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Publication numberUS3922842 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 2, 1975
Filing dateDec 26, 1973
Priority dateOct 28, 1971
Publication numberUS 3922842 A, US 3922842A, US-A-3922842, US3922842 A, US3922842A
InventorsFujita Kinji
Original AssigneeSuwa Seikosha Kk
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Display means for solid state electronic timepiece
US 3922842 A
Abstract
A display device for a solid state electronic timepiece wherein separate indicia to be displayed are disposed on a display surface of said watch and means are provided for selectively visually identifying one or more of said indicia. Said indicia are preferably representative of the days of the week. Each of said indicia may have a liquid crystal or luminous diode display associated therewith which may be selectively energized to identify the desired indicia, or may be covered by a liquid crystal screen which, when selectively energized, obscures all but the desired indicia.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent I l 3,922,842 Fujita Dec. 2, 1975 I5 DISPLAY MEANS FOR SOLID STATE 3.653.204 7/1970 Miwa a 58/4 A ELECTRON: TIMEPIECE 169L755 10/1970 Girard 58/50 R 3.760.584 9/l973 Dargcm 58/4 A [75} inventor: Kinji Fujita, Nagano, Japan {73] Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Suwa Seikosha,

Tokyo. Japan [22] Filed: Dec. 26, I973 [2 l] Appl. No.: 428,283

Related U.S. Application Data [63} Continuation-impart of Scr. N0. l93.4()4, Oct. 28,

l97l. Pat Nu. 1796,03?

[52] U.S. Cl 58/4 A; 40/107; 58/50 R; 58/58 [51] Int. Cl. G04B 19/24; G04B 19/30; G04B 19/06; GD9D 3/00 [58] Field of Search 40/107. 58/4 R. 4 A, 50 R. 58/58. I27 R [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.276198 lO/l bfi Barbera .l 53/4 A Primary E.t'aminer Edith Simmons Jackmun Attorney. Agent, or Firm-Blunt. Moscovitz, Friedman 8.: Kaplan [57] ABSTRACT A display device for a solid state electronic timepiece wherein separate indicia to be displayed are disposed on a display surface of said watch and means are pro vided for selectively visually identifying one or more of said indicia. Said indicia are preferably representative of the days of the week. Each of said indiciai may have a liquid crystal or luminous diode display associated therewith which may be selectively energized to identify the desired indicia. or may he covered by a liquid crystal screen which. when selectively cnergized. obscures all but the desired indiciav 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 2 of3 3,922,842

FIG. 2

FIG. 3

24/5 DIV/DER I Z/A/V'PTf/Q 7 AMPA #751? US Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 3 of 3 3,922,842

DISPLAY MEANS FOR SOLID STATE ELECTRONIC TIMEPIECE CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION 5 This is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 193,404. which was filed Oct. 28, I971 and is now U.S. Pat. No. 3,796,037.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This application relates to solid state electronic timepieces wherein the conventional mechanical components such as gear trains are not included. Such timepieces incorporate time display arrangements which rely on solid displays such as luminous diodes or liquid crystal displays, in place of the conventional watch hands. Such solid displays are generally driven through an electrical oscillation circuit and a divider circuit.

In such watches, numerals are readily displayed by seven-bar display matrices. Each seven-bar display matrix permits the display of any numeral from O 9 in a single field. This approach permits the display of date, hour, minute and second in a clearly readable format. However, a similar segmented display arrangement cannot be utilized for the display of the day of the week, since neither the Japanese nor the English characters can be reduced to the simple matrix required.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Generally speaking, in accordance with the invention, a display arrangement for a solid state electronic timepiece is provided consisting of a plurality of separate indicia and means for selectively visually identifying a selected one or more of said indicia in response to the time keeping mechanism of said timepiece.

Said visual identifying means may include a plurality of solid display segments, one of said segments associated with each of said indicia, said segments being adapted to be rendered visible when energized, means being provided for energizing the segment associated with the indicia to be visually identified. In another'embodiment, said visual identifying means includes a liquid crystal screen positioned over each of said indicia, each of said liquid crystal screen being adapted to be disposed either in a substantially opaque or substan tially transparent state upon the application of an appropriate signal thereto in response to said time keeping mechanism.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a simple and clear method of displaying the day of the week.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a solid state electronic timepiece adapted to display the day of the week through the application of liquid crystal or luminous diode display devices.

Still other objects and advantages of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part be apparent from the specification and drawings.

The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction, combinations of elements, and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the constructions hereinafter set forth, and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference is had to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. la is a block diagram of the solid state electronic timepiece according to the invention;

FIG. lb shows the output wave forms of the arrangement of FIG. Ia;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a display panel of a solid state electronic timepiece according to the invention;

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of an electronic circuit forming an alternate embodiment of the display method according to the invention;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a portion of the display panel of a second embodiment of the electronic timepiece according to the invention; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view ofa portion of the display panel of FIG. 4 depicting a portion of the circuit associated therewith.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to FIG. 1a, the circuit of the solid state electronic timepiece according to the invention depicted schematically consists of a highly stable oscillator l which serves as a time standard and may include a crystal vibrator. The output signal of this oscillator is divided into second, minute, hour and day increments by a frequency divider 2. The time signal output of divider 2 is converted by decoder 3 into the driving signals suitable for driving a seven-bar display associated with each of the desired time indication. Said driving signals are amplified by an amplifier 4 and is coupled to each segment of the seven-bar display constituting the display panel ofthe timepiece. The 24 hour output signal ofdivider 2 is applied to a divider 5, which may take the form of a ring counter which is adapted to count seven increments for the purpose of sequentially producing seven separate output signals, one of which is representative of each of the days ofthe week. The out put ofdivider Sis applied through an amplifier 6 which amplifies said output signal.

The wave form of the respective output signals pro duced by divider 5 and amplified by amplifier 6 is depicted in FIG. lb, wherein it is seen that a distinct output is produced for each of the days of the week, each of said outputs being applied to a separate day indica tor segment as more particularly shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 2 depicts one embodiment of a display panel adapted to be driven by the circuitry of FIG. I. Time is digitally displayed by a liquid crystal or luminous diode display, each of the two digits assigned to hour. minute and second display consisting of a seven bar display matrix. The day of the week indication is provided by day indicator segments r, each of which consists of an indicia representative of one of the seven days of the week, in this case the abbreviation thereof, and an indicator ring surrounding said indicia. The indicia are printed on the face or dial of the panel and are fixed. One ofthe days of the week are identified by energizing the indicator ring in response to the output signal from amplifier 6 associated with that day of the week. Said indicator rings can take the form of a liquid crystal or luminous diode display. The arrangement of FIG. 2 permits the display of the day of the week without the use of a complicated matrix or decoder. In the example of FIG. 2, the indicator ring associated with Friday is energized, providing an indication that the day of the week is Friday.

Referring new i9 FIG. 3, a second embodiment of the arrangeniEIII QEEQIQIng to the invention is depicted wherein IIIE twsntyleur hour signal is applied to a divider 5 which may consist of a ring counter, and which produces seven output signals each of which is associated with one of the days of the week. Said output signals are applied to an inverter 7, in which the polarity of said output signals is reversed. An amplifier 6 is coupled to the output of inverter 1. The output of amplifier 6 are applied to the display panel of FIG. 4. In said panel, wherein an array of indicia representative of the day of the week similar to the array of FIG. 2 are positioned about the periphery of the time indicating display (not shown). The output of amplifier 6 of FIG. 3 is applied to screen electrodes S formed of a liquid crystal, which when energized obscure the indicia on the display panel. Due to the position-of inverter 7, six of the seven day of the week indicia are obscured at any one time, providing a visual indication of the day of the week, only the desired day of the week indicia being visible.

Referring now to FIG. 5, a cross-section of a portion of the dial or display panel taken through the day indicator segment of FIG. 4 is depicted. In said arrangement, a glass plate 11 defines the upper surface of the dial or panel. A liquid crystal 13 is positioned between said upper glass plate 11 and a lower glass plate 15. An upper electrode 12 is mounted on upper glass plate II, while a lower electrode 14 is mounted on lower glass plate 15. The day of the week indicia would be printed below said lower electrode. as on member 16 mounted on the outer surface of lower plate 15. Said upper and lower electrodes are positioned and dimensioned to overlap and cover the indicia on member 16. When an electric field is applied to the electrodes, the liquid crystal disposed intermediate said electrodes is disturbed and rendered substantially opaque, so that the indicia on member 16 are not visible. Both upper electrodes l2 and lower electrode 14 are normally transparent.

The foregoing arrangement permits the electro-optical display of the day of the week in a solid state electronic timepiece, which display is both inexpensive and compact.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, and those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained and. since certain changes may be made in the above constructions without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, it is 4 intended that all matter contained in the above descrip tion or shown in the accompanying drawings 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. In a solid state electronic timepiece having a time keeping mechanism and a time display mechanism responsive to said time keeping mechanism, the improvement which comprises a plurality of separate, normally visible indicia other than numerical characters on said timepiece, said indicia being representative of days of the week, and means in the region of each indicia but not including said indicia for selectively visually identifying a selected one or more of said indicia in response to said time keeping mechanism of said timepiece. said visual identifying means including a plurality of liquid crystal display segment means each in the form of a predetermined pattern and adapted to be rendered visible when energized, one of said display segment means being associated with and positioned in the region of each of said indicia, each of said display segment means being positioned so as to neither overlie nor be overlied by the associated indicia, each of the display segment means being in the form of a ring surrounding the associated day of the week indicia, said time keeping mechanism including circuit means for producing an output signal for the sequential energization of each of said display segment means during the day of the week of the associated indicia.

2. A solid state electronic timepiece as recited in claim 1, wherein said time keeping mechanism includes a time standard oscillator means, frequency dividing circuit means coupled to said time standard oscillator means for dividing the output signal of said time standard oscillator means, said divider means being adapted to produce an output signal representative of each of the days of the week, said visual identifying means being responsive to said divider means output signal for providing a visual indication of day of the Week.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3276198 *Aug 26, 1964Oct 4, 1966Barbera Robert AAutomatic clock-calendar
US3653204 *Jul 31, 1970Apr 4, 1972Seiko Instr & ElectronicsDigital display world clock
US3691755 *Oct 16, 1970Sep 19, 1972Manuf Des Montres Rolex SaClock with digital display
US3760584 *May 14, 1971Sep 25, 1973Hamilton Watch CoIntegrated circuit solid state watch
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4120036 *Sep 3, 1976Oct 10, 1978Sharp Kabushiki KaishaTime information correction in combination timepiece and calculator
US4152768 *Aug 4, 1977May 1, 1979Shinshu Seiki Kabushiki KaishaElectronic apparatus with calendar
US4180969 *Sep 6, 1977Jan 1, 1980Kabushiki Kaisha Suwa SeikoshaElectronic timepiece with global time zone display
US4227777 *Jan 31, 1978Oct 14, 1980Citizen Watch Company, LimitedLiquid crystal display cell
US4270192 *Feb 5, 1979May 26, 1981Kabushiki Kaisha Suwa SeikoshaElectronic timepiece
US4270846 *Dec 21, 1978Jun 2, 1981Kabushiki Kaisha Deini SeikoshaElectro-optical display device
US4514920 *Nov 16, 1982May 7, 1985Doron ShafrirDisplay module
US4763466 *Sep 5, 1986Aug 16, 1988Kawasaki Steel CorporationSteel cord for radial tire
US8388165 *Jul 15, 2008Mar 5, 2013Yudong ZhangDisplaying device and method thereof
DE3437130A1 *Oct 10, 1984Apr 10, 1986Licentia GmbhLiquid crystal display device
Classifications
U.S. Classification368/30, 40/107, 368/242, 968/956
International ClassificationG04G9/00, G09F9/35, G04G9/08
Cooperative ClassificationG04G9/085, G09F9/35
European ClassificationG09F9/35, G04G9/08C