US3030686A - Variable width end attachment - Google Patents

Variable width end attachment Download PDF

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Publication number
US3030686A
US3030686A US42115A US4211560A US3030686A US 3030686 A US3030686 A US 3030686A US 42115 A US42115 A US 42115A US 4211560 A US4211560 A US 4211560A US 3030686 A US3030686 A US 3030686A
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United States
Prior art keywords
elements
shell
base plate
portions
portion
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Expired - Lifetime
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US42115A
Inventor
Norman C Burkhardt
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Jacoby-Bender Inc
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Jacoby-Bender Inc
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Priority to US42115A priority Critical patent/US3030686A/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44CJEWELLERY; BRACELETS; OTHER PERSONAL ADORNMENTS; COINS
    • A44C5/00Bracelets; Wrist-watch straps; Fastenings for bracelets or wrist-watch straps
    • A44C5/02Link constructions
    • A44C5/04Link constructions extensible
    • A44C5/08Link constructions extensible having separate links
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A44HABERDASHERY; JEWELLERY
    • A44CJEWELLERY; BRACELETS; OTHER PERSONAL ADORNMENTS; COINS
    • A44C5/00Bracelets; Wrist-watch straps; Fastenings for bracelets or wrist-watch straps
    • A44C5/14Bracelets; Wrist-watch straps; Fastenings for bracelets or wrist-watch straps characterised by the way of fastening to a wrist-watch or the like
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T24/00Buckles, buttons, clasps, etc.
    • Y10T24/47Strap-end-attaching devices
    • Y10T24/4718Watch pintle connected

Description

A ril 24, 1962 N. c, BURKHARDT VARIABLE WIDTH END ATTACHMENT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed July 11,

INVENTOR. lVflIMA/V C. 80R/fl/4R07' Arrow/[rs April 1962 N. c. BURKHARDT 3,030,686

- VARIABLE WIDTH END ATTACHMENT Filed July 11, 1960 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 42;; 60g 714 M WQ 1Q 1 5g /d 22 66 H 53 a 42 36 H I 4; 12.. El 54 Z632 32 1 40 H T 50 i 2'? a7 /4 40- M 42 IN V EN TOR.

F 6- 7 E414 CBOZAI/4Z07 WWW United States Patent ()fiice 3,930,686 Patented Apr. 24, 1962 The present invention relates to a bracelet end attachment adapted to be inserted between spaced watch lugs and, within limits, to automatically adapt itself to variations in that space.

Many watches, and particularly mens watches, are provided with pairs of spaced lugs on each end, between which lugs the ends of a watch strap or bracelet are secured, usually by means of a spring pin passing through a hollow tubular part in the bracelet end and having tips adapted to be received in apertures formed in the watch lugs. There are a multitude of sizes and styles of watches, and a corresponding variation from watch to watch in the distance between the Watch lugs. It is obviously impractical for a manufacturer or retailer of watch bracelets to make or stock bracelets in every style and in every possible width. It is not even feasible to make bracelets in a limited number of widths, as is done, and provide end attachments for the bracelets which are of exactly the right sizes to correspond to all of the various spacings between the watch lugs. These end attachments are usually an integral part of the bracelet, built thereinto by the manufacturer, and any such approach would require each retailer to maintain a tremendous inventory on the chance that a would-be purchaser might have a watch the lugs of which are spaced from one another by an unconventional distance.

On the other hand, it is most undesirable appearancewise and functionally that when the bracelet is attached to the watch its ends should slide back and forth between the watch lugs, as would occur if the end attachment were narrower than the space between those lugs. Any gap between the bracelet end and the watch lugs is unsightly, and the relative sliding of the watch and bracelet end gives rise to a sloppy feeling and has a tendency to pinch the skin of the wearer.

In the past this problem usually has been met by providing bracelets with end attachments in a limited number of standard widths, and by requiring the retail jeweler, when the bracelet is sold, to fit that bracelet to the customers watch and to cut or file down the end attachments so as to give it a width corresponding accurately to the space between the lugs on the watch of that particular customer. This is a troublesome task, particularly in view of the fairly low profit made by the retailer on an individual sale. Furthermore, this expedient has not entirely solved the inventory problem of the retailer, since he still must stock bracelets of a given style having a plurality of different width end attachments.

It therefore is not surprising that it has been proposed in the past that self-sizing end attachments be provided. These have usually taken the form of a fixed end attachment having a minimal width, with members resiliently projected out from each end thereof so as to bridge the gap between the fixed portion of the end attachment and the lugs of the particular watch to which the bracelet is adapted to be secured. Numerous such constructions have been devised, but none of them have met with any real measure of public acceptance or permanency.

The primary reason why prior art devices of this type have not been particularly successful is that the attainment of proper and reliable functioning has required the use of structures which were unduly complex and expensive. It is essential from an appearance point of view that the end attachment accurately center itself between the watch lugs and that it remain centered even when the bracelet is subjected to those laterally acting forces which are encountered while the bracelet-watch combination is in place on the users wrist. When, as is sometimes the case, the members resiliently urged outwardly are themselves employed to engage with the watch lugs, dispensing with the use of a conventional spring pin, the above described tendency of the prior art self-sizing devices to move from their centered positions often resulted in separation of the bracelet from the watch, an obviously inadmissible situation.

Because of the small size of the devices under discussion a single spring is usually employed to bias the outwardly moving elements, that spring being appropriately connected to both elements and simultaneously active upon them. The use of a single spring results in a tendency to provide only a relatively weak resistance to lateral movement of the outwardly extending members, and without effectively ensuring that the attachment is centered between the lugs. In accordance with the present invention such a single spring is employed, thus facilitating assembly and reducing expense, but that spring is engaged midway of its length by a part secured to the relatively fixed structure of the attachment, thereby effectively dividing the spring into two separate sections each individually active upon a different one of the laterally slidable elements. As a result there is a very effective resilient resistance to movmeent of the fixed structure in either direction from its laterally centered position, and each individual element is more firmly retained against its corresponding watch lug in the event that the attachment proper is forced to one side or the other.

Another problem inherent in devices of the type under discussion and deriving largely from the small size of such attachments is the maintenance of the laterally sliding elements in proper longitudinal alignment. There is an inherent tendency on the part of such elements to become misaligned or to tilt relative to the fixed structure on which they are mounted. This results in an unsatisfactory appearance and, in extreme cases, in misalignment of the bracelet relative to the watch to which it is attached. In accordance with the present invention each of the laterally slidable elements is provided with a laterally elongated track means which cooperates with parts on the fixed structure of the attachment for all relative positions of the elements in order to insure proper alignment of the elements with one another and with the fixed structure.

A significant advantage of the structure of the present invention is that these desirable results are achieved by means of an exceptionally simplified structure utilizing a minimal number of parts each of which is readily manufactured on a large scale production basis, the parts being readily assemblable even by relatively unskilled personnel.

More specifically, the variable end attachment of the present invention comprises a base plate on which the laterally slidable elements are adapted to be mounted, a single spring being connected between those elements so as to resiliently urge them outwardly in order to produce the self-sizing function. An ornamental shell is adapted to be attached to the assembly of base plate, slidable ele ments and spring, that shell hiding the operative parts from view but exposing the outer lengths of the slidable elements, which therefore contribute to the ornamental appearance of the bracelet. The shell has parts which respectively engage the spring and the track means on the laterally slidable elements, that engagement being efiected automatically with the assembly of the shell on the base plate in conventional fashion.

The base plate comprises first and second longitudinally vided with first and second portions slidable over'the first and second portions respectively of the base plate. The

spring is connected to the first portions of the slidable elements,- the second portions thereof being adapted to extend'out'laterally beyond the attachment and received between the watch lugs. The track means are carried by the second portions of the slidable elements. The orna mental shell is provided with cor-responding first and secondportions, the first portion thereof covering the spring and the first portions of the base plate and slidable elements respectively. The second portion of the shell is of abbreviated width and extends out longitudinally from thefirst shell portion so as to cover the inner lengths of the slidable elements for all relative portions thereof but leave the outer lengths of the slidable elements exposed. The'parts on the shell which engage the track means on the slidable elements are carried by the shell to either side of the second shell portion of abbreviated length.

To the accomplishment of the above, and to such other objects as may hereinafter appear, the present invention relates to the construction of a variable width end attachment for a bracelet or the like as defined in the appended claims and as described in this specification, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which;

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a bracelet including end attachment constructed according to the present invention; 7

FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view, on an enlarged scale, of the and attachment of the present invention secured to an end of a bracelet;

FIG. 3 is a three-quarter perspective exploded view of various parts of the end attachment;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the end attachment with the ornamental shell removed;

FIGS. 5 and 6 are cross sectional views taken along the line 5-'5 of FIG. 1, FIG. 5 showing the slidable elements in laterally projected position and FIG. 6 showing those elements in laterally retracted position; 7

FIGS. 7 and 8 are cross sectional views taken respectively along the lines 7--7 and 8--8 of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing an alternative embodiment specifically adapted for use with curved watch cases.

The structure of the present invention ishere specifically disclosed as part of a resiliently expandible lazytongs linkage bracelet generally designated 2 and composed of pivotally connected top and bottom links 4 and 6 of relatively conventional construction, but it will be understood that the end attachment in question could be used with other types of bracelets. The attachment cornprises a base plate generally designated 8, a pair of laterally slidable elements generally designated 10 and 12, a spring generally designated 14 and a top shell generally designated 16, the shell 16 and portions of the slidable'elements 10 and 12 being appropriately shaped or ornamented so as to produce a desired appearance effect, usually one ofconformity with the appearance of the top shells 4 of the bracelet 2.

The base plate 8 comprises a section 18 shaped similarly to the base plates of the top' links 4 of the bracelet 2, provided with apertures 20 and 22 within which the ends of bottom links 6 and 6' are adapted to be received, and an ornamental shell 24 is adapted to be secured thereover in conventional fashion, that shell 24 preferably being identical with the ornamental shells on the top linles 4 of the bracelet proper. Extending longitudinally outwardly from the section 18, and preferably stepped somewhat therebelow, is a plate'section generally designated 26 having a'first portion 28 and a longitudinally outwardly posi: tioned portion 30. The first portion 28 is provided with apair of apertures 32 through which eyelets'34 are adapted to pass, for a purpose hereinafter to be made clear. (The term longitudinal as'used in. this specification relates 4 to a direction parallel to the axis of the bracelet 2, and the term lateral relates to a direction runningfrom side to side of the bracelet 2.)

It will be noted that the base plate 8 is formed from single sheet of appropriate structural material, and can readily be fabricated solely by punch and die operations.

The laterally slidable elements 16 and 12 are generally similar, differing from one another primarily in that they are respectively adapted for left and right hand operation. Similar reference numerals will be applied to similar parts. Each comprises a first portion 36 and a second portion 38. The first portion 36 of the two elements 10 and 12 are adapted to be superposed'over one another and over the first base plate portion 28, the second portion 38 of that element whose first portion 36 is uppermost (here shown as the element 10) being stepped downward therefrom so that the'second portions 38 are in alignment. Each second portion 38 has a width somewhat less than the width of the first'base plate portion 28. Each is provided with a pair of laterally elongated slots 40 which are adapted to register with one another and through which the eyelets are adapted to pass, the eyelets being headed over the uppermost of the element portions 36. Thus the eyelets 34 retain the first element portions 36 in proper position relative to one another and to the first base plate portion 28, the element portions 36 being lateral-1y slidable and the degree of sliding movement being limited by engagement betweenthe eyelets 34 and the ends of the slots (compare FIGS. 5 and 6). Each of the first element portions is provided at one side thereof with a hook 42, and the spring 14, of the tension type, is engaged with and extends between the hooks 42. The arrangement is such that the tension of the spring 14 tends to slide each of the element portions 36 laterally outwardly.

The second element portions 38 are formed integrally with the first element portions 36 but are of abbreviated Width than, and extend out laterally from, the'first element portions 36. In the form here specifically disclosed they are tubular in nature so that a conventional spring pin can be passed therethrough, and comprise a bottom wall 44, .a front wall 46, a top Wall 48 and a rear wall 50' of abbreviated height from which an upwardly curved part 52-extends to define a track means, the track means part 52 being spaced above the first element portion 36 adjac'ent the point where it joins'the second element portion 38 and having an appreciable length in a lateral direction. The top wall 48 is preferably ornamented or configured to produce a desired ornamentaleffect. When the base plate 8, the slidable elements 10 and 12 and the spring 14 are assembled, as shown in FIG. 4, the tips of the second element portions 38 extend out laterally beyond the base plate 8, the spring 14 remaining under tension but being in relatively contracted condition.

The ornamental shell 16 comprises first and'second portions 54 and 56 respectively which correspond to the first and second portions 28 and 30 of the base plate 8 and the first and second portions 36 and 38 of the slidable elements 10 and 12. The first portion 54 of the shell 16 is box-like in nature and comprises a rear Wall 58, side walls 60 and a top wall 62. Tabs 64, 66 and 68 depend frornthe walls 58 and 60 respectively, and a tang 70 is bent inwardly from the rear Wall 58. The width of the first shell portion 54- is substantially that of the first base plate portion 28.

The second shell portion 56 extends forwardly from the first portion 54 substantially centrally of the Width thereof and is of abbreviated width relative thereto. 7 It comprises a suitably ornamented or shaped top wall 72 from which-a front Wall 74 depends, a tab 76 extending downwardly from the front wall 74. The first shell portion 54 is provided, to either side of the second shell portion 56, with depending front wall parts 78 of abbre viat'ed height but appreciable length in a lateral direction.

Theshell 16 "is adapted to be placed over the subassembly of FIG. '4 with its first portion 54 covering the first base plate and element portions 28 and 36 and also covering the spring 14. It is adapted to be held in position by the tabs 64, 66 and 68, the tabs 64 passing through a slot 67 at the rear of the first base plate portion 28 (see FIG. 7), the tabs 66 extending around the side edges of the first base plate portion 28, the tabs then being bent beneath the lower surface of the base plate portion 28 in conventional fashion. The second shell portion 56 overlaps the inner ends of the second element portions 38 when the elements 10 and 12 are laterally outwardly positioned as far as they can go, but the outer ends of the second element portions 38 are exposed over appreciable lateral distances. The second shell portion 56 is held in place by bending the tab 76 beneath the lower surface of the second base plate portion 30.

When the shell 16 is put in place the tang 70 engages the spring 14 by passing between a pair of adjacent turns thereof. This engagement may be facilitated by initially forming the spring 14 with an appropriately located central gap 80, the extent of which is somewhat exaggerated in the drawings for purposes of ready illustration. The attachment of the shell 16 further causes the depending front wall parts 78 to enter into the upwardly opening track means 52 on the slidable elements 10 and 12.

The attachment is now fully assembled and ready for use. When it is to be attached to a watch the outwardly extending second element portions 38 are manually pressed inward-ly against the action of the spring 14, they are moved between the lugs of the watch to which the bracelet is to be attached, and they are then released. (In the form here specifically disclosed, in .which the second element portions 38 are tubular in nature, a conventional spring pin will have first been passed through the element portions 38, the spring pin being relied upon to actually secure the bracelet to the watch. It would be possible, of course, to provide the slidable element portions 38 with pins, thereby eliminating the need for a separate spring pin, all as is well known.) The action of the spring 14 will cause the elements 10 and 12 to slide laterally outwardly until they engage the inner surfaces of the lugs.

Because of the fact that the tang 70 engages the spring 14 intermediate its length, it divides that spring into two independently acting sections, one operatively connected to each slidable element 10 and 12. This makes each section produce a stronger resilient resistance to lateral movement of the slidable element to which it is connected, since a given lateral movement will result in a greater proportional elongation of the individual short section than would be the case if that same amount of movement had been effective to elongate the spring along its entire length. Hence the attachment will more strongly resist lateral movement between the watch lugs than would be the case in the absence of the engagement between the tang 70 and the spring 14. Movement of each element 10 or 12 is made relatively independent of movement of the other element. Moreover, that engagement provides a direct connection between what may be considered the fixed structure of the attachment (the base plate 8 and the shell 16) and the slidable elements 10 and 12, preventing lateral movement of that fixed structure relative to the unit composed of the slidable elements 10 and 12 and the spring 14.

An appreciable length of the second portions 38 of the slidable elements 10 and 12 are exposed to view to either side of the second shell portion 56. This makes for a very desirable appearance. It requires, however, if that desirable appearance effect is not to be destroyed, that the slidable element portions 38 be accurately aligned with one another at all times. This is accomplished in large part by the interengagement between the laterally elongated track means 52 on the slidable element portions 38 and the abbreviated front wall parts 78 on the shell 16, which interengagement takes place over appreciable distances in a lateral direction for all relative positions of the slidable elements 10 and 12.

FIG. 9 discloses a construction similar to that of the previously described embodiment, but in which the second element portions 38' have curved front walls 81, rather than the straight front walls of the previously described embodiment. This type of construction is specially designed for bracelets adapted to be attached to round watch cases. Apart from the shape of the front walls 81, the construction of the embodiment of FIG. 9 may be identical with that of the previously described embodiment.

It will be appreciated from the above that the structure of the present invention is simple, sturdy and attractive, and performs its desired functions in a highly effective manner. It is nevertheless formed of a minimal number of parts all of which can readily and inexpensively be manufactured.

While but a limited number of embodiments have been here specifically disclosed, it will be apparent that many variations may be made therein, all within the scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

I claim:

1. A variable width end attachment for a bracelet or the like comprising a base plate, a pair of elements laterally slidably mounted on said base plate for movement toward and away from one another, resilient means operatively connected to said elements and urging them laterally away from one another, and a shell operatively connected to said base plate and covering said elements and said resilient means, said elements projecting out laterally beyond and telescoping within said shell, track means on said elements, and parts extending from said shell slidably received in said track means in a tongueand-groove type of interengagement to define therewith a bearing guide for said elements.

2. A variable width end attachment for a bracelet or the like comprising a base plate having first and second longitudinally arranged portions, a pair of elements laterally slidably mounted on said base plate for movement toward and away from one another and each having first and second portions slidable over said first and second base plate portions respectively, resilient means operatively connected to said elements and urging them laterally away from one another, and a shell secured to said base plate and covering said elements and said resilient means, said second portions of said elements projecting out laterally beyond said shell, said shell having a first portion substantially completely covering said first portions of said base plate and elements, said shell having a second portion of appreciably lesser width than said first portion covering only the laterally inner length of said second portions of said elements and in telescoping relation therewith, track means on said second portions of said elements, and parts extending from said first portion of said shell slidably received in said track means in a tongue-and-groove type of interengagement to define therewith a bearing guide for said elements.

3. A variable width end attachment for a bracelet or the like comprising a base plate having first and second longitudinally arranged portions, a pair of elements each comprising a first portion and a second portion laterally offset from said first portion, said second portion comprising a longitudinally inwardly located and upwardly facing track member located above said first element portion, said elements being arranged on said base plate with their first and second portions overlying, and being laterally slidable relative to said first and second base plate portions respectively, their second portions being laterally positioned relative to one another so as. to be movable toward and away from one another, resilient means operatively connected between said first element portions for urging said elements outwardly away from one another, means for limiting the outward movement spaaese of said elements, and a shell secured to said base plate, having a first-portion substantially completely covering said resilient means and said first portions of said base plate andelernents respectively and a second portion of materially lesser width than, and extending out substantiallycentrally of, said first shell portion covering the laterally inner sections .of said second element portions and exposing, the laterally outer sections of said second element portions for all relative positions of said elements, said firstshellportion, laterally of said second shellportion, having depending parts received in said track members of said second element portions, thereby to define therewith a bearing guide for said elements.

4. A variable width end attachment for a bracelet or the like comprising a base plate, a pair of elements lat erallyslidably mounted on said baseplate for movement toward and away from one another, resilient. means operatively, connected to said elements and urging them laterally away from one another, and a shell operatively connected to said base plate and covering said elements and said resilient means, said elements projecting out laterally beyond and telescoping within said shell, said shell havingparts facingdownwardly toward said base plate, said elements having upwardly concave track means extending therefrom, said shell parts being-slidably received in said track means to define therewith a bearing guide forsaid elements. 7

5; A variable width end attachment for a bracelet or the like comprising a base plate having first and second longitudinally arranged portions, a'pair of elements laterally slidably mounted on said base plate for movement towardand away from one another and each having first and second portions slidable over said first and second base plate portions respectively, resilient means operatively connected to said elements and urging them laterallyaway from oneanother, and a shell-secured to said base plate and covering said elements and said resilient means, said secondportions of said elementsprojecting out laterally beyond said shell, said shell having a first portion substantially completely covering said first portions ofsaid base plate and elements, said shell havinga second portion of appreciably lesser width than' said first portion covering only the laterally inner length of said second portions of said elements and in telescoping relation therewith, said shell having parts facing downwardly toward said base plate, said elements having upwardly concave track means) extending therefrom, said shell parts being slidably received in said track means to define therewith a bearing guide for said elements.

6. A variable width end attachment for a bracelet or the like comprising a base plate having-first and second longitudinally arranged portions, a' pair of elements laterally slidably mounted on said base plate for movement toward and away from one another and each having first and second portions slidable over saidfirst and second base plate portions respectively, a spring operatively connected to said elements and urging them laterally away from onetanother, and a shell secured to said base plate and covering said elements and said spring, said second portionsrof said elements projecting out laterally beyond saidfshelL-said shell having a first portion substantially completely covering said first portions of said base plate and elements, said shell having a second portion of ap- V preciably lesser width than said first portion covering only the laterally. inner length of said elements.

Speck July 19, 1955 Boots Sept. 27,.1960

US42115A 1960-07-11 1960-07-11 Variable width end attachment Expired - Lifetime US3030686A (en)

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US42115A US3030686A (en) 1960-07-11 1960-07-11 Variable width end attachment
GB399361A GB901119A (en) 1960-07-11 1961-02-02 Improvements in or relating to variable width end attachment
CH604161A CH392126A (en) 1960-07-11 1961-05-24 In width adjustable fastener of strap ends

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CH (1) CH392126A (en)
GB (1) GB901119A (en)

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