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Publication numberUS3911664 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 14, 1975
Filing dateMar 7, 1975
Priority dateOct 21, 1974
Publication numberUS 3911664 A, US 3911664A, US-A-3911664, US3911664 A, US3911664A
InventorsHaber Terry M
Original AssigneeHaber Terry M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wrist actuated pressure switch for watches
US 3911664 A
Abstract
The pressure switch comprises a conducting strip and plate separated by insulating material provided with a window such that pressure applied to the strip will flex the strip through the window to electrically engage the plate. The switch assembly is located in a watchband close to a point diametrically opposite the watch casing itself. The strip and plate are connected through conductors to an internal wire in the watch casing and the casing itself to ground the wire to the casing and thereby actuate a circuit in the watch to render the watch display visible.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Haber Oct. 14, 1975 [54] WRIST ACTUATED PRESSURE SWITCH 3,681,587 8/1972 Brien 58/50 R X FOR WATCHES 3,732,384 5/1973 Fischel ZOO/86 R 3,812,313 5/1974 Wolf et a1. 200/86 R [76] Inventor: Terry M. Haber, 3050 S. Bristol,

N0 Santa Calif- 92707 Primary ExaminerStephen J. Tomsky [22] Filed; Man 7, 1975 Assistant Examiner-U. Weldon Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ralph B. Pastoriza [21] Appl. No: 556,335

Related U.S. Application Data ABSTRACT [63] Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 516,688, Oct. 21, The Pressure switch Comprises a conducting Strip and 1974. plate separated by insulating material provided with a window such that pressure applied to the strip will flex [52] U.S. Cl. 58/23 R; 58/50 R the strip through the window to electrically engage the [51] Int. Cl. G04C 3/00; (3048 19/30 plate. The switch assembly is located in a watchband [58] Field of Search 200/86 R, 159 B, 61.13, close to a point diametrically opposite the watch cas- ZOO/61.14, 333, DIG. 2; 58/23 R, 23 BA, 50 ing itself. The strip and plate are connected through R conductors to an internal wire in the watch casing and the casing itself to ground the wire to the casing and [56] References Cited thereby actuate a circuit in the watch to render the UNITED STATES PATENTS Watch display visible- 3,5()8,()44 4/1970 Hochberg 58/50 R X 9 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures U..S. atent Oct. 14, 1975 l IIIIIII- um: I

Ali

WRIST ACTUATED PRESSURE SWITCH FOR WATCHES This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application, Ser. No. 516,688 filed Oct. 21, 1974, and entitled ACTUATING MECHANISM FOR WRIST INSTRUMENTS.

This invention relates to Wristwatches and more particularly to a wrist actuated pressure switch located in the band of the wristwatch for rendering visible the watch display when the switch is operated.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Digital read-out Wristwatches incorporating light emitting diodes or liquid crystals to provide the readout display are well known in the art.'ln both types of watches, an actuating mechanism is necessary to render the display visible either by activating the light emitting diodes or illuminating the liquid crystals. For such purpose there is normally provided a push-button switch on the side of the watch casing. Operation of this push-button switch normally requires the use of the wearers other hand and thus can at times be awkward if the person is carrying packages or his other hand is otherwise occupied.

In my above referred to copending patent application, there is disclosed and claimed an inertia responsive switch incorporated in the watch casing which is responsive to a flick of the wrist to cause an acceleration/deceleration sufficiently rapid to close the necessary circuit for the actuating means and thereby render the display visible. The watch wearer is thus not required to use his other hand to operate the normal manually operable push-button. Further disclosed in my referred to copending application but not claimed is an additional switch incorporated in the band of the watch which is responsive to pressure to close and thereby energize the actuating means in the watch casing to render the display visible. This pressure switch has in common with the inertia responsive switch the desirable advantage of not requiring the use of the wearers other hand to render the display visible.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION The present invention is primarily concerned with a wrist actuated pressure switch as described in my referred to copending application together with certain improvements therein all to the end that greater reliability and ease of operation is realizable.

More particularly, there is provided in a wristwatch comprising a watch casing and band for encircling a wearers wrist, the casing having a display on its face requiring that a circuit be momentarily closed to render the display visible and wherein the circuit includes an internal lead which is closed by electrically connecting the lead to the casing, a wrist actuated pressure switch for closing the circuit which includes, in combination, the following. A flexible conducting strip is located on the band in a position between 120 and 240 from the casing. A thin sheet of insulating material in turn underlies this strip and has an open window exposing a surface portion of the'strip. A conducting plate underlies the insulating material and window so that the same are sandwiched between the strip and plate. The thickness of the insulating material and size of the window is such that a given pressure against the strip will cause a portion of the strip overlying the window to flex through the window and electrically contact the plate. The natural resiliency of the strip is such that the strip will return to an out-of-contact position relative to the plate in the absence of the given pressure. The switch assembly is completed by first and second conducting means connecting the strip and plate respectively to the internal lead and watch casing so that said circuit is closed when the given pressure is applied to the strip.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A better understanding of this invention will be had by referring to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a watch casing and band incorporating a wrist actuated pressure switch as shown and described in my heretofore referred to copending application;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of portions of the pressure switch of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view partly broken away of a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of the pressure switch portion incorporated in the embodiment of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view partly broken away of a watch casing and band in accord with a third embodiment of the present invention; and,

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the pressure switch portion of the embodiment of FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a wristwatch comprising a watch casing 10 having a display 1 1 in the form of a digital read-out. Whether the digital read-out display 11 is provided by light emitting diodes or liquid crystals, some means is necessary to render the display visible. Normally such a means is incorporated in the casing in the form of a circuit including an internal lead which is closed by electrically connecting the lead to the watch casing. Momentary closing of the circuit renders the display visible either by activating light emitting diodes or illuminating liquid crystals.

Shown in FIG. 1 is a conventionally provided pushbutton switch 12 on the side of the casing 10 which functions to electrically connect the referred to internal lead to the casing thereby rendering the display visible.

Still referring to FIG. 1, the wristwatch includes a band made up of portions 13A and 138 for encircling a wearers wrist. In the example chosen for illustrative purposes, the end portions of the band not connected to the casing terminate in a clasp designated generally by the numeral 14. In accord with the embodiment illustrated, the wrist actuated pressure switch is located in the clasp 14. However, this switch in accord with the present invention may be located anyplace on the band in a position between and 240 from the casing.

In the embodiment of FIG. 1, a first conducting means takes the form of a first insulated conductor 15 extending from the clasp 14 around the inside of the portion of the band 13A to connect to the internal lead 16 shown in the broken away portion of the casing 10.

Referring now to FIG. 2, further details of the referred to pressure responsive switch will be described. As shown, this switch includes a flexible conducting I strip 17 which is electrically connected to the referred to first insulated conductor 15 as at 18. Underlying this strip is a thin sheet of insulating material 19 having an open window 20 exposing a surface portion of the strip. A conducting plate 21 in turn underlies the insulating material and window when the clasp 14 is closed so that the insulating material and window are sandwiched between the strip 17 and plate 21.

The thickness of the insulating material 19 and size of the window 20 is such that a given pressure against the strip 17 will cause a portion of the strip overlying the window to flex through the window and electrically contact the plate 21. The natural resiliency of the strip will return it to an out-of-contact position relative to the plate 21 in the absence of the given pressure.

The switch assembly is completed by a second conducting means which in the embodiment shown in FIG. 2 comprises the wristwatch band itself. Thus, the plate 21 is in electrically conducting relationship with the clasp 14 which in turn is in electrically conducting relationship with the band portions 13A and 138, these latter portions terminating at the watch casing and thus in electrical connection therewith.

It will thus be appreciated that in effect, the internal lead 16 in the watch casing 10 is grounded or connected to the casing through the first insulated conductor 15, strip 17, plate 21 when pressure is applied to the strip 17 to cause it to engage the plate 21 through the window 20, and the band itself connecting to the casing 10. Accordingly, by pressing the exterior clasp portion of the band against a stationary object, the inside portion of the wearers wrist will exert the necessary given pressure against the strip and thereby render the display of the watch visible. Preferably, and as shown in FIG. 2, there is provided a moisture proof film 22 overlying the strip 17 so that direct contact between the wearers inside wrist portion and strip is avoided when pressure is applied.

Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a second embodiment of the invention wherein the first insulative conductor described in FIGS. 1 and 2 can be eliminated. Thus, in the embodiment of FIG. 3 there is provided a watch casing 23 having a conducting watch band made up of a first portion 24A and a remaining portion 248 shown with their free ends terminating in a clasp structure 25. Essentially, the clasp structure 25 includes a strip and plate sandwiching insulating material having a window as will be described shortly but wherein the first band portion 24A functions as a first conducting means for connecting the strip to the internal lead in the watch casing, the remaining portion of the band 24B serving as'the second conducting means connecting the plate to the watch casing.

In order to utilize the first portion of the band 24A it is necessary to insulate it from the watch casing and the remaining portion of the band and clasp 25. Towards this end, and as shown in the broken away portion of the casing 23 the internal lead electrically connects to a pin 26 projecting through an opening insulated at 27 in the casing, the pin being spring-biased by a spring 28 outwardly through the insulated opening. The projecting end of the pin 26 electrically engages a first link of the watch band portion 24A, this portion being insulated from the casing 23 of the watch as by insulation 29.

Referring to FIG. 4 which illustrates the clasp 25 in greater detail, it will be noted that the other end of the first band portion 24A is also insulated from the clasp 25 as by insulation 30. However, the first portion 24A of the band is electrically connected as by a jumper lead 31 to the resilient strip 32 making up part of the pressure switch.

As in the case of the switch deescribed in FIGS. 1 and 2, this pressure switch of FIG. 4 includes a thin insulating material 33 underlying the strip 32 and provided with a window 34. The counterpart to the plate 21 of the embodiment of FIG. 2 takes the form of part of the clasp 35. Since this part of the clasp is in electrical connection with the remaining portion 248 described in FIG. 3 of the watch band, the portion 35 is in electrical engagement with the watch casing 23.

In order to minimize wear on the connection 31 between the strip and the first portion of the band 24A, a portion of the first link coupled to the clasp through the insulation 30 is crimped as at 37 and 38 so that the remaining portion of this first link 39 is effectively frozen relative to the clasp and minimum flexing of the connection 31 results. It will be understood that the first conducting means is then provided by the remaining links in the first portion 24A of the clasp.

Since the first portion 24A of the clasp connects with the internal lead in the watch casing, if any part of this portion is short-circuited to the casing 23, the actuating mechanism for rendering the display visible will be energized. Accordingly, an alternative means is readily available for closing the circuit; to wit, simply pressing a finger simultaneously against the casing 23 and watch band portion 24A as indicated at F. The natural salt and moisture of the persons finger is oftentimes sufficient to make the necessary connection.

Referring now to FIG. 5 there is shown a third embodiment of the invention wherein there is provided a watch casing 40 having band portions 41A and 41B connected to the casing and terminating at their other ends in a clasp 42. In this embodiment, it is assumed that the watch band made up of the portions 41A and 41B are not necessarily conductive or if conductive, are relatively poor conductors. Again, the wrist actuated pressure switch is disposed in the clasp 42 but in this embodiment, the switch is operated by applying pressure against the exterior portion of the clasp, all as will become clearer as the description proceeds.

Since the conduction of the band itself cannot be relied upon in the embodiment disclosed, the first and second conducting means for connecting the switch in the clasp to the internal lead and casing respectively take the form of first and second insulated conductors 43 and 44 running from the switch and the clasp about the inside portion of the band 41A. As shown, the terminal end of the insulated conductor 43 electrically connects to an insulated link 45 at the point the band portion 41A connects to the casing 40. This link 45 is insulated both from the casing and remaining portion of the band.

Referring now specifically to the interior of the watch casing 40, various components are illustrated which are common to the watch casings of FIGS. 1 and 3 and other components are illustrated which may optionally be provided in the watch cases of FIGS. 1 and 3.

Thus, in all of the watch cases disclosed, there is provided a power source in the form of a battery 46 having one side connected to the casing 40. The other side of the battery 46 connects to one terminal of an integrated circuit chip 47 which contains the various frequency dividers and other electronic circuitry for controlling the digital read-out. The other side of this chip connects to the casing as at 48 so that the chip 47 is continuously energized and changing in accord with the time. i

Also common to all of the watches described herein is an actuating mechanism 49 also connected to the battery 46 at one terminal with its other terminal passing along a lead 50 to the manually operable pushbutton designated 51 in FIG. 5. This push-button is the same as button 12 in FIG. 1. A voltage overload protector O.V. connects between lead 50 and the casing to protect the actuating mechanism and other components should the casing be subject to a momentary peak voltage.

Also included in the specific embodiment of FIG. 5 but not necessarily included in the watch cases of FIGS. 1 and 3 is an inertia responsive switch 52 having one terminal connecting to the lead 50 and its other terminal connecting to a lead 54 including in series an on/off switch 55, the other side of the switch connecting to the casing 40 as at 56. With the switch 55 in its closed position, the lead 54 is connected directly to the casing 40 through the switch so that the actuating mechanism 49 can be energized by means of the inertia responsive switch 52. Examples of the inertia responsive switch 52 are shown in my heretofore referred to copending application and in my further copending application Ser. No. 538,743 filed Jan. 6, l975, and entitled ACCELERATION/DECELERATION ACTUATING MECHANISM FOR WRIST INSTRUMENTS.

The on/off switch 55 enables the inertia switch 52 to be de-activated by simply opening this switch and thus removing the casing connection or ground from the lead 54.

The internal lead referred to with respect to FIG. 1 and shown at 16 and with respect to FIG. 3 connected to the pin 26 is shown in FIG. 5 at 57. It will be noted that this lead extends from the lead 50 through an insulated opening in the casing 40 to the insulated link 45 and thus is in electrical connection with the first insulated conductor 43.

The second conducting lead 44 is shown connecting to the uninsulated portion of the last link and thus directly in electrical connection with the casing 40.

Referring now to FIG. 6, details of the pressure switch in the clasp 42 of FIG. 5 will be described.

As in the case of the other switches, there is provided a flexible strip 58 connected to the first insulated conductor 43 together with a thin insulating material 59 provided with a window 60 underlying the strip. In the case of FIG. 6, however, the strip is on the exterior portion of the band or clasp rather than the interior portion as in the case of the embodiments of FIGS. 2 and 4.

The plate under the insulating material 59 in FIG. 6 is shown at 61 and is insulated from the clasp and band portions 41A and 418. As indicated, this plate is electrically connected to the second insulated conductor 44. Preferably a soft insulative covering 62 is provided over the strip 58 to protect the strip.

With respect to the foregoing it will be appreciated that the pressure responsive switch of FIG. 6 has pressure applied thereto by a stationary object against which the band is urged. The overlying covering 62 thus protects the strip 58 from this stationary object when the switch is being operated.

From the foregoing description, it will be evident that the present invention has provided a greatly improved pressure operated switch uniquely located on the watch band close to a point diametrically opposite the watch itself so that pressure can readily be applied while the watch face is being observed. Further, the switch enables the display to be rendered visible without the necessity of a wearer using his other hand. Of course, when an inertia responsive switch is incorporated as in the embodiment of FIG. 5, the display can also be rendered visible by a simple flick of the wrist.

Slight modifications and changes falling within the scope and spirit of this invention will occur to those skilled in the art. The wrist actuated pressure responsive switch is therefore not to be thought of as limited to the precise constructions set forth merely as illustrative examples.

What is claimed is:

1. In a wristwatch comprising a watch casing and band for encircling a wearers wrist, the casing having a display on its face requiring that a circuit be momentarily closed to render the display visible and wherein said circuit includes an internal lead which is closed by electrically connecting the lead to the said casing, a

wrist actuated pressure switch for closing said circuit including, in combination:

a. a flexible conducting strip located on said band in a position between and 240 from said casing;

b. a thin sheet of insulating material underlying said strip and having an open window exposing a surface portion of said strip;

0. a conducting plate underlying said insulating material and window so that said insulating material and window are sandwiched between said strip and plate, the thickness of said insulating material and size of said window being such that a given pressure against said strip will cause a portion of the strip overlying the window to flex through the window and electrically contact said plate, the natural resiliency of said strip returning it to an out-of-contact position relative to said plate in the absence of said pressure; and,

. first and second conducting means connecting said strip and plate respectively to said internal lead and watch casing so that said circuit is closed when said given pressure is applied to said strip.

2. The subject matter of claim 1, in which said flexible strip is internal of said band so that the inside portion of the wearers wrist is used to exert said given pressure against the strip by pushing the exterior portion of the band against a stationary object.

3. The subject matter of claim 1, in which said flexible strip is external of said band so that a stationary object against which the band is urged exerts said given pressure.

4. The subject matter of claim 1, including a moisture-proof film overlying said strip.

5. The subject matter of claim 1, in which said band is made of conducting material, said first conducting means comprising an insulated conductor connected to said strip and passing about an interior portion of said band to said casing, said casing having an insulated opening, said conductor connecting to said internal lead through said insulated opening, said plate being in electrical connection with said band so that the said conducting material of said band serves as said second conducting means to said casing.

6. The subject matter of claim 1, in which said band is made of conducting material; first insulating means between a first portion of said band and said casing; second insulating means between said first portion of said band and said strip to insulate said first portion from the remaining portion of said band, said strip being connected to said one end of said first portion of said band, said casing including an insulated opening, said internal lead connecting to the other end of said first portion of said band, through said insulated opening so that the said conducting material of said first por tion of said band defines said first conducting means, said plate being in electrical connection with said remaining portion of said band so that the said conducting material of said remaining portion of said band serves as said second conducting means to said casing.

7. The subject matter of claim 1, in which said first conducting means comprises a first insulated conductor connected to said strip and passing about an interior portion of said band to said casing, said casing having an insulated opening, said first insulated conductor connecting to said internal lead through said insulated opening; and in which said second conducting means comprises a second insulated conductor connected to said plate and passing about said inside interior portion of said band adjacent to said first insulated conductor to terminate at said casing in electrical connection therewith.

8. The subject matter of claim 6, in which said band includes metal links and a clasp, said strip, insulating material and plate being positioned in said clasp; and means for freezing the first link in said first portion of said band where it connects to the clasp to limit the flexing of the band and thereby minimize wear on the connection of the strip to said first portion of the band.

9. The subject matter of claim 3, including a soft insulative covering over said strip to protect the same from the stationary object against which the band is urged in applying said given pressure to said strip.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3508044 *Feb 14, 1968Apr 21, 1970Milton HochbergIlluminated plaque watch and the like
US3681587 *Apr 23, 1970Aug 1, 1972Andre N BrienWrist watch with dial illuminating device
US3732384 *Jun 29, 1971May 8, 1973Fischel GLinear switch
US3812313 *Feb 20, 1973May 21, 1974Switches IncTread type switch for use in passenger seats or the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3983690 *May 19, 1975Oct 5, 1976Mcsohmer CorporationDigital timepiece having chronometric display
US4006587 *Dec 24, 1975Feb 8, 1977Ebauches Electroniques S.A.Wrist-watch with wristlet end secured to top of case
US4007347 *Jul 28, 1975Feb 8, 1977Haber Terry MSimplified actuating switch for electronic timepieces
US4048796 *Jun 30, 1976Sep 20, 1977Sharp Kabushiki KaishaTouch sensitive electrodes formed on the frame of an electronic wristwatch
US4064688 *Mar 5, 1976Dec 27, 1977Sharp Kabushiki KaishaTouch sensitive electrode assembly for solid state wristwatches
US4135358 *Feb 14, 1977Jan 23, 1979Ricca Tom LAttachment for an electronic watch system
US4203280 *Nov 21, 1978May 20, 1980Ebauches, S.A.Touch sensitive device for a timepiece
US4270199 *Dec 27, 1977May 26, 1981Sharp Kabushiki KaishaSwitching mechanism for electronic wristwatch
US20100155441 *Dec 22, 2009Jun 24, 2010Gm Global Technology Operations, Inc.Band unit for a holding device and holding device
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/224, 968/447, 368/282
International ClassificationG04C3/00
Cooperative ClassificationG04C3/001
European ClassificationG04C3/00K