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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
FASTENING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/080482
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides an attachment system (1) for releasably attaching a band (40, 40') to a body (10), for example attach a watch band to a watch. The attachment system comprises a receiving unit (20) and an attachment unit (30) that is releasably connected to each other, thereby enabling easy change of one band to another band. Moreover, the system does not include any movable or loose parts and is easy to use because no tricky mechanisms or tools are needed.

Inventors:
KOLECKI ROBERT (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/SE2020/050980
Publication Date:
April 29, 2021
Filing Date:
October 15, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
KOLECKI ROBERT (SE)
International Classes:
A44C5/14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GROTH & CO. KB (SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A fastening system (1 ) for reversibly attaching a band or the like (40, 40’) to an object (10), said fastening system (1) comprises:

1. a receiving unit (20) designed as a longitudinal cavity with an upper portion (21) having a circular cross section, and a lower portion (22) designed as a slot, the circular cross section 21 has a diameter that is larger than the width of the slot 22, and at least one recess or groove (23) arranged in the upper portion (21) of the cavity, the receiving unit (20) is somewhat angled (a) out from the body 10, wherein the angle (a) is more than 90 degrees; and ii. an attachment unit (30) comprising a first longitudinal axis (31 ) having a circular cross section and comprising at least one locking unit (33), and at least one vertical arm (35) attached to the first axis (31 ), wherein the diameter of the circular cross section of the first axis (31 ) is somewhat smaller than the diameter of the circular cross section of the upper portion (21 ) of the receiving unit (20, and wherein the at least one locking unit (33) is arranged at a site that corresponds to the site where the at least one recess or groove (23) is arranged inside the upper portion (21).

2. The fastening system (1 ) according to claim 1 , wherein the receiving unit (20) is somewhat angled in relation to a vertical line of the body 10, the angle (b) is in the range of 0° to 90°, preferably be within the range of 10° to 80°, more preferably about 15°-50°, or even more preferably about 30°.

3. The fastening system (1 ) according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the first axis (31) of the attaching unit (30) further comprises a stop unit (36, 36’) configured to stop the lateral movement of said first axis (31) into the receiving unit (20).

4. The fastening system (1 ) according to claim 3, wherein the stop unit (36, 36’) is arranged in the end of said first axis (31 ) configured to stop the lateral movement of said first axis (31) into the receiving unit (20).

5. The fastening system according to any of the preceeding claimswherein the first axis (31) of the attaching unit (30) comprises at least two locking units (33) and the circular cross section (21) of receiving unit (20) comprises at leat two corresponding recesses or grooves (23).

6. The fastening system according to any of claims 1 to 5, wherein the first axis (31) of the attaching unit (30) comprises a rubber-like material (37, 37’), applied to the first axis (31 ) thereby configured to reduce any gap produced under the manufacturing process.

7. A body (10) comprising a receiving unit (20) according to claim 1 i.

8. A band, strap, link or the like (40, 40’) comprising an attachment unit (30) according to claim 1ii.

9. A band (40, 40’) according to claim 5, wherein the band is a watch band.

10. A watch comprising: a watch body (10) comprising a receiving unit (20) according to claim 1 i, and a watch band (40, 40’) comprising an attachment unit (30) according to claim 1 ii in one end, and is configured to be releasably attached to the watch via the receiving unit (20).

Description:
Title

FASTENING SYSTEM

Technical field

The present invention relates to a fastening system for reversibly attaching a strap, band, link or the like to an object. The object may be for example a watch, an accessory or a jewellery.

Background

Wearable devices, such as watches, can be provided with an attachment system for connecting and releasing for example, a removable watch band. The watch band connects to a watch housing or body and secure the watch body to a wrist of a user. The watch band is engaged with a related or corresponding portion, such as module, recess, aperture, runner, or component of the watch body.

Many standard solutions often include specific tools, pins and/or spring-based solutions for securing a removable watch band. For example, the receiving portion may include a pin that captures the band thereby attaching the band to the body. In order to detach the band from the body, the pin needs to be removed. In some instances, band removal can be accomplished with a special tool. Flowever, in many cases, the user may need to visit a specialty store or have the assistance of technician in order to remove the band.

Moreover, many fastening systems also comprises small loose parts which easy disappear or breaks.

US 15/680,138 and US 10,058,149 provide locking mechanisms wherein an attachment unit of a watch band can be moved in a direction along its own longitudinal axis to securely engage the watch body. The mechanism involves locking mechanisms including one or more channels for receiving a corresponding attachment unit of a band. One or more recesses receive a corresponding catch member of an attachment unit. The attachment unit can include one or more catch members that are retractably biased to engage the body. The release mechanism includes release buttons, a plunger and/or a spring. Further, fixed attachment mechanisms attached to or arranged in the body does not allow the attached wrist band to adapt to the size or shape of the user’s wrist, i.e. , a cavity is formed below the fastening system with the attached band and the user ' s wrist.

Drawbacks with the prior art is the need of special tools, or clumsy mechanisms that require the user to press or push very small surfaces by means of the fingers for opening a lock. Tools also often disappear.

Thus, there is a need of a fastening system that is easy to use for a user, and do not comprise any loose parts, or the need of a tool to unlock the locking mechanism, or clumsy mechanisms to be unlocked by the fingers.

Summary of the present invention

An object of the present invention is to solve some of the problems by prior art.

The present invention relates to a fasting system which can be used for attaching a band, strap or the like to an object, and a process for fastening the same.

The fastening system is reversibly attaching a band, strap, link or the like to an object, said fastening system comprises: i) a receiving unit designed as a longitudinal cavity with an upper portion having a circular cross section, and a lower portion designed as a slot.

The circular cross section has a diameter that is larger than the width of the slot. The receiving unit further comprises at least one recess or groove arranged in the upper portion of the cavity.

The receiving section is somewhat angled out from the body, wherein the angle (a) is more than 90 degrees; and ii) an attachment unit comprising a first longitudinal axis having a circular cross section, and at least one locking unit arranged on the first axis. At least one vertical arm is attached to the first axis, and the diameter of the circular cross section of the first axis is somewhat smaller than the diameter of the circular cross section of the receiving unit. The first axis is designed to be laterally inserted into the upper portion of the receiving unit. The at least one locking unit is arranged at a site of the first axis that corresponds to the site where the at least one recess or groove is arranged inside the upper portion, when the first axis is inserted to its final position in the receiving unit.

The angle b is in the range of 0° to 90° in relation to a vertical line (Fig. 2B). The angle b may preferably be in the range of 5° to 80°, more preferably in the range of 15°-50°, or in the range of 10°- 40° or even more preferably about 30°. The angle b can be explained as the insertion angle of the attachment unit into the receiving unit.

The first axis of the attaching unit may further comprise a stop unit arranged on the side that is not inserted into the circular cross section, or any site along the first axis.

The stop unit is configured to stop the lateral movement of the first axis into the receiving unit.

In one embodiment of the fastening system is/are the stop unit(s) is/are arranged in the end of said first axis and configured to stop the lateral movement of said first axis into the receiving unit.

The first axis of the attaching unit may comprise at least one locking unit and the circular cross section of the receiving unit may comprise at least one corresponding recess or grove. Another object is to provide a body comprising a receiving unit as described above.

In one embodiment of the attaching system may the first axis of the attaching unit comprise two locking units or more, and the circular cross section of the receiving unit comprise in that embodiment two or more corresponding recesses or grooves.

In one embodiment of the fastening system described above is a rubber-like material, for example silicone, applied to the first axis of the attaching unit. The rubber-like material reduce any gaps, increase friction and security of the connection.

Yet another object is to provide a band, strap, link or the like comprising an attachment unit as described above. The band is for example a watch band.

Yet another object is to provide a watch comprising a) a body comprising a receiving unit as described above, and b) a band comprising an attachment unit as described above in one end, and wherein the watch band is releasably attached to the watch via the receiving unit.

The body may for example be a watch.

Moreover, the present invention also provides a method for attaching a band to a body by using the attachment system described above.

Brief description of the drawings

Fig. 1 Show a top view (A) and a side view (B) of a watch comprising a fastening system of the present invention.

Fig. 2 Show a cross section (A, B, C), and a perspective view of a receiving portion (D), a watch comprising a receiving portion (E), a side view and a perspective view of an attachment unit (F, G) of the attachment system of the present invention.

Fig. 3 Show top views of different embodiments of fastening units of the present invention (A, B, C). Fig. 3D shows a bottom view of a watch body comprising a receiving unit, and an example of an attachment unit of the fastening system of the present invention.

Fig. 4 Illustrate how the attachment unit is connected to a receiving unit of the present invention (A) and secured (B).

Fig. 5 A-C Shows an alternative embodiment of the attachment unit. Fig. 6 A-C Shows yet another alternative embodiment of the attachment unit.

Detailed description of the invention

An object of the present invention is to provide a fastening system 1 that enables quick exchange of a band, strap, link or the like e.g., a watch band, and a process for connecting said system to a body.

The detailed description includes specific details for the purpose of providing a thorough understanding of the subject technology. Flowever, it will be clear and apparent to those skilled in the art that the subject technology is not limited to the specific details set forth herein and may be practiced without these specific details. Wearable devices, such as watches, can be provided with an attachment system for connecting and releasing a removable module that interfaces with some portion of the device. For example, a watch can include watch bands 40, 40’ attached to each side of the body 10 and the watch is secured to the wrist of a user by connecting the end not attached to the body of the bands 40, 40’ to each other. The watch bands 40, 40’ engage with a related or corresponding module, recess, aperture, cavity or component of the watch body 10.

The present attachment system provides ease of connection, secure retention, ease of release, and aesthetic qualities. For example, an attachment system for a watch is desired to retain and selectively release a watch band without adversely affecting the look or feel of the watch.

The present attachment system 1 provides the advantage of easily and smoothly remove and attach a watch band 40, 40’ or the like to a body 10 without tools.

The connection is more durable and stronger between the body 10 and watch band 40, 40’ than many other commonly used systems today.

The attachment system 1 contains no loose parts, which further reduces the risk of losing or breaking the attachment system 1.

The attachment system 1 can also be applied to secure or connect several other objects such as jewelleries, bracelets, necklaces, links etc.

The attachment system 1 can also be applied as units for extending or shortening a link, strap, band or the like. This is possible by connecting at least two attaching systems 1 comprised by a receiving unit in one end (first axis) and an attaching unit in the opposite end (second axis) to each other.

In the present invention a band or strap 40, 40’ is to be interpreted as any strap, band or the like such as a watch band, a link or any band that benefit from such attachment mechanism or system 1 provided by the present invention.

A top view of a watch 10 that utilizes watch bands 40, 40’ for attaching the watch 10 to a wrist is shown in Fig. 1A. The body 10 may be any suitable object that benefit for an attaching system as defined in the present claims. The bands 40, 40’ is releasably attached to the body 10 via the attaching system 1 of the present invention. A side view of a watch is shown in Fig. 1 B. A first and second watch band 40, 40 ' is attached to opposite sides of the watch 10 with the attachment system 1 of the present invention. The attachment system 1 comprises a receiving unit 20 and an attaching unit 30. The receiving unit 20 is integrated in the body 10 or watch 10, but can also be arranged in other ways, for example attached to the body 10. The attachment unit 30 is arranged in the end of the band 40, 40 ' that is to be attached to the body or watch 10.

The other (free) end of the watch band 40, 40 ' is configured to be releasably attached or secured to one another via for example a clasp 41 or the like forming a loop, thereby attaching the watch 10 to a user’s wrist.

One embodiment of the attachment system 1 comprises a receiving unit 20 arranged as a recess or cavity in the body or watch 10 as shown in Fig. 2A-E.

The receiving unit 20 comprises a cavity having an upper portion 21 and a lower portion 22. The upper portion 21 has a circular cross section and is adapted to receive the circular cross section of the first upper axis 31 of the attaching unit 30 (see for example Figs. 3A-C). The upper portion 21 also comprises at least one recess or groove 23 for receiving at least one locking unit 33 arranged on the first axis 31 of the attachment unit 30 (see Figs. 3A-C). The lower portion is designed as an opening or a slot 22 for receiving the arm 35 of the attachment unit 30. The receiving unit 20 is angled and the angle a is more than 90 degrees with the upper portion leaning out from the body 10 (Fig. 2A). The angle b is in the range of 0° to 90° in relation to the vertical line (dashed line) as shown in Fig. 2B. The angle b may preferably be within the range of 10° to 80°, more preferably about 15°- 50°, or even more preferably about 30°.

Fig. 2C shows a cross view of a body 10 and a receiving unit 20, the receiving unit comprises an opening defined as a lower portion/slot 22 for insertion of the attachment unit 30, a second groove 24 running inside the cylindrical short side with a notch 25. The notch 25 receives a stop unit 36’ thereby securing the attachment unit 30 in a locked position, i.e. , stops lateral movement of the attachment unit.

Fig. 2D shows a perspective view of a body 10, a receiving unit 20, and an opening/slot 22. The stop 36’ (see Fig. 2F) is inserted into the notch 25 horizontally and runs vertically in the second groove 24 to secure the attachment and lateral movements.

An embodiment of a watch 10 comprising the receiving unit 20 of the present invention is shown in 2E. Notice that the receiving unit 20 is angled (a >90°) out from the watch or body 10, the angles (a, b) are important for securing the attachment unit 20 to the body 10. In addition, a better design and comfortability for the user are provided as well.

Fig. 2F shows a side view of an attaching unit 30 of the present invention. The attachment unit 30 comprises a first upper axis or portion 31 and a second lower axis or portion 32, the first and second axis is connected to each other via at least one arm 35. The first axis 31 has a circular cross section and fits the upper portion 21 of the cavity in the receiving unit 20. There is a stop 36 arranged on the side of the first axis 31 that is not intended to be inserted into the receiving portion 20. The stop 36 arranged on the side of the first axis 31 that is not intended to be inserted into the receiving portion 20, the alternative embodiment of the stop 36’ is intended to be inserted into the receiving portion 20.

The stop 36, 36’ may have a circular, square, rectangular, elliptical, semi-circular shape etc. cross section. The at least one locking unit 33 is also marked. An alternative embodiment is shown in Fig. 2G. The stop 36' is provided on the first axis 31 like the stop 36, the exact position of the stop 36’ may vary and is not important for the principle. It is important, however, that the stop 36’ arranged on the first axis 31 is inserted via the notch 25 of the receiving unit 20 (A), when the axis 31 is inserted horizontally (A) into the receiving unit 20, the stop 36’ slides along the notch 25 until it reaches the second groove 24 that runs vertically along the inside of the cylinder like receiving unit 20. When the stop 36’ reach the second groove 24, the attachment unit is secured by moving the unit 30 vertically (B) so that the stop 36’ leaves the notch 25. The placement of the stop 36' and notch 25 must coincide with the opening/slot 22 in such a way that it is possible to insert the first axis 31 into the receiving unit 20. This is achieved by inserting of the attaching unit 30 at an angle oc as described in Figs. 2A and 2B.

The purpose of stop 36' is as with stop 36 i.e. , to arrange the first axis 31 of the attachment unit 30 into the receiving unit 20 in exactly the right position so that the at least one locking unit 33 ends up in line with the first groove 23. However, in this embodiment the at least one locking unit 33 is not necessary, because the stop 36’ stops the movement of the attaching unit 33, and locks/secures the position of the attachment unit 30 to the watch/body 10.

The attachment unit 30 move freely in the rotating movement previously described in Fig. 4 A and B also illustrated by the movement arrows A (insertion of the first axis 31 into the receiving unit 20 from the side at the right angle) and B (the rotating movement which locks the first axis 31 in the receiving unit 20).

This means that stop 36' is placed inside the second groove 24 which it runs in while the first axis 31 is arranged to the receiving unit 20.

Top view of different embodiments of the attachment unit 30 are shown in Figs. 3 A- C. The first and second axes 31 , 32 are horizontal in all embodiments shown.

Fig 3A shows an attachment unit 30 comprising an upper first longitudinal axis 31 and a lower second longitudinal axis 32. The first 31 and second 32 longitudinal axis are in this embodiment connected via two vertical arms 35. The first longitudinal axis (31) comprises at least one locking unit 33 arranged inside the vertical arms 35 and face the second longitudinal axis 32.

The shape of the locking unit 33 may be in the form of a rectangular bulge, but other shapes are also possible.

The attachment unit 30 shown in 3B also comprises an upper first longitudinal axis 31 and a lower second longitudinal axis 32, the first 31 and second 32 longitudinal axis are connected via two vertical arms 35. The two arms 35 are in this embodiment arranged on the inside the locking units 33 closer to the center of the first avis 31.

Another embodiment is shown in Fig. 3C. The first 31 and second 32 longitudinal axis are here connected by one arm 35 only. The arm 35 is arranged in the centre of the axis 31 , 32. The locking units 33 are arranged close to the ends of the first longitudinal axis 31. This embodiment also shows that the length of the first 31 and second 32 longitudinal axis does not have to be equal.

The number of arms 35 is at least one but can be any suitable number, such as 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 depending on the design. The attachment systems described above may not include the locking device 33 when combined with the stop 36’.

Fig. 3D shows a bottom view of a watch or body 10 comprising a longitudinal receiving unit 20 and an attachment unit 30 of the present invention. The receiving unit 20 comprises a cavity having an upper portion 21 and a lower portion 22. The upper portion 21 has a circular cross section and is adapted to receive the circular cross section of the first axis 31 of the attaching unit 30. The upper portion 21 also comprises at least one recess or groove 23 for receiving the at least one locking unit 33 arranged on the first axis 31 of the attachment unit 30. The lower portion 22 or slot 22 receives the arm 35 of the attachment unit 30.

The attachment unit 30 comprises a first longitudinal axis 31 where the at least one locking unit 33 is arranged, and a stop unit 36 arranged on one side of the first axis 31 to stop the laterally insertion movement of the unit into the correct position when the at least one locking unit 33 can enter the corresponding recess or groove 23 by turning the attachment unit 30 into the locking position as described in Fig. 4. The at least one locking unit 33 may be arranged on the left, right, inside or outside the at least one vertical arm 35 and face the second axis 32.

Another embodiment of the attachment system is comprised by a unit 1 that is comprised by a male 31 in one end and a female 20 in the other end. The male end and the female end are connected to each other by at least one arm 35. These units 100 may be connected to each other and used for extending or shortening a link or band. The second axis 32 corresponds to a receiving unit 20 as already discussed above but not integrated or attached to a body, it is designed as a hollow cylinder like part comprising a circular cross section 21 , at least one 23 recess for receiving the at least one locking unit 33, and an opening or slot 22 for receiving the at least one arm 35.

A method for connecting the attachment system is shown in Fig. 4.

The receiving unit 20 may be recessed or attached or arranged by methods known in the art to the watch or body 10. In some embodiments the body 10 is integrated and the recess 20 moulded in one piece. The attachment unit 30 is attached to the end of the band 40, 40 ' that is to be attached to the body or watch 10 by methods known in the art. The attaching unit 30 is arranged into the receiving unit 20 from one side of the body 10 (A) and the movement is stopped by a stop unit 36 arranged on the first axis 31. The movement is mechanically stopped in a position where the at least one locking unit 33 reached its desired position where the corresponding recess or groove 23 is arranged inside the circular cross section 21 of the receiving unit 20. The receiving unit 20 is angled and the angle (a) is more than 90 degrees with the upper portion leaning out from the body 10.

The arrangement is secured by turning the attachment unit 30 out from the body 10 (B) until the at least one locking unit 33 enter its corresponding recess or groove 23 and enters a locking position, thereby securing the attachment of the band(s) 40, 40 ' to the body.

The attachment unit 30 can only be inserted into the receiving unit 20 at an angle that cannot occur spontaneously (in practice not at all) as long as the watch is fixed around the wrist. This ensures that the lock is not opened involuntarily while the watch is being worn on the arm.

The watch band 40, 40’ is changed by holding the watch 10 with one hand and grasp one of the watch bands 40, 40’ with the other hand. The attachment unit 30 is brought back to the angle required for the attachment unit 30 (Fig. 4A) to be inserted into the receiving unit 20 from the beginning, and the process is reversed, i.e., the attachment unit 30 is moved in the same direction it was inserted from and laterally moved to the side and free itself from the receiving unit 20. The whole process takes a few seconds and includes no need of a tool or pressing or pushing small units with the fingers etc. to perform.

The above described process is accomplished in that the receiving unit 20 and the attachment unit 30 are positioned and dimensioned in harmony with each other in such a way that they interconnect/interact so that the attachment unit 30 runs in the intended receiving unit 20 as the attachment unit 30 is rotated from the insertion angle to a horizontal position. Furthermore, the attachment unit 30 has a stop 36 which ensures that the attachment unit 30 is in the correct position when inserted into the receiving unit 20 from the side. The stop 36 allows the attachment unit 30 to be moved on and off in only one direction. This further increase user-friendliness and security, as the attachment unit 30 can only accidentally slip in one direction. The fact that the stop 36 is on the right side is conscious as this means that the attachment unit 30 is even more unlikely to unintentionally release as most people have the watch on the left arm. This in turn means that even if the attachment unit 30 could turn to the angle required for unloading to the side, it would mean that gravity would pull the watch in the direction that the stop 36 prevents. The first axis 31 is retained in the receiving unit 20 regardless of the angle of the attachment unit 30 relative to the receiving unit 20 due to that both the receiving unit 20 and the upper portion, i.e., the first axis 31 have a circular cross section.

Furthermore, it is only possible to insert the attachment unit 30 into the receiving unit 20 at a certain angle because the lower portion/slot 22 has a smaller width than the diameter of the upper portion 21. The lower portion/slot 22 has a width which coincides with the width of the at least one arm 35. This enables the above- mentioned function and ensures that the attachment unit 30 is held in a position inside the receiving unit 20 until it is desired to be removed.

The first axis 31 comprising the at least one locking unit 33 or corresponding features and the receiving unit 20 comprising a circular cross section and at least one groove or recess 23 for receiving the first axis 31 are the important features of the attachment system 1, 100 of the present invention. The connection of the attachment unit 30 to the band or the like can be made by solutions already used today and is not a part of the invention as such. Thus, the system of the present invention is not limited to the embodiments discussed here.

Fig. 5 shows an embodiment wherein a longitudinally running "rubber" or rubber-like material is provided on the first axis 31. One purpose is to reduce any gap at fastening which may result from the manufacturing process. The rubber-like material may for example be silicone. The Addition of silicone (or the like) improves the fit when assembling the first axis 31 into the receiving unit 20. The friction when inserting and executing the first axis 31 into the receiving unit also increases, thereby increasing the safety and minimizing the risk for unintentional unload of the band. Additionally, the silicone also decreases the metal-metal sound upon fastening or releasing the band.

The silicone can be applied on the first axis 31 as a cohesive line 37 (Figs. 5A-C), or in one or more dots 37’ (Figs. 6A-C). Figs. 5A shows a cross section of the attachment unit 30. The first 31 and second axis 32 are connected by at lest one arm 35, at least one stop 36 is arranged on the first axis 31 and the at least one locking unit 33 is arranged on the first axis 31. Different embodiments of the attachment unit are described before and are compatible with the embodiments described here. The silicone is here applied in a line/string 37 or in at least one dot 37’.

Fig. 5B shows a side view of the attachment unit 30, and illustrates the silicone 37 applied on the first axis 31 , the stop 36 and the at least on arm 35.

Fig. 5C shows a top view of the first axis 31. The applied silicone 37and the stop 36.

Fig. 6A shows a cross section of a different embodiment of the attachment unit 30.

At least one dot of silicone is applied to the first axis 31 on the upper portion as shown in Fig. 6A and B.

Fig. 6B shows a side view of the attachment unit 30 and illustrates the silicone 37’ applied on the first axis 31 , the stop 36’ and the at least on arm 35.

Fig 6C shows a top view of the first axis 31. The shape of the dots 37’ may be of any shape. At least one dot of silicone is applied to the first axis 31 as shown in Figs. 6A and B.

The embodiment is not bound to the use of silicone, any material that gives the same effect is suitable.

In summary, the present invention provides an attachment system that is easy to attach to a body, it does not need any tools for attaching or detaching the band from the body, and the system does not contain any loose parts that may disappear, thereby solving many problems known by prior art.