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Title:
POLYMERIC CROWN FOR A WATCH
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/002041
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The wristwatch (1) comprises: - at least one containing case (2) having a through hole (3); - at least one mechanism contained in said case (2) and associated with time marking hands able to signal the time to a user; - at least one adjusting member (4, 8) at least partially fitted in said through hole (3) and associated with said mechanism for the manual adjustment of the mechanism itself and comprising: - at least an adjusting crown (4); and - connecting means (8) at least partially fitted in said through hole (3), able to connect the crown (4) to the mechanism for the adjustment of the latter. The crown (4) is entirely made of polymeric material.

Inventors:
TASSO, Tarcisio (Via Livio 8, 6830 Chiasso, 6830, CH)
Application Number:
IB2016/053895
Publication Date:
January 05, 2017
Filing Date:
June 29, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ZERO S.A. (Via Livio 8, 6830 Chiasso, 6830, CH)
International Classes:
G04B3/04; G04B37/10
Foreign References:
US2364440A1944-12-05
CH321578A1957-05-15
FR1123935A1956-10-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRUNACCI, Marco (BRUNACCI & PARTNERS S.r.l, Via Scaglia Est 19-31, Modena, 41126, IT)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1) Wristwatch (1) or the like, comprising:

- at least one containing case (2) having a through hole (3);

- at least one mechanism contained in said case (2) and associated with time marking hands able to signal the time to a user;

- at least one adjusting member (4, 8) at least partially fitted in said through hole (3) and associated with said mechanism for the manual adjustment of the mechanism itself and comprising:

- at least an adjusting crown (4); and

- connecting means (8) at least partially fitted in said through hole (3), able to connect said crown (4) to said mechanism for the adjustment of the latter;

characterized by the fact that said crown (4) is entirely made of polymeric material.

2) Watch (1) according to claim 1, characterized by the fact that said connecting means (8) have at least an insertion end locked together with an insertion cavity (6) made on said crown (4).

3) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said connecting means (8) comprise at least a first connection body (10) movably associated with said through hole (3) between a first configuration, wherein said first body (10) is sliding with respect to said through hole (3), and a second configuration, wherein said first body (10) is retained in said through hole (3).

4) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said first body (10) comprises said insertion end (9).

5) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said insertion end (9) comprises at least one rib (12) able to facilitate the insertion of said insertion end (9) in said cavity (6).

6) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said first body (10) comprises a first threading (13) which can be engaged at a second threading (14) inside said through hole (3), for retaining said first body (10) into said through hole (3) in the second configuration. 7) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said first body (10) comprises a passage channel (11).

8) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said connecting means (8) comprise at least a second connection body (18) having:

an elongated body (19) fitted slidably in said passage channel (11);

a connecting head (20) that may be fitted in said cavity (6) for the rotating coupling of said second body (18) to the crown (4);

a connecting end (22) opposite said connecting head (20) and associable with said mechanism.

9) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said connecting means (8) comprise at least a thrust spring (23) placed between said crown (4) and said connecting head (20).

10) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said cavity (6) comprises a connecting seat (21) able to accommodate said connecting head (20) by rotating coupling.

11) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said cavity (6) comprises a substantially circular inlet mouth (7).

12) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said first connection body (10) comprises a ring (17) placed between said insertion end (9) and said first threading (13) and fitted to measure in said inlet mouth (7) and intended to abut against said case (2).

13) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that said ring (17) has a larger diameter than said through hole (3). 14) Watch (1) according to one or more of the preceding claims, characterized by the fact that at least one portion of the outer surface of said crown (4) has at least a knurling (5) able to facilitate the grip of said crown (4) by a user.

Description:
POLYMERIC CROWN FOR A WATCH

Technical Field

The present invention relates to a watch, particularly a wristwatch or the like. Background Art

A watch is generally formed by a bearing case within which are contained a working mechanism and a dial with hands to indicate the hours and minutes. The watch mechanism is the set of parts that allow to perform the main function of the watch, that is marking time.

A horology mechanism is generally composed of a set of wheels and pinions which, once loaded, give rise to oscillatory movements which result in periodic rotations of the hands.

The mechanism also allows for manual adjustment of the hands by means of an adjusting member associated with the mechanism itself.

Such adjusting member comprises a "crown", i.e. a wheel, usually knurled, arranged on a side wall of the case and graspable by the user.

The crown is connected to connecting means adapted to lock the crown itself together with the winding stem intended to mesh the watch mechanism for adjusting the hands.

The connecting means usually comprise two cylindrical connection bodies partially inserted one into another, the first associated directly with the crown, the second adapted to retain the winding stem.

The first connection body is screwable into a through hole formed on the wall of the watch case so as to make the crown pass from a first configuration, wherein the first connection body is free to rotate and external to it, to a second configuration, wherein the first connection body is screwed and is at least partially inserted into the case.

In the first configuration the crown is locked together with the winding stem, that is, if the crown rotates, the winding stem also rotates.

In the second configuration, on the other hand, the crown does not drive the winding stem in motion.

Between the first and the second connection body, in fact, at least one spring is placed which, with the first connection body completely unscrewed from the case, exerts a thrust useful to lock the crown together with the winding stem. This way, the user, by rotating the crown and therefore the winding stem, acts on the mechanism to adjust the arrangement of the hands.

The known crowns have at least one gasket usually arranged at the crown, at the point where the connecting means are engaged.

This way, by screwing the crown, pressure seal is ensured that prevents the liquids from entering through the through hole formed on the case.

A drawback of known crowns is connected to the fact that these gaskets, being subject to wear, need to be periodically replaced.

This involves difficult and complicated assembly and disassembly operations that usually must be performed by skilled technicians, with consequent increase in maintenance costs.

Description of the Invention

The main aim of the present invention is to devise a wristwatch or the like which guarantees the impermeability and seal of the hole on which the crown is screwed in a simple and inexpensive manner.

Another object of the present invention is to devise a wristwatch or the like which allows to overcome the mentioned drawbacks of the prior art within the ambit of a simple, rational, easy, effective to use and affordable solution.

The objects stated above are achieved by the present wristwatch or the like according to claim 1.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Other characteristics and advantages of the present invention will become better evident from the description of a preferred but not exclusive embodiment of a wristwatch or the like, illustrated by way of an indicative, but non-limiting example in the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is an axonometric view of an adjusting member of the watch according to the invention;

Figure 2 is an exploded view of the adjusting member of the watch according to the invention;

Figure 3 is a partial exploded view of another detail of the watch according to the invention; Figure 4 is a sectional view of the adjusting member of the watch according to the invention in a first configuration;

Figure 5 is a sectional view of the adjusting member of the watch according to the invention in a second configuration.

Embodiments of the Invention

With particular reference to such illustrations, globally indicated with reference number 1 is a watch of the type of a wristwatch. Different embodiments cannot however be ruled out.

The watch 1 comprises a containing case 2 having a through hole 3.

The watch 1 also has a mechanism, for simplicity not shown in the figures, contained in the case 2 and associated with time marking hands adapted to signal the time to a user.

Advantageously, the watch 1 has an adjusting member 4, 8 at least partially inserted in the through hole 3 and associated with the mechanism for the manual adjustment of the mechanism itself.

In particular, the adjusting member 4, 8 comprises an adjusting crown 4, that is, the part of the member graspable by the user to adjust the position of the watch hands.

Advantageously, according to the invention, the crown 4 is entirely made of polymeric material.

In particular, the crown 4 is made of plastic, that is, with rigidity and elastic deformation ability such as to enable, under compressive forces, both a good mechanical strength and the development of pressures, in contact with other objects, such as to ensure a good pressure seal in the areas where the contact occurs.

Solutions that envisage different polymeric materials cannot be ruled out, provided that they ensure, in terms of contact strength and pressure seal, effects which are comparable to the plastic ones.

In the present embodiment, the crown 4 has the shape of a cap and is placed externally to the case 2.

Forms of the crown 4 different to that shown, e.g. disk-shaped forms, etc., cannot be ruled out. In particular, at least one portion of the outer surface of the crown 4 has a plurality of knurling 5 adapted to facilitate the grip of the crown itself by a user. The knurling 5 is obtained with recesses made on the outer surface of the crown 4.

Embodiments wherein this knurling is obtained otherwise or wherein the same has a different form cannot be ruled out.

An insertion cavity 6 is also made on the crown 4.

The cavity 6 comprises a substantially circular inlet mouth 7 and is adapted to abut against the outer surface of the case 2 surrounding the through hole 3. The adjusting member 4, 8 also comprises connecting means 8 at least partially fitted in the through hole 3 and adapted to connect the crown 4 to the mechanism.

The connecting means 8 have a winding stem, for simplicity not shown in the figures, adapted to be associated with the mechanism for the adjustment of the latter.

In particular, the connecting means 8 have at least an insertion end 9 locked together with the insertion cavity 6 made on the crown 4.

More particularly, the connecting means 8 comprise a first connection body 10 movably associated with the through hole 3 between a first configuration (Figure 4), wherein the first body 10 is sliding with respect to the through hole 3, and a second configuration (Figure 5), wherein the first body 10 is retained in the through hole 3.

The first body 10 has a substantially tubular shape, i.e. it comprises a passage channel 11.

The first body 10 also comprises the insertion end 9 previously introduced.

In the present embodiment, the insertion end 9 has greater thickness than the rest of the first body 10 and is adapted to be fitted to measure into the cavity 6. Advantageously, on the outer surface of the insertion end 9 are made ribs 12 adapted to facilitate the insertion of the insertion end 9 in the cavity 6.

In particular, the ribs 12 have an inclined shape, with downward pattern proceeding from the inlet mouth 7 towards the inside of the cavity.

This way, once the insertion end 9 has been inserted in the cavity 6, the ribs 12 cling to the walls of the cavity itself so that the crown 4 is locked together with the first body 10.

The first body 10 also comprises a first threading 13 made along a portion of the outer surface of the first body itself.

This is engageable at a second threading 14 arranged inside the through hole 3 for retaining the first body 10 in the through hole itself in the second configuration previously described.

In particular, as illustrated in the figures, the second threading 14 is formed on a support sleeve 15 fitted to measure in the through hole 3.

Advantageously, in the second through hole 3 is also inserted a gasket 16 arranged in contact with the end of the support sleeve 15 facing the inner wall of the case 2 and adapted to improve the internal pressure seal of the watch 1.

Conveniently, the first connection body 10 comprises a ring 17 placed between the insertion end 9 and the first threading 13.

The ring 17 is fitted to measure in the inlet mouth 7 and intended to abut against the case 2.

In particular, the ring 17 has a larger diameter than the through hole 3 so as to completely close the hole itself.

The connecting means 8 also comprise a second connection body 18 having an elongated body 19 fitted slidably in the passage channel 11 of the first body 10. This way, the elongated body 19 is fitted in the first body 10 and can slide with respect to it.

The second body 18 also has a connecting head 20 fittable in the cavity 6 for the rotating coupling of the second body 18 to the crown 4.

In particular, the connecting head 20 has a square section and is adapted to be fitted in a special connecting seat 21 formed in the cavity 6 of the crown 4. The cavity 6, in fact, comprises a connecting seat 21 adapted to accommodate the connecting head 20 by rotating coupling.

The connecting seat 21 has the same shape of the connecting head and, upon rotation of the crown 4, drives the connecting head itself in motion.

Different solutions cannot be ruled out wherein, e.g., the connecting head 20 and the connecting seat 21 have different shapes, provided such as to allow the driving of the connecting head itself in motion, and therefore of the second body 18.

The second body 18 also has a connecting end 22 opposite the connecting head 20 and locked together with the winding stem.

This way, by rotating the connecting head 20 by means of the crown 4, it is possible to rotate the winding stem and therefore to act on the mechanism of watch 1 for adjusting the position of the hands.

Advantageously, the connecting means 8 comprise a thrust spring 23 placed between the crown 4 and the connecting head 20, so as to facilitate the movement of the second body 18 with respect to the first body 10.

This way, the switch from the second configuration to the first configuration is facilitated, promoting the grip of crown 4 to the user.

The operation of the present invention is as follows.

The user normally uses the crown 4 to extract the adjusting member 4, 8 and start the adjustment of the hands.

The adjustment can be done when the first body 10 is in the first configuration (Figure 4).

The spring 23 facilitates the extraction of the first body 10, in this case sliding with respect to the through hole 3.

By rotating the crown 4, the winding stem is also automatically driven in motion.

The connecting seat 21, in fact, is shaped so as to drive in rotation the connecting head 20 and therefore the second body 18 with the winding stem. Once the hands have been adjusted, the user can restore the normal condition of use, that is the condition in which the crown 4 is firmly in contact with the case 2.

This action is achievable by pushing the crown 4 towards the case 2 and by tightening the first body 10 in the hole itself, gradually engaging the first threading 13 in the second threading 14 until reaching the second configuration (Figure 5).

The screwing is performed by rotating the crown 4 which, being locked together with the insertion end 9, drives the first body 10 in motion. When the latter is in the first configuration, completely screwed into the through hole 3, with the first threading 13 which is fully engaged in the second threading 14, the crown 4 is in contact with the case 2.

In particular, the inlet mouth 7 and the ring 17 adhere to the outer wall of the case 2 surrounding the through hole 3.

More particularly, at the inlet mouth 7, the stress exerted at the interface between the mouth itself and the case 2 induce micro-deformation in the plastic layer closest to the case itself inducing in it a variation in the tensional state. This variation in the tensional and deformation state results in an increase of the "crown-case" contact seal, i.e. an increase in resistance to seepage of fluids up to high external pressures.

This avoids using additional elements such as gaskets or the like to be inserted in the cavity 6 or in the proximity of the inlet mouth 7 or at the area of contact between the through hole 3 and the crown 4.

It has in practice been found that the described invention achieves the intended objects and in particular the fact is stressed that the devised watch ensures the impermeability and seal of the hole on which the crown is screwed thanks to the realization of the crown made of polymeric material.

This solution is very simple and inexpensive.

In fact, thanks to the mechanical properties of the plastic it is possible to obtain high seals, able e.g. to make the watch "water-resistant" up to predetermined depths, without necessarily using additional elements such as gaskets or the like.

Consequently, the difficult assembly, maintenance and replacement operations are not necessary, as well as the related costs, required by these additional elements, making the whole process very simple and easy to use.