US3095690A - Contact and index system for an electric watch - Google Patents

Contact and index system for an electric watch Download PDF

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US3095690A
US3095690A US801212A US80121259A US3095690A US 3095690 A US3095690 A US 3095690A US 801212 A US801212 A US 801212A US 80121259 A US80121259 A US 80121259A US 3095690 A US3095690 A US 3095690A
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watch
contact
index
wheel
train
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US801212A
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Epperlein Helmut
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Hamilton Watch Co
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Hamilton Watch Co
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G04HOROLOGY
    • G04CELECTROMECHANICAL CLOCKS OR WATCHES
    • G04C3/00Electromechanical clocks or watches independent of other time-pieces and in which the movement is maintained by electric means
    • G04C3/04Electromechanical clocks or watches independent of other time-pieces and in which the movement is maintained by electric means wherein movement is regulated by a balance
    • G04C3/06Electromechanical clocks or watches independent of other time-pieces and in which the movement is maintained by electric means wherein movement is regulated by a balance using electromagnetic coupling between electric power source and balance
    • G04C3/061Electromechanical clocks or watches independent of other time-pieces and in which the movement is maintained by electric means wherein movement is regulated by a balance using electromagnetic coupling between electric power source and balance the balance controlling contacts and mechanically driving the gear-train

Description

July 2, 1963 H. EPPERLEIN 3,095,690
CONTACT AND INDEX SYSTEM FOR AN ELECTRIC WATCH Filed March 25, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. He/muf Epper/e/n 3' a fl/m y/ imfi,
July 2, 1963 H. EPPERLEIN 3,095,690
CONTACT AND INDEX SYSTEM FOR AN ELECTRIC WATCH Filed March 23, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2.
INVENTOR. He/muf E pper/e/n United States Patent 3,095,690 CONTACT AND INDEX SYSTEM FOR AN ELECTRIC WATCH Helrnut Epperlein, Ersingen, near Pforzheim, Germany, assignor to Hamilton Watch Company, Lancaster, Pa.,
a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Mar. 23, 1959, Ser. No. 801,212 Claims. (Cl. 5828) This invention relates to electric watches and more particularly relates to an improved contact and index system for battery operated electric watches of the type utilizing relatively movable coils and magnets wherein the coil is periodically connected to the battery.
In battery operated watches which have been proposed heretofore it has been conventional to provide for magnetic interaction between an element carried by the balance wheel or balance staff and a second element mounted stationarily on the Watch frame. This interaction im pulsed the balance wheel and the balance wheel was utilized to drive an index wheel which in turn provided power for the watch train. In some instances, a coil was mounted on the balance Wheel while, in other instances, a coil was stationarily mounted in the watch and a magnetic member carried by the balance wheel or the balance staff. Some type of contact arrangement was carried by or actuated by the balance stafi during its oscillation so as to periodically energize the coil in both systems to provide for the necessary impulse to the balance wheel in order to sustain it in oscillation.
According to the present invention, it has been found possible to combine in one simple mechanism the functions of the contact system and the index system to provide for efficient performance of both purposes.
It is accordingly a primary object of the present invention to provide in a battery operated electric watch a combined indexing and contact device which provides for contact to the energizable element While at the same time driving the index wheel and watch train.
It is another object of the invention to provide an improved contact and index system of the foregoing type which insures reliable contact with a minimum of arcing.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification and claims and appended drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a contact and index system constructed according to the present invention; and
FIGURE 2 is a vertical section through the con-tact and index system of FIGURE 1.
Referring more particularly to the figures of the drawings there is seen in FIGURE 1 a balance wheel 10 mounted on a balance staff 11 by means of spokes 12. An approximately elliptical coil 13 is attached to the balance wheel in cut-away portions 34 provided beneath the spokes, as is best seen in FIGURE 2. A pair of approximately horseshoe shaped magnets 14 and 15 are mounted diametrically opposite one another with their poles over the coil '13.
Referring now to FIGURE 2, the balance staff 11 carries a sleeve 38 which is insulated therefrom by means of a sleeve 49. The sleeve 38 has an outwardly extending flange 37 which carries a contact pin 16 and an index ice jewel 17, the latter being mounted farther from the balance staff than the former. The balance staff is also connected through a collet to the inner end of a hairspring 35 having its outer end connected to the frame of the watch through an insulating bushing 36.
Referring .to FIGURE 1, an arm 19 having a kidney shaped portion 20 is pivoted to the watch frame on a shaft 18. A pair of pins 21 and 22 extend from the kidney shaped portion 20 and cooperate with the teeth of an index gear 23. A small permanent magnet 24 is mounted in the frame of the watch beneath the ends of the teeth of the index wheel 23 to serve a positioning purpose as will presently become apparent.
The arm 19 carries a spring 25 secured thereto at 26 and extending towards the path of the contact pin 16 carried by the flange 37 on the balance staff 11.
One terminal of the coil 13 carried by the balance wheel is connected to the hairspring 35 and through it to one terminal of the battery. The other terminal of .the coil is connected to the insulated pin contact 16 and through this contact is periodically connected to the battery by means of spring 25 and the frame of the watch.
The operation of the device is as follows: Assuming that the balance wheel 10 is oscillating in a counterclockwise direction, at approximately the mid-point of this oscillation the tip of the index jewel 17 engages the tip of the arm 19 and carries it into the position shown in FIGURE 1. In this position the contact spring 25 makes electrical contact with the pin 16 thereby energizing the coil. This causes the permanent magnet either to attract or repel the coil, depending upon the polarization of the arrangement and causes the balance wheel to be driven further in a counterclockwise direction.
The end of the jewel 17 leaves the end of the arm 19 shortly after energization of the coil and the small permanent magnet 24 moves the index wheel 23 in a clockwise direction to return the arm 19 to its neutral position. The contact between the spring 25 and contact pin \16 is broken at the time that the arm 19 leaves the index jewel 17.
The balance wheel continues its oscillation in a counterclockwise direction until the jewel 17 has reached approximately the point indicated by the arrow 27 in FIGURE 1. The direction of rotation is then reversed and the index jewel 17 engages the right side of the arm 19 to rotate the arm and kidney shaped portion 20 in a counterclockwise direction. During this movement, the spring 25 cannot engage the contact pin 16 and thus the coil is not energized. As the index jewel '17 clears the end of the arm 19 the magnet 24 again returns the arm to its neutral position.
The indexing operation is as follows: During the oscillatory movement of the balance wheel in a counterclockwise direction and the movement of the arm 19 and kidney shaped member 20* in a clockwise direction, the pin 21 on the kidney shaped portion 20 moves downwardly along the side of the tooth 30 of the index wheel almost as far as the base of the tooth 29. This causes the index wheel to rotate counterclockwise in the direction of the arrow 30a. When the index jewel 17 clears the end of the arm 19 the index Wheel 23 returns slightly thereby positioning the arm 19 in its neutral position. When the balance wheel rotates in a clockwise direction 3 to thereby cause the arm 19 and kidney shaped portion to rotate in a counterclockwise direction, the pin 22 approaches the long side of the adjacent tooth and finally comes into contact with it in the vicinity of the tip end of the tooth 32. As the arm 19 moves further in the counterclockwise direction the .pin 22 slides along the side of the tooth 31 and leaves it in the vicinity of the base of the tooth as the arm 19 again reverses its direc tion. The depth and shape of the teeth and the position of the pins 21 and 22 on the kidney shaped par-t 2d are chosen in such a way that the index wheel 23 cannot turn freely more than one tooth contrary to the direction of the arrow 3011 so that the index wheel 23- rotates in reliable synchronization with the movement of the balance wheel in the direction of the arrow 30a.
It is to be recognized that because the tip of the jewel 17 is a greater radial distance from the balance staff than the pin 16 it travels with a greater velocity at the time that it engages the end of the arm 19. Since the outer end of the spring 25 is approximately the same distance from the shaft '18 as is the end of the arm 19, the end of spring 25 moves with the same velocity as is imparted to the end of the arm 19' by the pin 17. This insures that even though the pin 16 and the spring 25 are moving in the same direction during a counterclockwise rotation of the balance wheel, the spring 25 overtakes the contact pin 16 to establish reliable electrical contact.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms Without depkarting from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiment is therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What is claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:
1. In an electric watch adapted to be driven by a battery and having a train, an index wheel connected to drive said train, and an oscillating balance staff carrying one portion of a periodically energized magnetic impulsing system having a second portion mounted on the frame of said watch, wherein the axes of rotation of said train, index wheel and said balance staff are parallel, the improvement comprising; support means on said staff carrying a contact member and a separate spaced cam; and pallet means pivotally mounted on said watch frame for rotation about an axis parallel to said aforementioned axes, and having a first portion positioned for engagement with said cam, a second portion positioned for engagement with said contact member, and a third portion engageable with said index wheel for both driving and indexing said wheel as said staff oscillates, said contact member and pallet member establishing an electrical circuit between said battery and said magnetic impulsing system through said pallet means when said second portion engages said contact member.
2. An electric watch as set out in claim 1 wherein said cam is mounted a greater distance from said staff than said contact member.
3. An electric watch as set out in claim 1 including magnetic means for positioning said pallet means.
4. In an electric watch adapted to :be driven by a battery and having a train, an index wheel connected to drive said train, and an oscillating balance stalf carrying one portion of a periodically energized magnetic impulsing system having a second portion mounted on the frame of said watch, wherein the axes of rotation of said train, index Wheel and balance staff are parallel, the improvement comprising; support means on said staff carrying a contact member and a cam; and pallet means pivotally mounted on said watch frame for rotation about an axis parallel to said aforementioned axes and having a first portion positioned for engagement with said cam, a sec- 4 ond portion positioned for engagement with said contact member, and a third portion engageable with said index wheel for driving said wheel as said staff oscillates, said contact member and pal-let member establishing an electrical circuit between said battery and said magnetic impulsing system through said pallet means when said second portion engages said contact member, said portion engageable with said cam comprising the end of a lever; said portion engageable with said contact member comprising an elongated spring; said portion engageable with said index Wheel comprising a pair of spaced parallel pins, and said pallet means being mounted on a shaft which constitutes part of said electrical circuit.
5. An electric watch-as set out in claim 4 wherein said cam is mounted a greater distance from said staff than said contact member.
6. An electric Watch as defined in claim 4 wherein said lever is a rigid member.
7. In an electric watch adapted to be driven by a battery and having a train, an index wheel connected to drive said train, and an oscillating balance staff carrying one portion of a periodically energized magnetic impulsing system having a second portion mounted on the frame of said watch, wherein the axes of rotation of said train, index wheel and balance stall are parallel, the improvement comprising; support means on said staff carrying a contact member and a cam; and pallet means pivotally mounted on said watch frame for rotation about an axis parallel to said aforementioned axes and having a first portion positioned for engagement with said cam, a second portion positioned for engagement with said contact member, and a third portion engageable with said index wheel for driving said wheel as said staff oscillates, said contact member and pallet member establishing an electrical circuit between said battery and said magnetic impulsing system through said pallet means when said second portion engages said contact member, and magnetic means for positioning said pallet means, said magnetic means being effective to reposition said pallet means to a neutral position during the oscillation of said staff in a given direction and before said staff begins to oscillate in the opposite direction.
8. An electric watch as defined in claim 7 wherein said index wheel has teeth and wherein said pallet means is repositioned to its neutral position by action of said magnetic means on said teeth.
9. An electric watch as defined in claim 8 wherein said third portion of said pallet means comprises a pair of spaced parallel pins, the teeth of said index Wheel being effective to reposition said pallet means to its neutral position by engagement of said teeth with one of said pins upon action of said magnetic means on said teeth.
10. In an electric watch adapted to be driven by a battery and having a train, an index wheel connected to drive said train, and an oscillating balance staff carrying one portion of a periodically energized magnetic impulsing system having a second portion mounted on the frame of said watch, wherein the axes of rotation of said train, index wheel and balance staff are parallel, the improvement comprising; support means on said stafl? carrying a contact member and a cam; and pallet means pivotally mounted on said watch frame for rotation about an axis parallel to said aforementioned axes and having a first portion positioned tor engagement with said cam, a second portion positioned for engagement with said contact member, and a third portion engageable with said index wheel for driving said Wheel as said staff oscillates, said contact member and pallet member establishing an electrical circuit between said battery and said magnetic impulsing system through said pallet means when said second portion engages said contact member, said cam being mounted a greater distance from said staff than said contact member, said first portion being a lever, said second portion being a spring fixed relative to said lever, said lever and spring being rotatable together about a common axis of rotation, whereby during movement of said lever in one direction by engagement with said cam, said contact member will move in the same direction as said spring but at a lesser velocity so that said spring overtakes and contacts said contact member.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 6 Van Horn et a1. Sept. 17, 1957 Fritsch Mar. 1, 1960 Beyner et a1. Dec. 20, 1960 Bierniller et a1. Apr. 4, 1961 FOREIGN PATENTS France July 24, 1928 France Aug. 13, 19218 Great Britain Feb. 22, 1938 Germany May 14, 194 1 France Dec. 2, '1953

Claims (1)

1. IN AN ELECTRIC WATCH ADAPTED TO BE DRIVEN BY A BATTERY AND HAVING A TRAIN, AN INDEX WHEEL CONNECTED TO DRIVE SAID TRAIN, AND AN OSCILLATING BALANCE STAFF CARRYING ONE PORTION OF A PERIODICALLY ENERGIZED MAGNETIC IMPULSING SYSTEM HAVING A SECOND PORTION MOUNTED ON THE FRAME OF SAID WATCH, WHEREIN THE AXES OF ROTATION OF SAID TRAIN, INDEX WHEEL AND SAID BALANCE STAFF ARE PARALLEL, THE IMPROVEMENT COMPRISING; SUPPORT MEANS ON SAID STAFF CARRYING A CONTACT MEMBER AND A SEPARATE SPACED CAM; AND PALLET MEANS PIVOTALLY MOUNTED ON SAID WATCH FRAME FOR ROTATION ABOUT AN AXIS PARALLEL TO SAID AFOREMENTIONED AXES, AND HAVING A FIRST PORTION POSITIONED FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH SAID CAM, A SECOND PORTION POSITIONED ENGAGEMENT WITH SAID CONTACT MEMBER, AND A THIRD PORTION
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Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3298170A (en) * 1964-08-24 1967-01-17 United States Time Corp Dial train drive
US3396531A (en) * 1964-08-24 1968-08-13 United States Time Corp Dial train drive
US3462942A (en) * 1962-11-03 1969-08-26 Us Time Corp The Dial train drive
US3783600A (en) * 1971-07-29 1974-01-08 Junghans Gmbh Geb Electromechanic driving mechanism for the hands of a timepiece
US3816779A (en) * 1973-03-29 1974-06-11 Gen Time Corp Bistable electromechanical transducer

Citations (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR647217A (en) * 1927-02-21 1928-11-21 Ets Tecalemit Sa Electro-magnetic device for actuating pendulums of watches, clocks and other similar instruments
FR648393A (en) * 1927-06-22 1928-12-08 Electro-magnetic clock mechanism
GB480407A (en) * 1936-04-10 1938-02-22 Auxiliaire Pour Le Dev D Ind M Improvements in electric watches
US2195311A (en) * 1936-11-27 1940-03-26 Gen Electric Novelty pendulum mechanism
DE705966C (en) * 1936-04-22 1941-05-14 Versuchsanstalt Fuer Luftfahrt Speed regulator for timing instruments
US2495858A (en) * 1941-05-29 1950-01-31 Marti Fritz Electrical movement for timekeepers
US2644293A (en) * 1949-03-02 1953-07-07 Gen Time Corp Electric clock
FR1062190A (en) * 1952-08-25 1954-04-20 Manuf Horlogerie Bethune Electrically serviced watch movement with power reserve
US2806908A (en) * 1954-01-27 1957-09-17 Hamilton Watch Co Contact mechanism for battery operated watch
US2926534A (en) * 1956-12-31 1960-03-01 Hamilton Watch Co Index mechanism
US2964901A (en) * 1958-03-06 1960-12-20 Ebauches Sa Lever escapement for timepieces
US2977750A (en) * 1957-01-02 1961-04-04 Hamilton Watch Co Indexing mechanism

Patent Citations (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR647217A (en) * 1927-02-21 1928-11-21 Ets Tecalemit Sa Electro-magnetic device for actuating pendulums of watches, clocks and other similar instruments
FR648393A (en) * 1927-06-22 1928-12-08 Electro-magnetic clock mechanism
GB480407A (en) * 1936-04-10 1938-02-22 Auxiliaire Pour Le Dev D Ind M Improvements in electric watches
DE705966C (en) * 1936-04-22 1941-05-14 Versuchsanstalt Fuer Luftfahrt Speed regulator for timing instruments
US2195311A (en) * 1936-11-27 1940-03-26 Gen Electric Novelty pendulum mechanism
US2495858A (en) * 1941-05-29 1950-01-31 Marti Fritz Electrical movement for timekeepers
US2644293A (en) * 1949-03-02 1953-07-07 Gen Time Corp Electric clock
FR1062190A (en) * 1952-08-25 1954-04-20 Manuf Horlogerie Bethune Electrically serviced watch movement with power reserve
US2806908A (en) * 1954-01-27 1957-09-17 Hamilton Watch Co Contact mechanism for battery operated watch
US2926534A (en) * 1956-12-31 1960-03-01 Hamilton Watch Co Index mechanism
US2977750A (en) * 1957-01-02 1961-04-04 Hamilton Watch Co Indexing mechanism
US2964901A (en) * 1958-03-06 1960-12-20 Ebauches Sa Lever escapement for timepieces

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3462942A (en) * 1962-11-03 1969-08-26 Us Time Corp The Dial train drive
US3298170A (en) * 1964-08-24 1967-01-17 United States Time Corp Dial train drive
US3396531A (en) * 1964-08-24 1968-08-13 United States Time Corp Dial train drive
US3783600A (en) * 1971-07-29 1974-01-08 Junghans Gmbh Geb Electromechanic driving mechanism for the hands of a timepiece
US3816779A (en) * 1973-03-29 1974-06-11 Gen Time Corp Bistable electromechanical transducer

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