US 3910034 A
A wristwatch with an alarm device with a setting ring and a release, as well as with at least one alarm-element that can be spring-driven with a motion relative to another component in order to produce an alarm sound, wherein the alarm device may be used in a conventional watch construction.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 [111 Tilse Oct. 7, 1975  ALARM DEVICE FOR A WRISTWATCH 3,783,599 1/1974 Tanaka 58/38 X EXTERNAL TO THE MOVEMENT Wilhelm Paul Tilse, Birkenfeld, Germany Inventor:
Assignee: Timex Corporation, Waterbury,
Filed: Apr. 4, 1975 Appl. No.: 509,389
U.S. Cl 58/152 B; 58/57.5; 58/91 Int. Cl. G04B 23/02; G04B 39/00 Field of Search 58/16 R, 19 A, 38, 57.5,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Lewchuk 58/57.5
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,016,416 11/1952 France ..58/57.5 348,925 10/1960 Switzerland 58/16 Primary ExaminerGeorge H. Miller, Jr.
A wristwatch with an alarm device with a setting ring and a release, as well as with at least one alarmelement that can be spring-driven with a motion relative to another component in order to produce an alarm sound, wherein the alarm device may be used in a conventional watch construction.
ABSTRACT 6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures U.S. Patsnt 0m. 7,1975 Sheet 3 of4 3,910,634
US. Patent Oct. 7,1975 Sheet4 of4 3,910,034
ALARM DEVICE FOR A WRISTWATCH EXTERNAL TO THE MOVENIENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention concerns a watch, especially a wristwatch, with an alarm device, and more particularly an alarm device which may be substituted in a conventional watch construction with minor alteration.
Alarm devices in watches, as for instance normal alarm clocks, have, just as the known alarm devices in Wristwatches, been constructed so far in such a way, that the setting device and the release cooperated with parts of the watch movement, or were integrated in the watch movement. The general procedure was such that an adjustable release for the alarm was coupled with the hour wheel of the watch movement, which then, by the continuous rotary movement, released the alarm process.
The construction described in the foregoing is, as with normal alarm clocks which are manufactured in large numbers, generally quite satisfactory. It has become evident, however, that the known construction principle, especially with Wristwatches which normally do not require an alarm device, incurs disadvantages, since every watch manufacturer has to produce in each price range at least two watch movements, one of which contains the components necessary for the alarm device, while the other does not contain any such components. It is clear that hereby the cost of manufacture of the watch movement is increased.
Accordingly one object of the present invention is to provide an alarm device for a watch, especially a wristwatch, whereby the insertion of the alarm device does not involve any interference in the construction of the actual watch movement.
Another object of the invention is to provide an alarm device which can be operated by the hour hand and/or the hour hand staff.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly stated, the invention comprises an alarm device for a watch with a movement case and a rotatable setting ring, spring means disposed between the case and the setting ring, one-way clutch means arranged to allow rotation of the setting ring and spring means in one direction and to hold the spring means in tension from the movement case when the setting ring is rotated in the opposite direction, and release means for holding the spring means in tension and releasing the setting ring at a selectable time. Another feature is an alarm element that is driven by motion of the setting ring relative to the movement case.
With a preferred type of construction of the invention, one end of the coil spring, at least during the tensioning of the coil spring, is connected to the setting ring and the other end of the coil spring is, via a oneway clutch connected to the watch movement case. The coupling opens when turning the setting ring in setting direction, and secures the other end of the coil spring in its position regarding the watch movement case when turning the setting ring in tension direction.
DRAWINGS Further details and advantages of the invention are in the following, with the aid of a drawing, further explained and/or are the subject of the claims.
Shown in the drawings are:
FIG. 1 a top view of a watch according to the invention,
FIG. 2 a section through the watch according to'FIG. 1 along the line 22 in this figure,
FIG. 3 an enlarged top view of the watch according to FIG. 2 seen in direction of the arrows 33 in FIG.
2, and this partly in section, for a first operating position,
FIG. 4 a representation similar to FIG. 3 for a second operating position,
FIG. 5 a representation similar to FIGS. 3 and 4 for a third operating position,
FIG. 6 a top view similar to FIGS. 2 to 5 of a second type of construction of a watch according to the invention, and
FIG. 7 a section through the watch according to FIG. 6 mainly along the line 7-7 in this figure.
DESCRIPTION OF FIGS. 1-5
FIG. 1 shows a wristwatch 10 with a setting ring 12 which together with a crystal 14 fastened in same forms a cap, which covers and seals the open side of the watch movement case 16, as becomes evident by FIG. 2; in the watch movement case 16 is accomodated the movement 13 of the wristwatch, and the watch move ment case carries a dial 15 on top of this. At a first glance does the watch 10, according to FIG. I hardly' differ from conventional Wristwatches since other known Wristwatches also have a setting ring, which, for
instance with divers watches, serves to indicate the predetermined end of a diving period/Itis conspicuous that through the watch crystal 14 above the dial 15, apart from the hour hand 18, the minute hand 20 and the sweep second hand 22, a release 24 is visible, and that besides this a mark 26 is placed on the crystal.
The release 24 and the mark 26 belong to an alarm device which will be explained further with the aid of FIGS. 2 to 5 of the drawing. As is evident by the figures mentioned, the alarm devices of the type of construction in'this invention comprises a release 24, which is fastened to one end of a clutch band 28 which loops the watch movement case 16 at an angle of approximately 540, and the other end of which is, for instance, via a pin 30 connected with the other end of a coil spring 32, which at its other end carries a hooked locking means 34. Within the range of that end of the coil spring 32 facing the clutch band 28, fastened on the coil spring 32 is also a pearl or ball 36, which cooperates with the projections or an indentation 38 at the inside rim of the setting ring 12.
The alarm device, constructed of the parts described in the aforementioned, operates as follows:
If the watch is in the operating position described in FIG. 3, and the setting ring 12 is then turned counterclockwise, i.e. in direction of arrow A in FIG. 1, then a pin 40, fastened to which is the end of the coil spring 32 carrying the hook 34 and also connected to the setting ring 12, presses against the said spring end and moves the coil spring 32 with the ball 36 as well as the clutch band 28 with the release 24 counterclockwise. One realizes that it is possible to turn the setting ring including the other parts of the alarm device connected with same by a random angle'counterclockwise, and thereby to set the mark 26 on the watch crystal 14, which turns together with the setting ring 12, to the desired alarm moment. I
' .When the desired alarm moment has been set, that means, when the mark 26 is in the desired position regarding the dial 15, then the setting ring is turned in the tension direction opposite to the setting direction, i.e., clockwise or in direction of arrow B in FIG-1. While turning the setting ring 12 in tension direction, the clutch band 28, if suitably dimensioned and manufac tured of suitable material, frictionally clamps immediately, without a bow, against the outer rim 16a of the watch movement case 16, so that the position of the release 24 in relation to the dial 15 is not changed. As ro-- tary motion of the setting ring 12 continues in tension direction, the coil spring 32 is extended by the pin 40 at the setting ring 12 until the hook 34, which possesses a chamfered point, is passed through a part of the release 24 reaching close to the inner rim of the setting ring 12. When the point of the hook 34 is positioned behind the said part of the release 24 and when the setting ring 12 is then released, the hook is held by the release 24, and the coil spring 32 is in tensioned condition, as represented in FIG. 4.
The release 24 is of such dimension that it extends into the path of the hour wheel indicated by dash-anddot lines in FIGS. 3 and 4. When now the hour hand 18 lies against the radially directed inner end of the release 24, then, with continued motion of the hour hand 18, the inner end of the release is pressed outwards along an arcuate path, while simultaneously that part of the release 24 bordering the setting ring 12 is swivelled to theinside along an arcuate path. As soon as the swivel movement of the release 24 reaches a certain point under the influence of the hour hand 18 the hook 34,- which is under tension of the coil spring 32, slips through the 'outer end of the release 24 and the inner rim of the setting ring 12. The corresponding operation position is depicted in FIG. 5 of the drawing. As soon as the hook 34 is no longer held by the release 24, the setting ring 12 is turned counterclockwise, that means in direction of the arrow A by the coil spring 12 engaging with the pin 40. By this rotary movement of the setting ring 12, the ball 36 strikes against the indentation 38 at the inside of the setting ring 12 and thereby produces a buzzing sound which draws the attention of the wearer of the watch to the expiration of the previously set time. The speed at which the setting ring 12 turns, and thereby the duration of the alarm signal, can be set by corresponding dimensioning of a seal 42 between the watch movement case 16 and the setting ring 12. If a small swivel movement of the release 24 is sufficient to commence the alarm procedure, then it may be possible in given cases to eliminate the special mark 26 and to use instead the release as mark for the set alarm time. It is also possible to use a suitably formed shoulder or an extension of the release 24 as a mark.
DESCRIPTION OF FIGS. 6 AND 7 The type of construction of a watch 10 according to the invention described in FIGS. 6 and 7 operates principally in the same manner as the type of construction per FIGS. 1 to 5 and cannot be differentiated from same from the outside. The difference in the two types of construction consists of the fact that different kinds of direction or one-way clutches are used. In place of the clutch band 28 with the previously described construction per FIGS. 6 and 7, a ratchet arrangement with a ring 44 is used. Ring 44 is rotatable within the case 16, and is arranged concentrical to the setting ring 12 and coupled to it via the coil spring. 32. A ratchet 46, pivoted on the ring 44, is biased in radial direction by spring 48 to the inside against a tooth-ring 50, with which the ratchet 46 cooperates. Ring 50 can be constructed as a separate structural element or which can also be shrunk onto the rim 16a of the watch movement case 16. The ratchet 46 and the teeth of the tooth-ring 50 are orientated in such a way that the setting=ring 12 can be rotated pushing also ring 44 via spring 32, in setting direction, i.e., counterclockwise or in direction of arrow A by random angles, whereby the ratchet 46 slides along on the teeth of the tooth-ring 50. In the opposite rotation direction of the setting ring 12, i.e., when turning same in tension direction or in direction of arrow B, the ratchet 46 will catch immediately behind one of the teeth of the tooth-ring 50, resulting in a similar catch-effect as described in the foregoing in connection with the clutch band 28. When turning the setting ring in tension direction the coil spring 32 is tensioned and, after the hook .34 catches behind the release 24, remains in tensioned condition until the release is swivelled counterclockwise by the hour hand 18. Apart from the special features explained in the aforesaid, the method of operation with the type of construction according to FIG. 6 and 7 is exactly the same as the type of construction according to FIG. 1 to 5 which is also expressed by the fact that the corresponding structural parts are all marked with thesame reference symbol.
It is hereby pointed out that apart from one-way clutches which were used in the types of construction explained in the foregoing, also other one-way clutches can be applied. In this connection an eccentric element instead of an index click 46 can be used to wedge with the rim 16a of the watch movement case 16 at a rotary direction of the ring 44, whereby the rim 16a can be either roughened or knurled, or can be mainly smooth, For instance, the eccentric element can consist of a suitable synthetic material which, compared to the material of the watch movement case, possesses a high coeflicient of friction. I I t It is further pointed out that the fixing of a ball to the coil spring 32 and the fixing of an indentation 38 at the inside of the setting ring 12 in no way presents the only possibility to produce an alarm sound. This type of construction has been demonstrated mainly because it is particularly simple and clear. Especially, it would be possible to attach one or more metal tongues to the inside rim of the setting ring 12, which could be brought to vibration by the individual coils of the coil spring 32. Furthermore, it lies within the scope of the invention to clamp with the aid of the setting ring 12 a spring-loaded piston in a cylinder, which upon release of the piston or at the release of the alarm process produces an audible whistling sound at a suitably formed opening. Finally it is also within the scope of the invention to transfer a movement,produced when relieving the spring, to a suitable sounding board, for instance to the watch crystal. In addition to creating a sound can an optical indication also possibly be produced, which will draw the attention of a user, who possibly overheard the alarm signal, to the expiration of the set time. With an electrically driven watch this indication could be a lamp in the simplest way, which is activated by the return of the setting ring and which can be cancelled again by a short turn of the setting ring 12 in tension direction.
It is also pointed out at this place that the mark 26 with both construction types per FIG. 1 to 7 is again reset when tensioning the alarm device, so that same with tensioned alarm device does not indicate directly the set time of alarm. With these types of construction, however, exists even with tensioned alarm device a unique correlation between the position of mark 26 regarding the dial l5 and the set alarm time, so that the alarm time can at any time be ascertained exactly. On the other hand it would also with these types of construction under certain conditions be advantageous, to form the release 24 in such a way, that a certain point of the release can serve for setting the alarm as well as indicating the alarm time set with tensioned alarm device. lt would be particularly favourable to plan a projecting point at the release 24 which could serve for the setting and the indication of the alarm time.
It is evident from the foregoing description that the basic theory of the invention at hand consists of planning all component parts, added to the watch for making an alarm device, outside of the watch movement and to activate the release of the alarm by the hour hand and/or the hour wheel staff or an organ of the hour wheel staff. It is revealed that starting from this basic theory numerous possibilities are at the disposal of the expert to vary and/or to supplement the construction examples described in the foregoing without departing from the basic theory of the invention.
I claim: v
1. An alarm device for a watch, especially a wristwatch, with a movement for driving a staff with a hand thereon, a movement case with an open side and a cap covering the open side of the movement case, said alarm device having a rotatable setting ring associated with cap, spring means disposed between the movement case and the setting ring, one-way clutch means arranged to allow rotation of the setting ring and spring means in one direction and to hold the spring means in tension from the movement case when the setting ring is rotated in the other direction, and release means for holding the spring means in tension and releasing the setting ring at a selectable time.
2. The combination according to claim 1, including an alarm element that is driven by motion of the setting ring relative to the movement case.
3. The combination according to claim 1 wherein the spring means is a coil spring disposed between the movement case and the setting ring and wherein the setting ring has a hooked locking element cooperating with said release means to hold the coil spring in tension.
4. The combination according to claim 3 wherein said one-way clutch is a clutch band encircling the tuated by said watch hand.