Swatch Group has been granted a patent for a control device for a horological movement. The device includes a sliding guide tube and a movable part that can be integral with a component of the movement or release it. The movable part also includes a head covering a reversible elastic casing module. The elastic casing module consists of a cage with end walls fixed to the head and adjustment rod, and an elastic element projecting through the peripheral wall. GlobalData’s report on Swatch Group gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on Swatch Group, HEV energy management was a key innovation area identified from patents. Swatch Group's grant share as of September 2023 was 54%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Patent granted for a control device for horological movement

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: The Swatch Group Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11774908B2) describes a control device for a horological movement, such as a watch. The control device consists of two parts: a fixed sliding guide tube and a movable part that slides within the guide tube. The movable part can be in an active position, where it is connected to a component of the horological movement, or an inactive position, where it releases the component. The movable part includes a head that covers a reversible elastic casing module fixed to an adjustment rod. The elastic casing module is designed to be in a rest state when the movable part is in either the active or inactive positions. The guide tube exerts a force counteracting the elastic return force of the casing module when it urges the module.

The guide tube has a stepped cylinder shape, with a first cylindrical portion guided by a blind cavity in the head and a second cylindrical portion guided around the adjustment rod. The guide tube includes a shoulder between the two cylindrical portions, with an elastic member arranged to bear against the shoulder and the elastic casing module. This elastic member generates a force that moves the casing module away from the guide tube. The first portion of the guide tube has a recess that receives the elastic casing module when the movable part is in the active position.

The elastic casing module is positioned between the adjustment rod and the head, effectively fixing the head to the adjustment rod. The elastic element of the casing module includes at least one slide that extends beyond the cage of the module and translates in a direction perpendicular to the sliding direction of the adjustment rod. This slide is subjected to an elastic return force that keeps it in place by an elastic member. The elastic element may include a sole fixed to the peripheral wall of the cage, with the elastic member compressed between the sole and the slide.

The patent also mentions that the control device can be used in a timepiece, where it is inserted into a case that houses the horological movement. The adjustment rod of the control device is connected to the horological movement.

Overall, this patent describes a control device for a horological movement that allows for the precise adjustment and release of components. The use of a reversible elastic casing module and a sliding guide tube provides flexibility and reliability in the operation of the control device.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.