotary cams that rotate with a frequency not less than once every 31 days for closing said further second contacts at midnight.
5. A timepiece as claimed in claim 4, including a common drive means for said second rotary cams and said day-of-the month indicator.
6. A timepiece as claimed in claim 4, including a month indicator, and common drive means for said month indicator and said first rotary cams.
7. A timepiece as claimed in claim 6, including means to drive said month indicator from said day of the month indicator.
8. A timepiece as claimed in claim 1, including battery means carried by said timepiece for actuating both the timepiece and said correcting means.
9. A timepiece as claimed in claim 8, in which the same battery actuates both the timepiece and the correcting means.