Regulating Means Patents (Class 368/184)
  • Patent number: 8942067
    Abstract: A mechanism for displaying and correcting a state of two different time measurable quantities for a timepiece includes a movement driving a first display mechanism to display a first measurable time quantity and a second display mechanism to display a second measurable time quantity, and including an adjusting member. The first and second display mechanisms respectively include first and second drive mechanisms sharing a common drive mechanism driven by the movement, and controlling a driving of one of the display mechanisms by instantaneous jumps and of the other by dragging. The display mechanisms respectively include a first and a second correction mechanism, sharing a common correction mechanism driven by the adjusting member independent of the common drive mechanism, including a friction safety device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Omega S.A.
    Inventor: Ivan Villar
  • Patent number: 8714812
    Abstract: Disclosed is an electronic timepiece, comprising: a second hand and a minute hand; a stepping motor which performs a stepping drive of the hands; a rotating body which includes a target section, and rotates with the second hand; a detection section which detects an existence of the target section; a detection control section which makes the detection section operate by every rotation period, to make the detection section detect the existence of the target section at a first timing and at a second timing; a hand position counter which counts estimated positions of the hands based on the number of drive times of the stepping motor; a counted value holding section capable of temporarily holding a value of the hand position counter; a counted value saving section which makes the counted value holding section hold the value; and a counted value correcting section which corrects the value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: May 6, 2014
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Nobuhiro Aoki
  • Publication number: 20140056113
    Abstract: A mechanical timepiece movement, including a spiral spring, a barrel, the spiral spring accommodated in the barrel as an energy storage, the barrel transmitting energy of the spiral spring by a gear train to an oscillator, the oscillator including a balance as a regulating device, and a mechanism configured to reduce a torque generated by the barrel to reduce loss of energy stored in the spiral spring.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 22, 2013
    Publication date: February 27, 2014
    Applicant: Audemars Piguet (Renaud et Papi) SA
    Inventors: Sylvain CORNIBÉ, Eddy VALLADON
  • Publication number: 20130336096
    Abstract: Device (100) for displaying a magnitude on an oscillating weight (1) for a self-winding timepiece movement (10) comprising a means (20) of displaying said magnitude by comparison to a complementary display means (30). Said display means (20) pivots coaxially to said oscillating weight (1), and is subject to a general pivoting motion resulting from the combination of a first pivoting motion synchronous with that of said oscillating weight (1), and a second pivoting motion resulting from said display means (20) being pivoted by said movement (10) relative to said complementary display means (30) integral with said oscillating weight (1). Oscillating weight (1) including such a device (100). Self-winding watch including an oscillating weight (1) comprising such a device (100), and whose motions are transmitted to a mainspring of said watch.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 11, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventors: Bernhard Grossenbacher, Nicolas Debaud
  • Publication number: 20130258819
    Abstract: Method of determining a motion of continuous variable velocity for display means, comprising a step of establishing a model of at least one simulated mechanical force and/or torque value from values measured by a sensor, and a second step of solving a newton equation of motion from these simulated mechanical force and/or torque values, wherein the second step allows a simulated velocity to be calculated for the display means.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2011
    Publication date: October 3, 2013
    Applicant: THE SWATCH GROUP RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT LTD
    Inventor: David Hoover
  • Publication number: 20130250737
    Abstract: Mechanism (1) for displaying and correcting the state of two different time measurable quantities for a timepiece (1000) including a movement (2) driving a first display mechanism (3) a first measurable time quantity and a second display mechanism (4) a second measurable time quantity and including an adjusting member (50). Said first (3) and second (4) display mechanisms respectively include a first (30) and a second (40) drive mechanisms sharing a common drive mechanism (10) driven by said movement (2), and controlling the driving of one of said display mechanisms (4; 3) by instantaneous jumps and of the other (3; 4) by dragging. The display mechanisms respectively include a first (300) and a second (400) correction mechanism, sharing a common correction mechanism (100) driven by said adjusting member (50) independent of said common drive mechanism (10), including a friction safety device (54).
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Publication date: September 26, 2013
    Applicant: Omega S.A.
    Inventor: Ivan VILLAR
  • Publication number: 20130121116
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus for controlling an electronic stop watch. The apparatus comprises a controller and a transmission media. The controller includes a keyboard for inputting a datum and an output port outputting the datum to the electronic stopwatch. The transmission media connects the electronic stopwatch with the controller, through one of a wire connection and a wireless connection.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 9, 2012
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Applicant: ECHOWELL ELECTRONIC CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Yung Wen Lee
  • Patent number: 8328414
    Abstract: This timepiece is provided with a device for the adjustment of functions and time indications comprising a selection control (L) for each time indication which has to be adjusted and a control (T) for adjustment of the said selected time indications. At least the selection control (L) or the indication which has to be adjusted is kinematically linked with a selection cam (C1) comprising a profile corresponding to two states 0, 1, corresponding to a non-selection state and a selection state respectively, the control device comprising means (L1, L2, L3) for connecting the adjustment control (T) to each of the selected time indications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: Rolex S.A.
    Inventors: Pierre-Alain Graemiger, Arnaud Rosenzweig
  • Publication number: 20120082010
    Abstract: This spiral-spring and balance wheel regulating member includes a shaft mounted pivotably on the frame of a timepiece. The spiral spring includes at least one blade, whose inner end is designed to be fixed to the pivot shaft and whose outer end is made in one piece with a member (2) for connection to the frame, the rigidity of this connecting member being substantially greater than that of the spiral. The connecting member (2), on one hand, and the frame (9) or a member (6) for the angular positioning of the regulating member on the frame, on the other hand, both have respective bearing surfaces which are at least partially complementary, and fixing means are used to join these complementary bearing surfaces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 29, 2011
    Publication date: April 5, 2012
    Applicant: ROLEX S.A.
    Inventors: Benoît Boulenguiez, Eric Jolidon
  • Patent number: 7980756
    Abstract: This timepiece is provided with a device for the adjustment of functions and time indications comprising a selection control (L) for each time indication which has to be adjusted and a control (T) for adjustment of the said selected time indications. At least the selection control (L) or the indication which has to be adjusted is kinematically linked with a selection cam (C1) comprising a profile corresponding to two states 0, 1, corresponding to a non-selection state and a selection state respectively, the control device comprising means (L1, L2, L3) for connecting the adjustment control (T) to each of the selected time indications.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2008
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2011
    Assignee: Rolex S.A.
    Inventors: Pierre-Alain Graemiger, Arnaud Rosenzweig
  • Patent number: 7911326
    Abstract: A master generator that updates time data of remote devices comprises an acquisition module, a clock module, an encoding module, and a transmission module. The acquisition module acquires time data representing current time of day. The clock module receives and stores the time data from the acquisition module and periodically updates the time data. The encoding module encodes the time data from the clock module into time messages. The transmission module selectively superimposes the time messages onto a power signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: Marvell World Trade Ltd.
    Inventor: Sehat Sutardja
  • Patent number: 7889028
    Abstract: The coupled resonator comprises a first low frequency resonator, such as a balance spring (1) and a second higher frequency resonator, such as a tuning fork (2), the two resonators (1 and 2) including permanent mechanical coupling means. Application to the regulating system of a timepiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2011
    Assignee: The Swatch Group Research and Development Ltd
    Inventors: Thierry Hessler, Kaspar Trümpy
  • Publication number: 20100202623
    Abstract: A lightweight radio/CD player for vehicular application is virtually “fastenerless” and includes a case and frontal interface formed of polymer based material that is molded to provide details to accept audio devices such as playback mechanisms (if desired) and radio receivers, as well as the circuit boards required for electrical control and display. The case and frontal interface are of composite structure, including an insert molded electrically conductive wire mesh screen that has been pre-formed to contour with the molding operation. The wire mesh provides EMC, RFI, BCI and ESD shielding and grounding of the circuit boards via exposed wire mesh pads and adjacent ground clips. The PCB architecture is bifurcated into a first board carrying common circuit components in a surface mount configuration suitable for high volume production, and a second board carrying application specific circuit components in a wave soldered stick mount configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 21, 2010
    Publication date: August 12, 2010
    Inventors: Chris R. Snider, Vineet Gupta, Joseph K. Huntzinger, Michael G. Coady, Curtis Allen Stapert, Kevin Earl Meyer, Timothy D. Garner, Jeffrey T. Bell, Robert L. Vadas, Donald G. Moeschberger, Allen E. Oberlin, Paul C. Burton, Dan D. Carman, Gary L Stahl, John Michael Matly, Rick L. Hatcher, Edgar Glenn Hassler, Quan N. Nguyen, William R. Reed, Kip R. Piel, Jerry J. Wendling, Tim A. Kenworthy, Paul A. Uglum, Michael F. Fye, Philip M. Scott
  • Patent number: 7731416
    Abstract: During normal use, the time indicator (2) is driven by a mechanism (3) controlled by the gear train (4) of the timepiece. This mechanism is arranged for uncoupling the gear train from the indicator when the time-setting member (1) is actuated, this action causing the indicator to move forward through a step of one hour. The time-setting member includes a push-button (5) which actuates a device (6) that in turn acts on said mechanism (3).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Compagnie des Montres Longines, Francillon S.A.
    Inventors: Olivier Mahler, Alphonse Bron
  • Publication number: 20100070687
    Abstract: The invention relates to a procedure for accessing a non-volatile watch memory, the watch comprising two supply terminals accessible from the outside that define a potential difference corresponding to a standard supply voltage, and a control circuit of the non-volatile memory produced using a technology supporting a predefined maximum supply voltage, the access procedure consisting of transmitting the following to the control circuit of the non-volatile memory by means of a supply terminal of the watch: a) an opening key to authorise access to the non-volatile memory; b) an instruction for access to the non-volatile memory; the procedure being characterised in that the opening key is a predefined instruction transmitted by modulation of the standard supply voltage such that this does not exceed the predefined maximum supply voltage.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 18, 2008
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Applicant: EM MICROELECTRONIC-MARIN SA
    Inventor: Pinchas Novac
  • Publication number: 20100014389
    Abstract: The present invention can rotationally drive a motor with main drive pulses corresponding to loads with the simple constitution without using a counter circuit. A control circuit, in driving a motor with a second main drive pulse, when a rotation detection signal which is indicative of the rotation of the motor is detected by a rotation detection circuit after a predetermined reference time elapses, continues rotational driving of the motor with the second main drive pulse, when the rotation detection signal is detected before the predetermined reference time elapses, changes the rotational driving of the motor with a first main drive pulse having a shorter pulse width than the second main drive pulse, and when the rotation detection signal is not detected, forcibly rotationally drives the motor with a correction drive pulse having a largest pulse width and, thereafter, rotationally drives the motor with the first main drive pulse.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2009
    Publication date: January 21, 2010
    Inventors: Saburo Manaka, Kenji Ogasawara
  • Publication number: 20090296533
    Abstract: A solar panel determines whether or not a wristwatch is in darkness. When the darkness has continued for a predetermined time period, e.g., for 61-70 minutes, it is determined that the wristwatch is not in use and set in a sleep state. Out of seconds, center and hour hands, at least the seconds hand is rotated to a reference position (00-second position) and stopped, and positions of the center and hour hands are detected. Therefore, power consumption during can be reduced when the wristwatch is not in use.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 27, 2009
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Applicant: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tadashi KOJIMA
  • Publication number: 20090296534
    Abstract: When detecting a rotational position of a seconds hand, it is determined whether data stored in a register in correspondence with a supply state of a drive current previously supplied to a coil of a stepping motor is “0”. When the data is “0”, the rotational position of the seconds hand is optically detected. When the data is “1”, the seconds hand is rotated one step, and then, the rotational position of the seconds hand is optically detected. Even though the seconds hand is shifted one second, the position detection is executed every two steps.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 28, 2009
    Publication date: December 3, 2009
    Applicant: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Tadashi Kojima, Nobuhiro Aoki
  • Patent number: 7539890
    Abstract: A clock object is provides, which includes a clock time and a monotonic time that are readable by the electronic device. The monotonic time is incremented every read of the monotonic time from the clock object. The clock object can also include an indication of a level of trust of the clock time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 26, 2009
    Assignee: Seagate Technology LLC
    Inventor: Robert H. Thibadeau
  • Patent number: 7517138
    Abstract: Control device for a watch movement having a part rotatably movable around an axis A. The device is associated with a watch case (11) and has a lock (25) actuatable from outside the watch. The lock is movably mounted in translation to the periphery of the watch case (11). The device also has a movably mounted plate (30) which is rotatable around an axis D inside the watch case and is kinematically connected to the lock. An arm (34) is pivotable around and axis B, whose first end is placed on the plate in such a way that it is freely rotatable around an axis C non-merging with the axis D and whose other end is fixed to the part for driving the movement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2009
    Assignee: Bruno Affolter S.A.
    Inventor: Alain Guyot
  • Patent number: 7350968
    Abstract: A watch case for an analog watch movement has a housing and a setting ring in a rotatably moveable and axially slideable relationship. The setting ring is coupled with a setting stem of the analog watch for rotation of the setting stem by rotation of the setting ring and for axial movement of the setting stem by orthogonal axial movement of the setting ring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 1, 2008
    Inventor: Alexander Meerovitsch
  • Publication number: 20080025155
    Abstract: A receiving circuit is provided with an amplifier circuit for amplifying the electric signal received by an antenna circuit, a frequency converter/detector circuit for converting a frequency of the electric signal amplified by the amplifier circuit to acquire an intermediate frequency signal, and for detecting the intermediate frequency signal to acquire a demodulated signal, and a filter circuit for removing an intermediate frequency component from the demodulated signal acquired by the frequency converter/detector circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 23, 2007
    Publication date: January 31, 2008
    Applicant: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Kaoru Someya
  • Patent number: 6935773
    Abstract: An operating unit adapted to be incorporated into a watch with a main setting device, which comprises at least two engagement positions, namely one rest position and at least one pulled position, and with at least one auxiliary setting device. The invention is also concerned with all types of watches suitable for the integration of such an operating unit and comprising the unit, in particular a world time watch with an analogue indication of the time of the day and of a corresponding location for different time zones with an offset relative to the local time by a multiple of an hour or of half an hour and thus allowing a simultaneous and reliable reading of the time of the day for the indicated time zones and a simple, fast and reliable operation and setting of the watch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2005
    Assignee: Richemont International SA
    Inventors: Ferdinand Speichinger, Denis Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 6918694
    Abstract: A control mechanism adapted to be incorporated into a watch with a main setting device, which comprises at least two engagement positions, namely one rest position and at least one pulled position, and with at least one auxiliary setting device. The invention is also concerned with all types of watches suitable for the integration of such a control mechanism and comprising the mechanism, in particular a world time watch with an analogue indication of the time of the day and of a corresponding location for different time zones with an offset relative to the local time by a multiple of an hour or of half an hour, which thus allows a simultaneous and reliable reading of the time of the day for the indicated time zones and which, in particular, avoids inadvertent modification of the settings of the watch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2005
    Assignee: Richemont International SA
    Inventors: Ferdinand Speichinger, Denis Zimmermann
  • Patent number: 6781923
    Abstract: A method for tracking total usage time of an electronic device comprising the steps of evaluating a predetermined usage increment timer until a predetermined time period expires, incrementing a total-usage counter, resetting the timer to measure a next occurrence of the predetermined time period, repeating the aforementioned steps and outputting the value representing the total usage time of the device. A multi-mode electronic device that carries out the aforementioned method is also provided. Still further, the present invention provides a method of and device for tracking total usage time or number of activations of any feature or mode within the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Assignee: Timex Group B.V.
    Inventor: Ronald S. Lizzi
  • Patent number: 6739747
    Abstract: A dry supplement injection system produces a supplement slurry which is continuously introduced into a flow of irrigation water. The injection system includes a hopper having a cylindrical upper portion and a tapered lower portion terminating at a slurry outlet opening. An inverted perforated funnel assembly is disposed within the hopper. A spray nozzle connected to a water inlet pipe sprays water onto the inner surface of the funnel such that particles of micronized supplement in the hopper are washed through the perforated funnel forming a slurry. A mixing pan disposed below the hopper acts as a reservoir to hold slurry until pumped out through a slurry pump which pumps the slurry into a pressurized irrigation water pipe. Gravity feed of the slurry may replace the slurry pump for applications where the irrigation water is non-pressurized such as flood irrigation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2004
    Inventor: John P. Millward
  • Publication number: 20040013047
    Abstract: An electronically controlled mechanical timepiece, which is an electronic apparatus, includes a generator driven by a mainspring to generate electrical energy, and a rotation controlling unit driven by the electrical energy to control the rotation rate of the generator. The rotation controlling unit includes a brake controlling unit that compares a rotation detection signal indicative of the rotation rate of the generator with a reference signal to control braking on the generator, and a generator halting unit that applies a brake and halts the generator if the braking amount applied to the generator in a predetermined time is smaller than, or equal to, a first predetermined braking value. Because the generator is halted if a predetermined amount of cumulative brake applications are applied within the predetermined time, the generator is not halted in response to temporary disturbances while it is assuredly halted when the rotation becomes slow.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 1, 2002
    Publication date: January 22, 2004
    Inventors: Eisaku Shimizu, Kunio Koike, Hidenori Nakamura
  • Patent number: 6669361
    Abstract: A method for enabling or disabling mode functions in a multimode electronic device is provided. The method comprises the steps of selecting a mode enabling/disabling mode from a plurality of modes by initiating activation of the mode selecting mechanism until the mode enabling/disabling mode is exhibited, causing the integrated circuit to enter the mode enabling/disabling mode, exhibiting at least mode function indicators for at least one of the exhibited mode functions within the plurality of modes as the mode selecting mechanism is cycling through the display of mode functions, and selecting the mode function for which enabling or disabling is desired and initiating the switching of the mode function from one of disabled to enabled if the mode function was disabled or one of enabled to disabled if the mode function was enabled. An electronic device that can carry out the foregoing methodology is also provided. In a preferred embodiment, the electronic device is a timepiece and specifically, a wristwatch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: Times Group B.V.
    Inventor: Ronald S. Lizzi
  • Patent number: 6584040
    Abstract: To provide an electronic timepiece enabling reliable detection of a state of rotation of an indication wheel such as a date dial. An ultrasonic motor 1130 has an ultrasonic rotor pinion 1134b. A date dial 1120 is disposed on a main plate 1102 in such a way as to rotate relative thereto. The ultrasonic rotor pinion 1134b is meshed with an intermediate date driving gear wheel 1142a. A date driving wheel 1150 is rotatably disposed on the main plate 1102. A date driving gear wheel 1150b is meshed with an intermediate date driving pinion 1142b. A date driving gear portion 1150b is meshed with a dial gear portion 1120a. A contact point spring 1160 is disposed on a spring guiding portion 1150d. The contact point spring 1160 rotates integrally with the date driving wheel 1150 through the rotation of the date driving wheel 1150. The state of rotation of the date driving wheel 1150 can be detected by contact of the contact point spring 1160 with the contact point pattern 1174.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Kenichi Nakajima, Takayuki Satodate, Akihiro Matouge, Akihiko Inada, Mitsuru Ishii, Yoshio Koyama, Shigeo Suzuki, Masayuki Kawata, Yuko Sasaki, Eriko Takakuwa
  • Patent number: 6582118
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece has a wheel train mounted for undergoing rotation and a transmission wheel for undergoing rotation in accordance with rotation of the wheel train. A contact point spring is connected to the transmission wheel for rotation therewith. The contact point spring extends substantially linearly through a rotational center of the transmission wheel. First and second detection patterns contact the contact point spring during rotation of the transmission wheel to generate a rotational position detecting signal corresponding to a rotational position of the transmission wheel. The first and second detection patterns are disposed at an angle of substantially 180 degree relative to the rotational center of the transmission wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventors: Kenichi Nakajima, Takayuki Satodate, Akihiro Matouge, Akihiko Inada, Mitsuru Ishii, Yoshio Koyama, Shigeo Suzuki, Masayuki Kawata, Yuko Sasaki, Eriko Takakuwa
  • Publication number: 20030002392
    Abstract: Electronic module for regulation of a watch movement with mechanical winding, comprising a generator (1) permitting converting the mechanical energy supplied by said mechanical watch movement into a measuring signal (G+; G−) and an electronic circuit (11) supplied by said generator. The electronic circuit comprises an energy dissipation circuit (9) permitting applying at least two separate braking couples more than zero to said generator (1).
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2002
    Publication date: January 2, 2003
    Applicant: CONSEILS ET MANUFACTURES VLG SA
    Inventors: Eric Klein, Konrad Schafroth
  • Publication number: 20020140547
    Abstract: An apparatus and method of clock synchronization of a powerline modem network for a plurality of devices are provided. A plurality of devices are provided having a powerline modem and a clock (100). The powerline modem permits communication between the plurality of devices over a powerline network. A synchronization message is provided over the powerline network (102). The synchronization message includes an instruction for each of the plurality of devices to update their clock in accordance with a clock time provided in the synchronization message (104). A synchronization device may be provided to update device clocks on a powerline network.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 3, 2001
    Publication date: October 3, 2002
    Inventors: Louis Roberts Litwin, Kumar Ramaswamy
  • Patent number: 6453512
    Abstract: Control button having a metal body (10) provided along its axis with a blind hole (16) closed by a cap (18) and extended by a wall (14) of revolution. The body (10) includes a groove (20) made in the outer surface of the wall (14) and channels (26) connecting said surface to the inside of the blind hole (16). The button further includes a fitting (12) made of synthetic material, formed of a ring (28) closing the groove and extended radially by raised portions (34) as far as the openings of the channels (26) in the wall (14) of a radial structure with several branches (30) closing the channels (26), and a core (32) connecting the branches (30) to secure between them the different parts (28, 30, 32, 34) of the fitting (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2000
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2002
    Assignee: Eta SA Fabriques d′Ebauches
    Inventors: Laurent Kaelin, Paolo Pesenti
  • Patent number: 6367966
    Abstract: A fourth wheel 8 disposed in a torque transmission path and to which a second hand is mounted includes a pinion 8a and a gear 8b. Therefore, when the gear 8b engages a fifth-wheel first intermediate wheel 9, the diametrical dimension from a center of rotation of the fourth wheel 8 to a portion where it engages the fifth-wheel first intermediate wheel 9 can be made large, so that, even when the fourth wheel 8 is decentered, the amount by which the second hand gets shifted can be made small by making the effects of the decentering at the center-of-rotation side small. In addition, since the fourth wheel 8 is disposed so as not to overlap a mainspring 1a, the width of the mainspring 1a can be made correspondingly small. Thus, the length of time a timepiece continues operating can be increased by increasing the torque of the mainspring 1a without increasing the thickness of the entire timepiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2002
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Tatsuo Hara
  • Patent number: 6304518
    Abstract: A clockworks, a timepiece and a method for operating a timepiece. The timepiece comprises a housing providing a face, the face having indicators corresponding to respective time increments, a plurality of hands rotatably supported on the face, the plurality of hands being rotatably positionable relative to the indicators to indicate a time, one of the plurality of hands being a sweep hand, and the clockworks supported by the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2001
    Assignee: Quartex division of Primex Inc.
    Inventor: Terrence J. O'Neill
  • Patent number: 5270993
    Abstract: The device for performing the method for detecting the zero position of a hand of a quartz watch with analogue display enables a beam of light to be generated and directed onto a reflective surface integral with a moving part bearing the hand, the reflected beam to be received on a detector and the position for which the output signal of the detector is maximal to be determined to make it correspond to the zero position of the hand when assembling the watch. This device comprises a source (1) emitting a beam of light (2) and a receiver (3) which intercepts the reflected beam (4) returned by a very reflective area (5). This area is integral with a surface of a moving part (6), for example the wheel bearing the second hand and, depending on the position of this wheel, the reflective surface may occupy a position (5) or an adjacent position (5') staggered by less than one step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1993
    Assignee: Montres Rolex S.A.
    Inventors: Rene Besson, Claude-Eric Leuenberger
  • Patent number: 5253231
    Abstract: This invention concerns a braking arrangement for a gear wheel. The purpose of the invention is to brake the last wheel in a gear train in order to avoid the latter rotating through unequal angular steps. Such purpose is achieved with the help of an element forming a brake (1) fixed onto a first wheel set (2) of a gear train in a manner to be driven in rotation by the latter, such element (1) exhibiting a friction surface (39) at its periphery brought to bear elastically onto a second wheel set (6) meshing with the first so as to brake such second wheel set (6). The invention is more especially applied to horological and chronograph gearing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1993
    Assignee: Eta SA Fabriques d'Ebauches
    Inventor: Cyril Vuilleumier
  • Patent number: 5155695
    Abstract: An improved system for providing ensemble time from an ensemble of oscillators is provided. In the system, a more complete ensemble definition permits a more accurate ensemble time to be calculated. The system takes into account at least weighted time and weighted frequency aspects or weighted time and weighted frequency aging aspects of each oscillator in the ensemble. Preferably, the system takes into account all of the weighted time aspects, weighted frequency aspect, and weighted frequency aging aspects for each oscillator in the ensemble. The weights with respect to each clock can be chosen to be either zero or any positive value such that the sum of the weights for each aspect sum to one. The system can be implemented using a Kalman approach.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 15, 1990
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1992
    Assignee: Timing Solutions Corporation
    Inventor: Samuel R. Stein
  • Patent number: 4933920
    Abstract: The sidereal clock comprises a digital clock portion having a 60-Hz pulse source operating at line frequency of 60-Hz. It contains a means for periodically changing logic state at the 50/60-Hz select input of the prescale counter so that the digital clock portion is periodically changed during a period equal to 2922 clock pulses from the 60 Hz operation mode to the 50 Hz operation mode for a time interval equal to 40 clock pulses. During this time interval the prescale counter actually registers 6 counts for every 5 pulses received so that the digital clock portion runs fast by a factor of 2930/2922 and measures sidereal time. The means for changing logic state at the 50/60-Hz select input may comprise a ripple counter connected electrically to a plurality of gating circuits of first and second gating integrated circuits and a monostable multivibrator all of which are energized by the DC of the digital clock portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 1988
    Date of Patent: June 12, 1990
    Inventor: Irwin Sternberg
  • Patent number: 4657407
    Abstract: A clock construction and method for making the same are provided, the clock construction comprising a frame, an interval timer carried by the frame, and a selector shaft rotatably carried by the frame while being axially movable relative thereto and being operatively interconnected to the timer to set the same to a selected time period upon rotation of the selector shaft. The timer has a cam member rotatably disposed on the shaft and has a slot in one side thereof. The shaft has a drive member disposed in the slot to rotate the cam member in unison with rotation of the shaft in any axial position of the shaft. A spring is disposed between the frame and the drive member to tend to maintain the shaft in one axial position thereof. The spring is confined completely within the slot of the cam in all axial positions of the shaft relative to the frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 1984
    Date of Patent: April 14, 1987
    Assignee: Robertshaw Controls Company
    Inventor: Jay L. Lewis
  • Patent number: 4645357
    Abstract: A timepiece receives an externally transmitted radio signal corresponding to an accurate time of day. Disposed within the timepiece is a detecting mechanism for detecting the time of day being displayed by the timepiece. The signals are compared to determine the accuracy of the timepiece. The detection mechanism comprises an optoelectrical system which includes an emitter for directing a beam of radiation toward the sensor. The wheels of the gearworks intersect the beam ahead of the sensor to normally block the beam from the sensor. The wheels include orifices which, when aligned with the beam, permit the beam to reach the sensor, thereby providing an indication of the position of the wheels, and thus of the time being displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 24, 1987
    Assignee: Junghans Uhren GmbH
    Inventors: Jurgen Allgaier, Wolfgang Ganter, Hans Flaig
  • Patent number: 4555185
    Abstract: This mechanism is intended for time setting of an analog mechanical display in a timepiece. It comprises a manually operable crowned stem (1) arranged to be toggled into at least two axial positions the active one of which is drawn-out relative to the neutral pushed-in position. The stem is provided with a toothed pinion (3) which meshes with an axially displaceable pinion (6). Such pinions are placed side-by-side and a mechanism including a trigger piece (9), a rocking lever (10) and a slider (21) slaves the axially displaceable pinion to the stem. The arrangement is compact and readily integrated into a thin timepiece.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1983
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1985
    Assignee: Omega SA
    Inventor: Cyril Vuilleumier
  • Patent number: 4549154
    Abstract: A switching control device having a plurality of displaceable fingers programmable for controlling a sequence of switching operations in a time-controlled system has a magnetic element for exerting a magnetically retentive force on displaced fingers to hold the displaced fingers in displaced or programmed position, and permitting easy release of a displaced finger upon cancellation of a program so that the finger can return to an unprogrammed neutral position. The fingers may be mounted in a control disc having a permanent magnet or an electromagnet, the control disc functioning as a magnetic yoke, or the fingers themselves may be magnetic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1985
    Date of Patent: October 22, 1985
    Assignee: Dieter Graesslin Feinwerktechnik
    Inventor: Friedrich X. Thoma
  • Patent number: 4417820
    Abstract: Electronic clocks with analog time displays and a vibrating quartz crystal (1) as a time standard, as well as electronic frequency dividers (6, 7). The display elements are driven by an electronically controlled motor (SM), said motor comprising a power winding (87) and a control winding (68). The control and regulating circuit for the electronically controlled motor (SM) is so designed that only one rpm above the rated rpm is controllably adjustable and, when the frequency of the clock varies, correcting signals are supplied to the AC drive pulses in power winding (87) through a bistable flip-flop (50), said flip-flop being subjected to real pulses derived from frequency dividers (6,7) and pulses derived from motor (SM), a NOR element (58) connected to the output of flip-flop (50) and an additional frequency divider (59), a field effect transistor (88), and a resistor (89).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 17, 1982
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1983
    Assignee: Braun Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Peter Busch, Horst Schaefer
  • Patent number: 4407589
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for correcting errors in an electronic digital timepiece that includes an oscillator which has a 2.sup.n frequency output, an n-stage frequency divider for reducing the oscillator output frequency to a time keeping frequency, and means for displaying the count of the time keeping frequency. The error E in the time of the timepiece for an arbitrary period of time T is determined. A computer computes a new adjustment value N+(2.sup.n-m +N)E/T where N is the preceding adjustment value and m is a nonnegative integer less than n. Then the 2.sup.n-m divisor of the first n-m stages of the n-stage frequency divider is adjusted in an amount equal to the new adjustment value. In first and second embodiments of the invention the timepiece is synchronized with a time standard at the beginning of the period of time T.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1981
    Date of Patent: October 4, 1983
    Inventors: John R. Davidson, Joseph S. Heyman
  • Patent number: 4367049
    Abstract: Driving device especially for a timepiece, constituted by a stepping motor the stator of which comprises a coil having a single winding and the rotor of which is constituted of a permanent magnet and of a control electronic circuit able to deliver pulses of current to the motor. The motor includes precise positioning magnets for its rotor which are active in the absence of the pulses. The electronic control circuit is arranged in such a way that the pulses are delivered in pairs, with opposed polarities in each pair, the order of succession of the polarities in a pair determining the sense of rotation of the rotor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1978
    Date of Patent: January 4, 1983
    Assignee: Ebauches S.A.
    Inventors: Claude Laesser, Gerard Piller, Jean Depery
  • Patent number: 4363554
    Abstract: The mechanism has a sliding and rotary stem 2 for controlling two functions of a digital display watch. The stem 2 carries a fixed pinion 4. An intermediate gear 6 is mounted rotatably at the end of a rocking lever 32. Pivotal movement of the lever 32 against the action of a spring 36 is produced by the stem 2. In a first position of the stem 2, the gear 6 is in mesh with a date setting wheel 8 but out of mesh with the pinion 4. In a second position, the gear 6 is engaged by the pinion 4 and remains in mesh with the wheel 8. In a third, fully pulled out position, the gear 6 remains engaged by the pinion 4 and is pulled out of mesh with the wheel 8 and into mesh with a time setting wheel 10.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1982
    Assignee: ETA S.A., Fabriques d'Ebauches
    Inventors: Jean-Claude Schaffner, Jacques Muller
  • Patent number: 4308607
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece equipped with a switch means to produce switching pulses in response to actuation of an external operation member, and means for detecting the time intervals between pairs of the switching pulses and producing first control signals indicative of duration of the time intervals. A counter circuit is responsive to the first control signals to provide a second control signal, in response to which a correction signal generation means produces correction signals, the number of which depends on the second control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 1979
    Date of Patent: December 29, 1981
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Company Limited
    Inventors: Fukuo Sekiya, Minoru Watanabe
  • Patent number: 4300224
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece comprising a fundamental frequency oscillator, a plurality of frequency divider stages, a timekeeping mechanism and display, includes circuitry for resetting and setting selective stages of the divider and thereby adding or subtracting timing pulses which are delivered to the timekeeping mechanism. A non-volatile memory stores data which terminates whether a divider stage is to be set or reset. Additionally, a plurality of circuit elements are selectively inserted to modify the circuit of the oscillator and to provide frequency adjustment. External contacts are provided for the inputting of data to memory and for measuring timing rate against an external standard.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1978
    Date of Patent: November 10, 1981
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Suwa Seikosha
    Inventors: Yasunori Nakazaki, Tatsushi Asakawa
  • Patent number: 4270193
    Abstract: An electronic timepiece adapted to perform time correction in response to a train of time correction pulses transmitted from another electronic timepiece. The electronic timepiece comprises a detecting means to detect the train of time correction pulses; a writing-in signal generator circuit to generate writing-in signals in synchronism with a synchronizing signal contained in the train of time correction pulses, and a writing-in gate circuit means to perform writing-in of the train of time correction pulses into a timekeeping circuit of the timepiece as new current time data in response to the writing-in signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 1979
    Date of Patent: May 26, 1981
    Assignee: Citizen Watch Company Limited
    Inventor: Singo Ichikawa