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Patent Searching and Data

Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/201911
Kind Code:
A clock (1) comprising at least one body (3, 4, 5, 6, 7) with dial (13, 14, 15, 16, 17; 5"; 50) on which there are information for reading time, indicator means (23, 24, 25, 26, 27; 35; 53, 54, 55, 56, 57) for indicating the information of the dial related to time, wherein the information is arranged on the dial (3-7; 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; 5"; 50) in an overturned way with respect to at least one axis (X-X; Y-Y), so that it can be read from opposite sides with respect to this axis.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
October 08, 2020
Filing Date:
March 24, 2020
Export Citation:
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International Classes:
G04B19/04; G04B19/08; G04B19/20; G04C17/00; G04G9/08; G04G17/08
Domestic Patent References:
Foreign References:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FERRONI, Filippo et al. (IT)
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1. A clock (1) comprising at least one body (3, 4, 5, 6, 7) with dial (13, 14, 15, 16, 17; 5' ' ; 50) on which there are information for reading time, indicator means (23, 24, 25, 26, 27; 35; 53, 54, 55, 56, 57) for indicating the information of the dial related to time,

characterized in that the information is arranged on the dial (3-7; 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; 5' ' ; 50) in an overturned way with respect to at least one axis (X-X; Y-Y) , so that it can be read from opposite sides with respect to this axis.

2. The clock according to claim 1, wherein the dial (3-7,

13-17) and/or the indicator means (23-27) are configured substantially as a ring and/or disc, in relative movement to each other.

3. The clock according to claim 2, wherein the information present on the dial (13-17) is displayed through openings (23— 27) arranged on the dial (13-17) and/or on the indicator means (23-27) .

4. The clock according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the indicator means comprise at least one hand (35) .

5. The clock according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein some of the dials (13-17) are separated and supported by a support structure (8) .

6. The clock according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the information related to time is shown in alpha- numerical form on four portions (53, 54, 55, 56) of the dial (50), on opposite sides with respect to the median axes (X-X and Y-Y) orthogonal to each other.

7. The clock according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the bodies (3-7) and/or the dials (13-17) are configured as a ring and/or disk, with a flat or conical geometry .



The present invention relates to a clock for reading time from multiple angles, for example from opposite sides of a table .

As is well known, keeping track of time passing by has been a need for the humans since ancient times. In fact, the first time measurement tools, albeit rudimentary and inaccurate, date back to 1500 BC . However, starting from the late Middle Ages, the concept of clock in the strict sense began to develop and, since then until today, numerous types of clock have been conceived.

Currently the clocks can be considered examples of refined technology and often also real artworks born from the work of master craftsmen and watchmakers.

In general, the clocks, whether they are wristwatches , table, wall clocks or others, can be distinguished on the basis of the principle governing their operation: mechanical (e.g. with spring with manual or self-winding with tuning fork, pendulum, etc.) or electronic, quartz, atomic clocks are therefore available.

In addition, clocks can be distinguished, based on the type of information display, into analogue and digital clocks.

Usually, clock are called analogue when the time display member (for example a dial, a disc, a bezel or other) and/or the time indicator member (for example a cursor or a hand) move continuously, without apparent interruption of the movement, due to the mechanical energy supplied by springs and similar elements.

The most common analogue clocks are those based on the use of hands. These clocks allow time to be read thanks to two hands that rotate on a numbered dial; a first hand is typically used to indicate the hours and a second hand is used to indicate the minutes, and the two hands rotate on the dial at different speeds.

The clocks currently available have a single reading mode, that is, they are made as a function of a user to allow time to be read. For example, common wristwatches are designed to be worn in a specific direction (usually on the left wrist) , which allows to easily read time ergonomically.

Countertop clocks, that is, clocks designed to be stably placed on a support surface (for example a table or desk), are also characterized by a single possible reading orientation.

This aspect can represent a limit in several cases; for example, when several people sit around the same table and a clock placed horizontally is in the centre of the table, only some of them will be in a convenient position to read time, i.e. according to the orientation of the dial, while the others will not be able to read it easily.

If we take into account that the light rays of the surrounding environment usually affects the reflective surfaces, placed horizontally, such as the glass of the clocks, reading time can be even more difficult for people who are on the side of the table other than the one towards which the clock dial is oriented.

In light of this examination, it is therefore a technical problem underlying the invention that of making a clock available which allows to overcome the difficulties of reading time highlighted above with reference to the state of the art.

The idea for solving this problem is to make a clock that allows the reading from different angles, indifferently.

In accordance with a possible embodiment of the invention, this result is achieved by making clocks having the indications to be read on the dial (i.e. the hours, minutes, etc.), arranged overturned with respect to one or more axes.

Preferably, the indicator elements such as the hands or other movable references are also configured symmetrically with respect to the aforesaid axes.

This teaching will find various embodiments depending on the configuration of the clocks and the components thereof; it will also apply to both analogue and digital clocks.

The proposed solution allows making the reading of time immediate from different angles, for example from opposite sides of a table.

The characteristics of the invention are specifically object of the claims appended to this description.

The features, the effects deriving therefrom and the advantages will be more apparent from the following description of a preferred and non-exclusive implementation embodiment thereof, shown in the accompanying drawings, provided purely by way of non-limiting example, wherein:

- Fig. 1 is a top view of a table clock according to the invention;

- Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the clock of the previous figure ;

- Fig. 3 and 4 show respective examples of clock dials according to the invention;

- Fig. 5 shows a variant of the clock of the previous figures .

Before entering into the merit of the explanations, it should be noted that the reference to "an implementation embodiment" or "an embodiment" within this description indicates hereinafter that a particular configuration, structure or feature is included in at least an implementation embodiment of the invention. Hence, the terms "in an implementation embodiment" and the like, present in different parts within this description, do not necessarily all refer to the same implementation embodiment. Furthermore, the particular configurations, structures or features can be combined in any suitable way in one or more implementation embodiments. The references used hereinafter are for convenience only and do not limit the scope of protection or the extent of the implementation embodiments.

Therefore, in light of this premise, with reference to Figs. 1 and 2, a clock 1 for reading time from multiple angles according to the invention is indicated in them, as a whole.

In this example, the clock 1 comprises a series of bodies 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, supported by a bearing structure 8 according to a configuration that recalls the one of an automotive dashboard. Each of these bodies 3-7 shows the information related to time that is present, in whole or in part, in the clocks: thus, for example, the central body 5 shows the hours and minutes, the bodies 3, 4 on the left (with reference to figure 1) respectively show the days of the week and those of the month, while those on the right 6 and 7 are related to the months and years of the calendar.

Obviously these are only indicative options and any other type of information can be displayed on the bodies 3-7; just think, for example, of the moon phases, or the zodiac signs.

In the same way it is obvious that the shape of the bodies, their arrangement and the way in which information is displayed may also be different from what is shown in the drawings .

Thus, for example, we can have clocks in which the various bodies with the dials are arranged within a single larger dial (as commonly occurs in wristwatches ) , or other clocks with a single dial for indicating the hours and minutes.

Further, as will become clearer in the following, it is appropriate to observe that although in the clock shown in the drawings, the information (hours, minutes, days, months, etc.) is displayed through specially provided openings or windows, this is not limiting and this view can be achieved with any appropriate means, for example with the hands like in common clocks, or also digitally with luminous or similar displays (e.g. "o-led", backlit, liquid crystal displays and others) .

The support structure 8 of the clock 1 essentially comprises two side members 8a, 8b connected by cross members or other elements not considered in greater detail, since they are not necessary for the purposes of understanding the present invention .

The clock 1 then comprises actuation means 10 necessary for the operation thereof, consisting of various mechanisms and more generally of all those components such as the escapement, wheel trains, transmissions, springs, gears and so on, generically visible in the figures but also not described in more detail here.

In any case, it should be pointed out that although the clock 1 shown in the drawings is preferably of the mechanical type with manual winding, it could be of any other type, for example quartz, electric, electronic or whatever.

What is relevant in this case is that the actuation means 10 operate the dials with rings or movable discs 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, respectively associated with the bodies 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 of the clock.

Such rings or discs 13-17 can be considered as part of indicator means indicating the information of interest, that is, those related to time; so, for example, in the case of the hours on the ring 15 their numbering (from 1 to 12 but could also be from 1 to 24) is shown in double sequence, overturned with respect to a median axis X-X as shown in figure 3.

In the case of the minutes, it will be possible to adopt a different appropriate numbering, for example that of multiples of five, 5-10-15-20 and so on up to 60 (i.e. the minutes in one hour) .

The bodies 3-7 are equipped with respective pairs of openings or windows 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, arranged symmetrically with respect to the median axis X-X so that information on time is displayed therethrough (hours, minutes, days, etc.). It is only necessary to observe that these openings 23-27 can be in a number greater than two for each dial 13-17, such as for example in the central one 5 where the hours and minutes are shown and therefore the dial comprises two rings where the corresponding pairs of openings 25 are present.

As can be understood, the clock 1 allows a reading of the information from two points of view opposite to the median axis X-X, as indicated by the arrows shown in figure 1.

Therefore, when the clock is placed on a horizontal surface like the one of a table, people who are on opposite sides can comfortably see the hours on the part of the dials 13-17 oriented towards them.

This solution allows the immediate reading of the clock from at least two different orientations, thus solving the technical problem outlined above underlying the invention, i.e. to increase the readability of the clock so as to make it usable by more people or in any case from more positions.

Variations of the clock according to the invention are obviously possible, with respect to that of the example described so far.

It has already been said previously that the dials may be arranged differently from their "dashboard" arrangement; it is also evident that the number of dials may also be other than five of the example shown in the drawings, given that, strictly speaking, it is sufficient to have a clock that only indicates the hours and minutes, with no need for a calendar (much less perpetual) .

Likewise, the configuration of the dials and, more generally, the display of the information on the clocks can be made in the most appropriate way, depending on the configuration of the clock.

Thus, for example, in the case of analogue clocks or in any case with hands, it will be possible to have dials such as the one shown in figure 4 where a hand 35 extending diametrically with respect to the dial 15' is visible.

Also in this case it is possible to read the hours from opposite sides of the dial with respect to the median axis X- X, along the lines of what has already been explained above; instead of the hours in the variant of figure 4 the minutes, or other information such as those of the calendar can be obviously shown.

Moreover, more information can be shown on the same dial 15' , for example hours and minutes, indicated with respective (i.e. two) hands similarly to what occurs in common clocks; in this case, for an easier reading, the minutes can be shown on a concentric circumference other than that of the hours visible in figure 4.

Another possible variant to be taken into consideration is that although the bodies 3-7 and the relative dials 13-17 are depicted in the form of circular rings or crowns with flat geometry, they can also be made with conical geometry.

This further favours the reading of the information by a user who is in the appropriate orientation for observing the clock. Finally, it should be noted that although in the examples considered so far the reading could have been made from two opposite points of view, it will be possible to have clocks with multiple reading possibilities, that is greater than two. In the case of clocks with hands or with ring dials such as those already seen (fig. 1-3), it will be sufficient to divide the dials into three or four sectors, each of which being intended for reading from a respective orientation.

In the case of digital clocks, the display can take place as shown in figure 5, with a dial 50 in which the information is shown in alpha-numerical form on four portions 53, 54, 55, 56 of the dial 50, from opposite sides with respect to median axes X-X and Y-Y orthogonal to each other.

All these variants fall within the scope of the claims below.