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Publication numberUS3899871 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 19, 1975
Filing dateMay 7, 1974
Priority dateMay 9, 1973
Also published asDE2422067A1
Publication numberUS 3899871 A, US 3899871A, US-A-3899871, US3899871 A, US3899871A
InventorsKitai Kiyoshi
Original AssigneeSeiko Koki Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clock with dial illumination
US 3899871 A
Abstract
A clock with a dial having time-indicating indicia illuminated by rays of light as shafts of light from a central electric bulb mounted coaxial with the dial on the face of the dial. A reflector having inner surfaces that reflect the light on to the face of the dial is mounted enclosing the light source or bulb. It has openings circumferentially spaced individually in registry with a corresponding time-indicating indicium for impinging thereon respective shafts of light rays. The electrical leads to the electric bulb are connected to a socket receiving the bulb and extend through a tubular element coaxial with the dial. The electrical leads extend through this tube to the backside of the dial and through substantially the width of the clock free of interference with clock movement. The clock hands are driven by tubular shafts concentric with the central tube and are nested thereon for rotation providing a compact arrangement.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 1 Aug. 19, 1975 United States Patent [1 1 Kitai CLOCK WITH DIAL ILLUMINATION Primary ExaminerGeorge H. Miller, Jr.

[75] Inventor: Kiyoshi Kiwi, Tokyo, Japan Attorney, Agent, or FirmRobert E. Burns;

Emmanuel J. Lobato; Bruce L. Adams [73] Assignee: Seiko Koki Kabushiki Kaisha, Japan Filed: May 7, 1974 Appl. No.: 467,748

[57] ABSTRACT A clock with a dial having time-indicating indicia illuminated by rays of light as shafts of light from a central electric bulb mounted coaxial with the dial on the face of the dial. A reflector having inner surfaces that [30] Foreign Application Priority Data May 1973 if: 48-53570 reflect the light on to the face of the dial is mounted p enclosing the light source or bulb. It has openings circumferentially spaced individually in registry with a May 9, 1973 521 US. 58/50R I 511 Int. Cl. G04b 19/30 Correspondmg tmemdlcdtmg mdlcmm for thereon respective shafts of light rays. The electrical h c r a e 50 A leads to the electric bulb are connected to a socket receiving the bulb and extend through a tubular element [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS coaxial with the dial. The electrical leads extend through this tube to the backside of the dial and 666,381 l/l90l 58/50 R through substantially the of the clock free of in- 2,212,359 8/1940 58/50 R terference i Clock movemem The clock hands are 3,430,433 3/1969 Sand0r.............. 58/50 R 3,490,226 l/l970 Anderson et driven by tubular shafts concentric with the central 58/50 R tube and are nested thereon for rotation providing a compact arrangement.

4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEU Ave: 91915 sum 1 of 2 FIG] all.

FEW a CLOCK WITH DIAL ILLUMINATION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to clocks and more particularly to illumination devices therefor.

The illumination of the dials of clocks has been accomplished in many different ways. A particular construction is that of having an electric bulb mounted at the center of the dial. However, leading out the electrical leads from the bulb to an electrical source has required a particularly complex construction. In order to avoid this problem clocks have had the dial illuminated by provision of an electric bulb on the backside of the dial which itself is semitransparent. This type of construction has had an illumination deficiency in that the clock mechanism casts shadows on the dial plate.

Other clock illumination constructions are known wherein a plurality of electric bulbs are arranged around the dial plate. This type of construction has the deficiency that the dial is illuminated nonuniformly. Even if many electric bulbs are used the same problem is encountered. Ifa circular florescent lamp is installed around the dial the size of the clock is generally enlarged considerably.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a principal object of the present invention to provide a clock illumination structure providing uniform illumination on the face of the clock dial.

Another object is to provide illumination of a clock dial with provisions for using electrical connections thereto without impeding by the clock movement.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a clock illumination device in which the clock is illuminated aesthetically.

A feature of the invention is the provision of a dial with time indicia thereon in which a cylindrical tubular member is mounted coaxially with the dial for leading out electrical leads from a clock which according to the invention comprises a case in which a dial is mounted internally thereof. A tubular element coaxial with the dial extends axially toward the backside of the dial and has provision on a front side of the dial for mounting an electric bulb socket for receiving a bulb. The tubular element holds the electrical lead connections to the electrical bulb socket and these extend outwardly behind the dial or backside thereof for easy electrical connection to a power source internally of the case or externally thereof as the case may be. The bulb coacts with a reflector that is constructed essentially conical or hemispherical enclosing the bulb with openings or notches on the periphery of a base thereon for directing rays of light to corresponding time indicia.

The time-indicating hand shafts are mounted coaxially with the above-mentioned tubular element and nested thereon so that the illumination device construction and the hands for the indicating time are compactly and easily mounted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects and advantages of the clock and illumination device thereof appear from the following description of an example of the invention, and the novel features will be particularly pointed out in the appended claims.

FIG. 1 is a side elevation section view of a clock and illumination device according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation section view of a second embodiment of a clock embodying an illumination device according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a section view taken along section line 33 of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As illustrated in the drawings a clock embodying an illumination device constructed according to the invention comprises a case 1 internally of which is mounted a dial or dial plate having a face with time-indicating indicia thereon disposed angularly spaced. The face of the dial is viewable through a transparent plate 3 made of glass or some suitable material. The backside of the dial is provided with angularly spaced projections 4 which are internally threaded for mounting a base plate 5 with screws 6.

The dial and backplate are provided with a central aperture in which is mounted a tubular element 7 extending axially forwardly of the dial and toward the backside thereof terminating at the base plate. A socket 8 for an electric bulb 9 is mounted coaxially with a tubular element and is secured therein. Electrical leads 10 for energizing the bulb are connected to the socket and extend axially through the tubular element 7. These leads extend outwardly from the case for electrical connection to an outside power source or may be mounted within the clock for energizing from an internal battery, not shown.

A transparent bulb holder 11 is mounted around the bulb and a reflector 12 which is substantially conical or frustro-conical in cross section is fitted over the bulb holder and removably mounted thereon. The reflector has inner reflective surfaces which reflect the light from the bulb 9 back toward the clock glass and the dial 2. The reflector may be made of any suitable reflector material metal, for example or some suitable plastic. It is provided with peripheral openings or notches 13 on a base thereof which is open toward the dial. The openings 13 are aligned in registry with the time indicia so that light rays emitted therethrough impinge on the time indicia on the dial face. This provides an artistic and well lighted face of the dial in which opening illuminates a corresponding time indicium.

A minute-hand tubular shaft 15 is rotatably mounted on the cylindrical open ended shaft 7. A tubular hourhand shaft 16 is rotatably mounted on the minute-hand tubular shaft 15. A minute-hand 17 is fixed on the forward end of the minute-hand shaft 15 and an hourhand 18 is fixed on the hour-hand shaft 16 for indicating the minutes and hours in cooperation with the indicia on the face of the dial 2. The hands are driven from a clock mechanism, not shown, such as a synchronous motor geared to a gear 19 fixed on the minute-hand tubular shaft 15 to rotate the minute-hand 17 with a definite speed and at the same time the rotation of the minute-hand shaft 15 is transferred to the hour-hand tubular shaft 16 through a small gear 20 on the minutehand tubular shaft 15 meshing with a large gear 22 supported on a shaft 21 on the back plate. The large gear 22 has fixed thereto a small gear 23 which meshes with another large gear 24 fixed to the hour-hand shaft 16 whereby the hour-hand 18 likewise rotates at a definite speed.

A second embodiment of a clock embodying an illumination device according to the invention is illustrated in FIG. 2. This embodiment the parts corresponding to the parts of the embodiment in FIG. 1 have the same reference numerals which are primed. The clock comprises a case 1" in which is fitted a dial 2 having a face with the time-indicating indicia thereon viewable through a transparent plate 3 made of glass or acryl resin. for example, or any suitable synthetic material. The dial is provided with tubular projections 4'. on a backside thereof. which are internally threaded and on which are mounted a back plate 5' with screws 6. An open ended tubular element 7' is mounted coaxially with the dial plate and the back plate. It extends forwardly of the dial 2.

A bulb holder 8 is formed integrally with the glass 3 and supports an electric bulb 9' having leads 10' extending through the tubular element 7' in the manner described of the first embodiment. In this embodiment a reflector I2 is formed as a dome or hemispherical element and reflects the light from the light bulb back toward the glass 3 and dial 2. It is provided with the twelve protusions 11 arranged on the face thereof equally spaced with spaces 13' therebetween. Notches 14' around the periphery of the reflector or shade 12 are provided and these correspond to the spaces 13' and direct light rays from the bulb radially from the spaces 13 illuminating the indicia on the dial 2 aesthetically.

The reflector or shade 12 may be made transparent or semitransparent with applied coloring and embossing so that the illumination effect is enhanced.

The clock movement parts l524' are constructed in this embodiment similarly to that of the first embodiment described. Thus the drive gears and hands driven thereby are the same or similar to those before described.

As can be seen the single light source positioned at the center of the dial can illuminate the dial completely and the clock can be miniaturized. Moreover. since the light source is located at the center of the dial and the tubular elements are provided for leading out the leads to the light source the light source is independent of the watch works. Furthermore the exchange of light bulbs is quite easy and it is possible to highlight the illumination effect presenting an extremely practical and aesthetic effect.

What I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent:

1. A clock comprising, a case. a dial internally thereof having time indicia on a face thereof, a tubular element coaxial with the dial and extending axially rearwardly of the backside of the dial, an electric bulb socket mounted coaxial with said tubular element forwardly of the face of the dial for receiving an electric bulb therein. electrical lead connections to said socket extending through said tubular element to said socket and out of a rear end of said tubular element. a reflector spaced from said socket and having inner surfaces for reflecting light from said bulb rearwardly of the reflector onto said face of the dial and over said time indicia. means mounting said reflector. said reflector comprising angularly spaced peripheral notches on the base thereof for passing rays of light in registry with a corresponding time indicium.

2. A clock comprising, a case. a dial internally thereof having time indicia on a face thereof, a tubular element coaxial with the dial and extending axially rearwardly of the backside of the dial. an electric bulb socket mounted coaxial with said tubular element forwardly of the face of the dial for receiving an electric bulb therein, electrical lead connections to said socket extending through said tubular element to said socket and out of a rear end of said tubular element. a reflector spaced from said socket and having inner surfaces for reflecting light from said bulb rearwardly of the reflector onto said face of the dial and over said time indicia. means mounting said reflector. said reflector being substantially hemispherical in configuration and having a base open toward the face of the dial, and said reflector comprising angularly spaced peripheral openings on the base thereof for passing rays of light in registry with a corresponding time indicium.

3. A clock comprising, a case. a dial internally thereof having time indicia on a face thereof, a tubular element coaxial with the dial and extending axially rearwardly of the backside of the dial. an electric bulb socket mounted coaxial with said tubular element for wardly of the face of the dial for receiving an electric bulb therein. electrical lead connections to said socket extending through said tubular element to said socket and out of a rear end of said tubular element, a reflector spaced from said socket and having inner surfaces for reflecting light from said bulb rearwardly of the reflector onto said face of the dial and over said time indicia, means mounting said reflector, said means mounting said reflector comprising a transparent plate between the reflector and the dial enclosing said dial in said case and disposed for viewing said time indicia therethrough.

4. A clock according to claim 3, in which said transparent plate comprises projections thereon arranged coaxial with said socket spaced from each other and removably mounting said reflector.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US666381 *Dec 18, 1899Jan 22, 1901Roch R GareauIlluminated clock.
US2212359 *Oct 28, 1938Aug 20, 1940Milton Wilcox RoyIlluminated clock
US3430433 *Mar 31, 1967Mar 4, 1969Sandor Bela IClock with an illuminated dial
US3490226 *Nov 20, 1967Jan 20, 1970Gen Time CorpClock face assembly having illuminated indicating elements
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4115994 *Jul 13, 1976Sep 26, 1978Tomlinson James NDial illumination means
US5883862 *Jun 4, 1998Mar 16, 1999Wang; Shui-HoClock having emergency lighting device
US6486561Sep 12, 2000Nov 26, 2002Luminary Logic, Ltd.Semiconductor light emitting element formed on a clear or translucent substrate
US7839726 *Nov 11, 2005Nov 23, 2010Asulab S.A.Timepiece including optical guide which performs the function of a crystal
US7883255Nov 11, 2005Feb 8, 2011Asulab S.A.Electronic device including optical guide provided with sequentially illuminated optical extractors
US7883256Nov 11, 2005Feb 8, 2011Asulab S.A.Electronic device including optical guide provided with at least two groups of interlaced optical extractors
EP0050267A2 *Oct 6, 1981Apr 28, 1982Paul AlbrechtDevice for illuminating indicating boards from the rear
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/227, 968/213, 368/234
International ClassificationG04B19/30
Cooperative ClassificationG04B19/30
European ClassificationG04B19/30