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Title:
BACKING FOR ITEMS WORN BY USERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/042047
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A moisture-absorbing member (21) for use with an item worn by a user, comprising a backing (17) for absorbing moisture, wherein the backing comprises a moisture-absorbent sheet of cotton and includes an adhesive element by which the backing is adhesively attached to the item.

Inventors:
MEHMET, Ahmet Ersal (2A Courtrai Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 1PL, SE23 1PL, GB)
Application Number:
EP2017/072170
Publication Date:
March 08, 2018
Filing Date:
September 05, 2017
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
MEHMET, Ahmet Ersal (2A Courtrai Road, Forest Hill, London SE23 1PL, SE23 1PL, GB)
International Classes:
A44C5/00; A41F9/00
Foreign References:
US6275996B12001-08-21
US20100323154A12010-12-23
US20100022164A12010-01-28
FR2589736A11987-05-15
JPH059312U1993-02-09
AT364557B1981-10-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BODEN, Keith McMurray (Fry Heath & Spence LLP, Faraday CourtFaraday Road, Crawley West Sussex RH10 9PU, RH10 9PU, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
L S

1. A moisture-absorbing member for use with an item worn by a user, comprising a backing for absorbing moisture, wherein the backing comprises a moisture-absorbent sheet of cotton and includes an adhesive element by which the backing is adhesively attached to the item.

2. The moisture-absorbing member of claim 1, wherein the sheet is formed of pure cotton, containing at least 99 wt%, optionally 99.5 wt%, optionally 99.9 wt%, natural cotton.

3. The moisture-absorbing member of claim 1 or 2, wherein the sheet incorporates an anti-bacterial agent, optionally being impregnated with the anti-bacterial agent, optionally the anti-bacterial agent is a bisphenol, such as triclosan.

4. The moisture-absorbing member of any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the sheet has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

5. The moisture-absorbing member of any of claims 1 to 4, wherein the sheet is a compressed, non-woven sheet.

6. The moisture-absorbing member of any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the backing is supported on a release sheet, optionally in the form of a vinyl sheet, which is slit cut so as to allow for removal from the adhesive element when applying the backing to the item.

7. The moisture-absorbing member of any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the backing comprises a plurality of sections, optionally first and second sections, which can be applied in spaced relation to the item.

8. An item having the moisture-absorbing backing of any of claims 1 to 7 attached thereto.

9. The item of claim 8, wherein the item is formed at least partially of leather, fabric or metal, optionally a metal web or links.

10. The item of claim 8 or 9, wherein the item is a watch strap comprising a strap member, a watch body or a belt.

11. A moisture-absorbing backing for an item worn by a user comprising a shroud which is attachable to the item, and a moisture-absorbing member which comprises a body element and is disposed beneath the shroud.

12. The moisture-absorbing backing of claim 11, wherein the shroud includes an opening through which the body element is insertable and removable so as to allow for periodic replacement of the moisture- absorbing member, optionally the moisture-absorbing member is slideable beneath the shroud, optionally the shroud and the body element are elongate, and the moisture-absorbing member comprises a support which extends along a length of the body element so as to confer longitudinal rigidity to the body element to support the body element during insertion beneath the shroud, optionally the support is formed of a plastics material.

13. The moisture-absorbing backing of claim 12, wherein the support comprises an elongate element, which acts as a spine which is flexible so as to allow for bending out of the plane of the body element, but is axially stiff to render the body element stiff in the plane of the body element, optionally the support comprises a sheet which has a footprint narrower than that of the body element.

14. The moisture-absorbing backing of any of claims 11 to 13, wherein the moisture-absorbing member comprises a tab at one proximal end thereof by which the body element is inserted into and removed from the shroud, optionally the tab is integrally formed with the body element or the support.

15. The moisture-absorbing backing of any of claims 11 to 14, wherein the body element (i) is formed of a moisture-absorbing material, or (ii) contains or is impregnated with a moisture-absorbing material.

16. The moisture-absorbing backing of claim 15, wherein the moisture- absorbing material is formed of active carbon or charcoal, optionally the active carbon is super-activated carbon, optionally the charcoal is bamboo charcoal.

17. The moisture-absorbing backing of any of claims 11 to 16, wherein the body element comprises a felt, optionally the felt is (i) formed of fibers of the moisture-absorbing material or (ii) impregnated with a powder or nanopowder of the moisture-absorbing material.

18. The moisture-absorbing backing of any of claims 11 to 17, wherein the shroud comprises at least one sheet which is attachable to the item, optionally the shroud (i) comprises an outer sheet beneath which the body element is disposed, or (ii) has the form of a sleeve and comprises first, inner sheet and a second, outer sheet between which the body element is disposed, optionally at least the outer sheet of the shroud is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane, which allows for the transfer of moisture from the user to the body element, which moisture is bound by the body element, optionally the moisture-permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material.

19. The moisture-absorbing backing of any of claims 11 to 18, wherein the body element has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm

20. An item having the moisture-absorbing backing of any of claims 11 to 19 attached thereto.

21. The item of claim 20, wherein the moisture-absorbing backing is (i) adhesively attached to the item, optionally the shroud is adhesively bonded to the item, or (ii) mechanically attached to the item, optionally by stitching or by tabs or loops, optionally the shroud is mechanically attached to the item .

22. The item of claim 20 or 21, wherein the item is formed at least partially of leather, fabric or metal, optionally a metal web or links.

23. The item of any of claims 20 to 22, wherein the item includes an elongate recess along the length thereof which at least partially receives the moisture-absorbing backing.

24. The item of any of claims 20 to 23, wherein the item is a watch strap comprising a strap member, a watch body or a belt.

25. A moisture-absorbing member for use with an item worn by a user, comprising a body element for absorbing moisture which is disposable beneath a shroud on the item.

26. The moisture-absorbing member of claim 25, wherein the body element is elongate, and further comprising a support which extends along a length of the body element so as to confer longitudinal rigidity to the body element, optionally the support comprises an elongate element, which acts as a spine which is flexible so as to allow for bending out of the plane of the body element, but is axially stiff to render the body element stiff in the plane of the body element, optionally the support has a footprint which is narrower than that of the body element, optionally the support is formed of a plastics material.

27. The moisture-absorbing member of claim 25 or 26, wherein the moisture-absorbing member comprises a tab at one proximal end thereof by which the body element is insertable into and removable from the shroud, optionally the tab is integrally formed with the body element or the support.

28. The moisture-absorbing member of any of claims 25 to 27, wherein the body element (i) is formed of a moisture-absorbing material, or (ii) contains or is impregnated with a moisture-absorbing material.

29. The moisture-absorbing member of claim 25 to 28, wherein the moisture-absorbing material is formed of active carbon or charcoal, optionally the active carbon is super-activated carbon, optionally the charcoal is bamboo charcoal.

30. The moisture-absorbing member of any of claims 25 to 29, wherein the body element comprises a felt, optionally the felt is (i) formed of fibers of the moisture-absorbing material, or (ii) impregnated with a powder or nanopowder of the moisture-absorbing material.

31. The moisture-absorbing member of any of claims 25 to 30, wherein the body element has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

32. An anti-bacterial backing for an item worn by a user comprising a sheet which is attachable to the item and incorporates an anti-bacterial agent, optionally the anti-bacterial agent is impregnated into the sheet.

33. The anti-bacterial backing of claim 32, wherein the sheet is elongate or substantially circular.

34. The anti-bacterial backing of claim 32 or 33, wherein the sheet is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane, optionally the moisture- permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material.

35. The anti-bacterial backing of any of claims 32 to 34, wherein the sheet has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm .

36. The anti-bacterial backing of any of claims 32 to 35, wherein the antibacterial agent is a bisphenol, optionally triclosan.

37. An item having the anti-bacterial backing of any of claims 32 to 36 attached thereto.

38. The item of claim 37, wherein anti-bacterial backing is (i) adhesively attached to the item, optionally by a layer or bead of adhesive, or (ii) mechanically attached to the item, optionally by stitching or by tabs or loops.

39. The item of any of claims 32 to 38, wherein the item is formed at Ieast partially of leather, fabric or metal, optionally a metal web or links.

40. The item of any of claims 32 to 39, wherein the item is a watch strap comprising a strap member, a watch body or a belt.

Description:
BACKING FOR ITEMS_WORN BY USERS

The present invention relates to a backing, in particular an anti-bacterial or moisture-absorbing backing, for items worn by users, such as watches and belts and especially leather products.

The present inventor has recognized that perspiration represents a particular problem in relation to items worn by users, in that the moisture together with body heat promotes the cultivation of microbes, especially bacteria.

The present invention relates to a backing, in particular an anti-bacterial or moisture-absorbing backing, for items worn by users, such as watches and belts and especially leather products.

In one aspect the present invention provides a moisture-absorbing member for use with an item worn by a user, comprising a backing for absorbing moisture, wherein the backing comprises a moisture-absorbent sheet of cotton and includes an adhesive element by which the backing is adhesively attached to the item.

In one embodiment the sheet is formed of pure cotton, containing at least 99 wt%, optionally 99.5 wt%, optionally 99.9 wt%, natural cotton.

In one embodiment the sheet incorporates an anti-bacterial agent, optionally being impregnated with the anti-bacterial agent, optionally the anti-bacterial agent is a bisphenol, such as triclosan.

In one embodiment the sheet has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

In one embodiment the sheet is a compressed, non-woven sheet. In one embodiment the backing is supported on a release sheet, optionally in the form of a vinyl sheet, which is slit cut so as to allow for removal from the adhesive element when applying the backing to the item.

In one embodiment the backing comprises a plurality of sections, optionally first and second sections, which can be applied in spaced relation to the item.

The present invention also extends to an item having the above-described moisture-absorbing backing attached thereto.

In one embodiment the item is formed at least partially of leather, fabric or metal, optionally a metal web or links.

In one embodiment the item is a watch strap comprising a strap member, a watch body or a belt.

In another aspect the present invention provides a moisture-absorbing backing for an item worn by a user comprising a shroud which is attachable to the item, and a moisture-absorbing member which comprises a body element and is disposed beneath the shroud.

In one embodiment the shroud includes an opening through which the body element is insertable and removable so as to allow for periodic replacement of the moisture-absorbing member, optionally the moisture-absorbing member is slideable beneath the shroud, optionally the shroud and the body element are elongate, and the moisture-absorbing member comprises a support which extends along a length of the body element so as to confer longitudinal rigidity to the body element to support the body element during insertion beneath the shroud, optionally the support is formed of a plastics material. In one embodiment the support comprises (i) an elongate element, which acts as a spine which is flexible so as to allow for bending out of the plane of the body element, but is axially stiff to render the body element stiff in the plane of the body element, or (ii) a sheet which has a footprint narrower than that of the body element.

In one embodiment the moisture-absorbing member comprises a tab at one proximal end thereof by which the body element is inserted into and removed from the shroud, optionally the tab is integrally formed with the body element or the support.

In one embodiment the body element (i) is formed of a moisture-absorbing material, or (ii) contains or is impregnated with a moisture-absorbing material.

In one embodiment the moisture-absorbing material is formed of active carbon or charcoal, optionally the active carbon is super-activated carbon, optionally the charcoal is bamboo charcoal.

In one embodiment the body element comprises a felt, optionally the felt is (i) formed of fibers of the moisture-absorbing material, or (ii) impregnated with a powder or nanopowder of the moisture-absorbing material.

In one embodiment the shroud comprises at least one sheet which is attachable to the item, optionally the shroud (i) comprises an outer sheet beneath which the body element is disposed, or (ii) has the form of a sleeve and comprises first, inner sheet and a second, outer sheet between which the body element is disposed, optionally at least the outer sheet of the shroud is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane, which allows for the transfer of moisture from the user to the body element, which moisture is bound by the body element, optionally the moisture-permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material. In one embodiment the body element has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm

The present invention also extends to an item having the above-described moisture-absorbing backing attached thereto.

In one embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing is (i) adhesively attached to the item, optionally the shroud is adhesively bonded to the item, or (ii) mechanically attached to the item, optionally by stitching or by tabs or loops, optionally the shroud is mechanically attached to the item.

In one embodiment the item is formed at least partially of leather, fabric or metal, optionally a metal web or links.

In one embodiment the item includes an elongate recess along the length thereof which at least partially receives the moisture-absorbing backing.

In one embodiment the item is a watch strap comprising a strap member, a watch body or a belt.

In a further aspect the present invention provides a moisture-absorbing member for use with an item worn by a user, comprising a body element for absorbing moisture which is disposable beneath a shroud on the item.

In one embodiment the body element is elongate, and further comprising a support which extends along a length of the body element so as to confer longitudinal rigidity to the body element, optionally the support comprises an elongate element, which acts as a spine which is flexible so as to allow for bending out of the plane of the body element, but is axially stiff to render the body element stiff in the plane of the body element, optionally the support has a footprint which is narrower than that of the body element, optionally the support is formed of a plastics material. In one embodiment the moisture-absorbing member comprises a tab at one proximal end thereof by which the body element is insertable into and removable from the shroud, optionally the tab is integrally formed with the body element or the support.

In one embodiment the body element (i) is formed of a moisture-absorbing material, or (ii) contains or is impregnated with a moisture-absorbing material.

In one embodiment the moisture-absorbing material is formed of active carbon or charcoal, optionally the active carbon is super-activated carbon, optionally the charcoal is bamboo charcoal.

In one embodiment the body element comprises a felt, optionally the felt is (i) formed of fibers of the moisture-absorbing material, or (ii) impregnated with a powder or nanopowder of the moisture-absorbing material.

In one embodiment the body element has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm .

In a yet further aspect the present invention provides an anti-bacterial backing for an item worn by a user comprising a sheet which is attachable to the item and incorporates an anti-bacterial agent, optionally the anti-bacterial agent is impregnated into the sheet.

In one embodiment the sheet is elongate or substantially circular.

In one embodiment the sheet is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane, optionally the moisture-permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material. In one embodiment the sheet has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

In one embodiment the anti-bacterial agent is a bisphenol, optionally triclosan.

The present invention also extends to an item having the above-described anti-bacterial backing attached thereto.

In one embodiment the anti-bacterial backing is (i) adhesively attached to the item, optionally by a layer or bead of adhesive, or (ii) mechanically attached to the item, optionally by stitching or by tabs or loops.

In one embodiment the item is formed at least partially of leather, fabric or metal, optionally a metal web or links.

In one embodiment the item is a watch strap comprising a strap member, a watch body or a belt.

Preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described hereinbelow by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which :

Figure 1 illustrates a side view of a watch incorporating moisture-absorbing backing in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 2 illustrates a rear view of the watch of Figure 1;

Figure 3 illustrates a first vertical sectional view (along section I-I) of one watch strap of the watch of Figure 1; Figure 4 illustrates a second vertical sectional view (along section II-II) of the one watch strap of the watch of Figure 1;

Figures 5(a) to (c) illustrate respective ones of side, plan and underneath views of the body element of the moisture-absorbing member of one watch strap of Figure 1;

Figure 6 illustrates a vertical sectional view (along section III-III) of the watch body of the watch of Figure 1;

Figure 7 illustrates a side view of a belt incorporating moisture-absorbing backing in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 8 illustrates a rear view of the belt of Figure 7;

Figure 9 illustrates a side view of a watch incorporating an anti-bacterial backing in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 10 illustrates a rear view of the watch of Figure 9;

Figures 11(a) to (c) illustrate respective ones of side, plan and underneath views of the backing of one watch strap of Figure 9;

Figures 12(a) to (c) illustrate respective ones of side, plan and underneath views of the backing of the watch body of Figure 9;

Figure 13 illustrates a side view of a watch incorporating a backing in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention;

Figure 14 illustrates a rear view of the watch of Figure 13; Figures 15(a) to (c) illustrate respective ones of side, plan and underneath views of the backing of one watch strap of Figure 13; and

Figures 16(a) to (c) illustrate respective ones of side, plan and underneath views of the backing of the watch body of Figure 13.

Figures 1 to 5 illustrate a watch in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.

The watch comprises a body 3, which includes a face 5, straps 7, which are coupled to the body 3 at ones of the ends thereof, and a coupling 10, which couples the other, distal ends of the straps 7 in order to retain the watch on the wrist of a user.

In this embodiment the coupling 10 comprises a buckle arrangement by which the other ends of the straps 7 are coupled.

In an alternative embodiment the coupling 10 could comprise a clasp arrangement by which the other ends of the straps 7 are coupled.

In this embodiment the straps 7 each comprise a strap member 15 and a moisture-absorbing backing 17 which is attached to the rear surface of the strap member 15.

In this embodiment the strap member 15 is formed at least partially of leather.

In one alternative embodiment the strap member 15 could formed at least partially of fabric.

In another alternative embodiment the strap member 15 could formed of a metal web or links. In this embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 4, the strap member 15 includes an elongate recess 19 along the length thereof which at least partially receives the moisture-absorbing backing 17.

In this embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing 17 is adhesively attached to the strap member 15.

In one alternative embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing 17 could be stitched to the strap member 15.

In another alternative embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing 17 could be mechanically attached to the strap member 15, such as by tabs or loops, which engage around the strap member 15.

In this embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing 17 comprises a shroud 20 which is attached to the strap member 15, and a moisture-absorbing member 21, which is removably insertable beneath the shroud 20, so that the moisture-absorbing member 21 is enclosed and can be replaced periodically.

In this embodiment the shroud 20 includes an opening 20' at one, proximal end thereof through which the moisture-absorbing member 21 is inserted.

In this embodiment the shroud 20 has the form of a sleeve and comprises a first, inner sheet 22a which is adjacent the strap member 17, here at a base of the recess 19, and a second, outer sheet 22b which is disposed outwardly of the inner sheet 22a in relation to the strap member 17.

In an alternative embodiment the shroud 20 could comprise only the outer sheet 22b, with the strap member 17 and the outer sheet 22b providing a sleeve into which the moisture-absorbing member 21 is insertable. In this embodiment, as illustrated in Figures 5(a) to (c), the moisture- absorbing member 21 comprises an elongate body element 23, which is sized so as to be slideable beneath the shroud 20, an elongate support 25, which extends along a length of the body element 23 so as to confer longitudinal rigidity to the body element 23 to support the body element 23 during insertion into and removal from the shroud 20, and a tab 27, which is attached to one, proximal end of the body element 23 by which the body element 23 is inserted into and removed from the shroud 20.

In this embodiment the body element 23 is formed of a moisture-absorbing material.

In an alternative embodiment the body element 23 can contain or be impregnated with a moisture-absorbing material.

In this embodiment the moisture-absorbing material is formed of active carbon or charcoal.

In one embodiment the active carbon is super-activated carbon.

In one embodiment the moisture-absorbing material is formed of bamboo charcoal.

In one embodiment the body element 23 is a felt.

In this embodiment the felt is formed of fibers of the moisture-absorbing material.

In an alternative embodiment the felt could be impregnated with a powder or nanopowder of the moisture-absorbing material, such as a super-activated carbon nanopowder as available from US Research Nanomaterials, Inc (Houston, Texas, US). In this embodiment the support 25 is a narrow elongate element, which acts as a spine which is flexible so as to allow for bending, but is axially stiff to render the body element 23 stiff to allow for insertion into the sleeve 20.

In an alternative embodiment the support 25 could comprise a sheet which has a footprint of a similar size to the body element 23.

In this embodiment the support 25 is formed of a plastics material.

In one embodiment the tab 27 is integrally formed with the support 25.

In another embodiment the tab 27 is integrally formed with the body element

23.

In this embodiment the body element 23 has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

In this embodiment at least the outer sheet 22b of the shroud 20 is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane, which allows for the transfer of moisture from the user to the body element 23, which moisture is bound by the body element 23.

In this embodiment the moisture-permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material.

The watch further comprises a moisture-absorbing backing 117 which is attached to the rear of the watch body 3.

In this embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing 117 is adhesively bonded to the watch body 3, here by an annular bead of adhesive around the periphery of the moisture-absorbing backing 117. In one alternative embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing 117 could be mechanically attached to the body, such as by tabs or loops, in the same manner that the moisture-absorbing backing 17 can be attached to the strap member 15.

In this embodiment the moisture-absorbing backing 117 comprises a shroud 120 which is attached to a rear surface of the watch body 3, and a moisture- absorbing member 121, which is enclosed by the shroud 120.

In this embodiment the shroud 120 has the form of a sleeve and comprises a first, inner sheet 122a which is adjacent the watch body 3, and a second, outer sheet 122b which is disposed outwardly of the inner sheet 122a in relation to the watch body 3.

In an alternative embodiment the shroud 120 could comprise only the outer sheet 122b.

In this embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 6, the moisture-absorbing member 121 comprises a body element 123, here circular in shape, which is sized so as to have a radial dimension smaller than the rear surface of the watch body 3.

In this embodiment the body element 123 is formed of a moisture-absorbing material.

In an alternative embodiment the body element 123 can contain or be impregnated with a moisture-absorbing material.

In this embodiment the moisture-absorbing material is formed of active carbon or charcoal.

In one embodiment the active carbon is super-activated carbon. In one embodiment the moisture-absorbing material is formed of bamboo charcoal.

In one embodiment the body element 123 is a felt.

In this embodiment the felt is formed of fibers of the moisture-absorbing material.

In an alternative embodiment the felt could be impregnated with a powder or nanopowder of the moisture-absorbing material, such as a super-activated carbon nanopowder as available from US Research Nanomaterials, Inc (Houston, Texas, US).

In this embodiment the body element 123 has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

In this embodiment at least the outer sheet 122b of the shroud 120 is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane, which allows for the transfer of moisture from the user to the body element 123, which moisture is bound by the body element 123.

In this embodiment the moisture-permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material.

Figures 7 and 8 illustrate a belt in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

The belt has substantially identical form to one of the watch straps 7 of the above-described embodiment, in having a belt member 215 of a similar form as the strap member 15, a moisture-absorbing member 217 of a similar form as the moisture-absorbing member 17, and a coupling 220, here a buckle, for coupling ends of the belt. Figures 9 to 12 illustrate a watch in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

The watch comprises a body 303, which includes a face 305, straps 307, which are coupled to the body 303 at ones of the ends thereof, and a coupling 310, which couples the other, distal ends of the straps 307 in order to retain the watch on the wrist of a user.

In this embodiment the coupling 310 comprises a buckle arrangement by which the other ends of the straps 307 are coupled.

In an alternative embodiment the coupling 310 could comprise a clasp arrangement by which the other ends of the straps 307 are coupled.

In this embodiment the straps 307 each comprise a strap member 315 and an anti-bacterial backing 317 which is attached to the rear surface of the strap member 315.

In this embodiment the strap member 315 is formed at least partially of leather.

In one alternative embodiment the strap member 315 could formed at least partially of fabric.

In another alternative embodiment the strap member 315 could formed of a metal web or links.

In this embodiment the anti-bacterial backing 317 is adhesively attached to the strap member 315, here by a layer or bead of adhesive 319.

In one alternative embodiment the anti-bacterial backing 317 could be stitched to the strap member 315. In another alternative embodiment the anti-bacterial backing 317 could be mechanically attached to the strap member 315, such as by tabs or loops, which engage around the strap member 315.

In this embodiment the anti-bacterial backing 317 comprises a sheet 322 which incorporates an anti-bacterial agent.

In this embodiment the sheet 322 is impregnated with the anti-bacterial agent.

In this embodiment the anti-bacterial agent is a bisphenol, such as triclosan.

In this embodiment the sheet 322 has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

In this embodiment the sheet 322 is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane.

In this embodiment the moisture-permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material.

The watch further comprises an anti-bacterial backing 417 which is attached to the rear of the watch body 303.

In this embodiment the anti-bacterial backing 417 is adhesively bonded to the watch body 303, here by an annular bead of adhesive 419 around the periphery of the anti-bacterial backing 417.

In one alternative embodiment the anti-bacterial backing 417 could be mechanically attached to the body, such as by tabs or loops, in the same manner that the anti-bacterial backing 317 can be attached to the strap member 315. In this embodiment the anti-bacterial backing 417 comprises a sheet 422 which incorporates an anti-bacterial agent.

In this embodiment the sheet 422 is impregnated with the anti-bacterial agent.

In this embodiment the anti-bacterial agent is a bisphenol, such as triclosan.

In this embodiment the sheet 422 has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

In this embodiment the sheet 422 is formed of a moisture-permeable membrane.

In this embodiment the moisture-permeable membrane is a non-woven spunbond olefin material.

Figures 13 to 16 illustrate a watch in accordance with a further embodiment of the present invention.

The watch comprises a body 403, which includes a face 405, straps 407, which are coupled to the body 403 at ones of the ends thereof, and a coupling 410, which couples the other, distal ends of the straps 407 in order to retain the watch on the wrist of a user.

In this embodiment the coupling 410 comprises a buckle arrangement by which the other ends of the straps 407 are coupled.

In an alternative embodiment the coupling 410 could comprise a clasp arrangement by which the other ends of the straps 407 are coupled. In this embodiment the straps 407 each comprise a strap member 415 and a strap backing 417 which is attached to the rear surface of the strap member 415.

In this embodiment the strap member 415 is formed at least partially of leather.

In one alternative embodiment the strap member 415 could formed at least partially of fabric.

In another alternative embodiment the strap member 415 could formed of a metal web or links.

In this embodiment the strap backing 417 includes an adhesive element 419 by which the strap backing 417 is adhesively attached to the strap member 415, here in the form of a layer or bead of adhesive.

In this embodiment the strap backing 417 comprises a moisture-absorbent sheet 422 of cotton.

In this embodiment the sheet 422 is formed of pure cotton, containing at least 99 wt%, optionally 99.5 wt%, optionally 99.9 wt%, natural cotton, which is a hypoallergenic material.

In one embodiment the sheet 422 incorporates an anti-bacterial agent.

In one embodiment the sheet 422 is impregnated with the anti-bacterial agent.

In one embodiment the anti-bacterial agent is a bisphenol, such as triclosan. In this embodiment the sheet 422 has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm.

In this embodiment the sheet 422 is a compressed, non-woven sheet.

In this embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 15, the strap backing 417 is supported on a release paper 423, here in the form of a vinyl sheet, which is slit cut 424 so as to allow for easy removal from the adhesive element 419 when applying the strap backing 417 to the respective strap 407.

The watch further comprises a watch body backing 517 which is attached to the rear of the watch body 403.

In this embodiment the watch body backing 517 includes an adhesive element 519 by which the watch body backing 517 is adhesively attached to the watch body 403, here in the form of a layer or bead of adhesive.

In this embodiment the watch body backing 517 comprises a moisture- absorbent sheet 522 of cotton.

In this embodiment the sheet 522 is formed of pure cotton, containing at least 99 wt%, optionally 99.5 wt%, optionally 99.9 wt%, natural cotton, which is a hypoallergenic material.

In one embodiment the sheet 522 incorporates an anti-bacterial agent.

In one embodiment the sheet 522 is impregnated with the anti-bacterial agent.

In one embodiment the anti-bacterial agent is a bisphenol, such as triclosan. In this embodiment the sheet 522 has a thickness of less than about 2 mm, optionally less than about 1.5 mm, optionally less than about 1 mm, and optionally less than 0.5 mm .

In this embodiment the sheet 522 is a compressed, non-woven sheet.

In this embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 16, the watch body backing 517 is supported on a release paper 523, here in the form of a vinyl sheet, which is slit cut 524 so as to allow for easy removal from the adhesive element 519 when applying the watch body backing 517 to the watch body 403.

In this embodiment the watch body backing 517 comprises a plurality of sections 517a, b, here first and second sections, which can be applied in spaced relation to the rear surface of the watch body 403, so as to enable features on the rear surface of the watch body 403 to be exposed.

Finally, it will be understood that the present invention has been described in its preferred embodiments and can be modified in many different ways without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.