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Publication numberUS3876511 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date8 Apr 1975
Filing date17 Sep 1973
Priority date17 Sep 1973
Publication numberUS 3876511 A, US 3876511A, US-A-3876511, US3876511 A, US3876511A
InventorsFeller Gilbert
Original AssigneeMetalem Sa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of decorating visible parts of a watch
US 3876511 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Feller 1 Apr. 8, 1975 [54] METHOD OF DECORATING VISIBLE PARTS OF A WATCH [75] Inventor: Gilbert Feller, Le Locle.

Switzerland [73] Assignee: Metalem S.A.. Le Locle.

Switzerland [22] Filed: Sept. 17, I973 211 Appl. No.: 397,836

377,284 6/1964 Switzerland 204/18 R Primary E.\'amin erT. M. Tufariello Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Werner W. Kleeman [57] ABSTRACT A method of decorating visible parts or portions of a watch by producing an irregular, furrowed, metallic surface which is decorated with electrically nonconductive natural or synthetic stones, crystals, fragments or the like, wherein starting with a basic form the surface thereof to be decorated is either electrically conductive or rendered electrically conductive. The stones, crystals, or fragments are provisionally secured to this surface, thereafter the basic form which has been prepared in this manner is immersed in a galvanic bath and in such bath there is galvanically deposited upon this surface a metallic layer of such thickness that the stones, crystals or fragments are set or fixed by at least partially being covered from the marginal edges thereof.

7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures METHOD OF DECORATING VISIBLE PARTS OF A WATCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a new and improved method of decorating visible portions or parts of a watch, for instance watch dials, watch cases and arm bands, watch characters, and so forth, by producing an irregular, furrowed or wrinkled metallic surface which is covered with natural or synthetic electrically nonconductive stones, crystals, fragments or the like.

Modern day jewelry often has imparted thereto an appearance as if it were formed from unprocessed raw materials. In particular, the metal used for fabricating the jewelry has imparted thereto an irregular. furrowed surface which simulates the terrain of the moon or the surface of a solidified metal spray, and in which surface there are embedded irregularly distributed, in part uncut natural or synthetic stones or stone chips or fragments, for instance oxide crystals, precious stones or fragments thereof.

This fabrication technique has been adopted by the watch industry which has now produced in this manner for their products watch dials, watch cases, if desired with the arm band, formed thereat, even hour characters.

Previously, there were produced in this way decorative watch components by performing goldsmith work and the fabrication thereof was associated with a corresponding amount of intensive work, expense and required specially skilled individuals. Furthermore, as a consequence of rationalization efforts and the acquired skill from repeatedly doing this work, it was not readily possible to avoid that the successively produced parts oftentimes were quite similar to one another.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Hence, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved method of decorating visible parts or portions of a watch in a manner not associated with the aforementioned drawbacks and limitations of the prior art proposals.

Another and more specific object of the present invention relates to the provision of a new and improved method by means of which there can be inexpensively fabricated in rational mass production techniques decorative watch components or parts and with the use of auxiliary personnel.

Now in order to implement these and still further objects of the invention, which will become more readily apparent as the description proceeds, the inventive method is manifested by the features that starting with a basic form, the surface thereof which is to be decorated is electrically conductive or rendered electrically conductive, that there is provisionally secured to such surface the stones, crystals, or fragments, and thereafter the basic form which has been prepared in this manner is immersed into a galvanic bath and in this way there is galvanically deposited upon such surface a metallic layer of a thickness such that the stones, crystals or fragments are set or fixed by at least partially cover ing the edges thereof.

It has been found that with increasing duration of the galvanic bath treatment, the metallic deposits properly grow in a coral-like manner over the provisionally secured stones, crystals and fragments or the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention will be better understood and objects other than those set forth above, will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawing wherein:

FIGS. 1 4 respectively show in sectional view four different working steps during the decoration or ornamentation of the surface of a basic form e.g. plate, for instance a watch dial plate produced according to an exemplary embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Describing now the drawing, reference numeral 1 designates a basic form, for instance here shown as a plate, the one surface of which is to be ornamented or decorated. In the same manner it is possible instead of the plate to decorate an hour character, a crystal socket and/or the central portion ofa watch case or the outer surface ofa watch band or another or further visible portion or part in the form of a plate, profile rod or a wire of a watch.

A condition for carrying out the method is that at least the surface to be decorated or ornamented is electrically conductive. In the illustrated exemplary embodiment it is assumed that the basic form 1 is formed of plastic, in other words is not electrically conductive. In order to render the surface to be decorated electrically conductive, it is provided with an electrically conductive layer 2, as best seen by referring to FIG. 1. This layer 2 can be produced by the vapor deposition of metals in a vacuum or, however, as in the illustrated example, by applying a conventional electrically conductive lacquer or varnish.

Furthermore, on the surface to be decorated there is arranged for instance in the form of hour characters or symbols or-random synthetic or natural stones, crystal or fragments thereof, as generally indicated by reference character 3, for instance precious stones, oxide crystals or fragments thereof which are provisionally attached, as best seen by referring to FIG. 2. To this end, the stones, crystals or fragments 3 can be pressed into the electrically conductive lacquer 2, before such dries-out, so that their provisional attachment can be assumed by the lacquer which is in the process of hardening or solidifying. Or else the stones, crystals or fragments can be provided with a suitable glue and prior to or after application of the lacquer layer 2 can be adhesively bonded to the basic form.

During a next process step, the basic form 1 which has been prepared in the manner shown in FIG. 2, is immersed into a standard galvanic bath. Now in this galvanic bath there is galvanically deposited at the electrically conductive portions of the basic form a metallic layer 4, as best seen by referring to FIG. 3. With increasing duration of immersion in the bath this layer 4 always becomes thicker and grows over at least the edges of the stones, crystals or fragments which are then set or fixed by virtue of the at least partial covering of their marginal edge portions and such stones, crystals or fragments are then fixed or set in their provisionally assumed position at the basic form 1.

From this point on, the basic form, which has been decorated or ornamented in this manner, can be removed at any random period of time from the galvanic bath and protected by a cellulose lacquer or Zapon enamel layer 5, as best seen by referring to FIG. 4.

Due to the pedals, leaves, raised portions and furrows or the like which are formed during deposition of the metallic layer 4, a moon landscape-like surface is imparted to this layer 4. This effect can be further intensified in that the surface of the basic form 1 which is to be decorated is pre-treated, for instance mechanically by scratching, knurling, nicking or engraving or, however, the lacquer layer 2 is irregularly applied.

According to a variant of the invention. the prepared basic form also can be left for such length oftime in the galvanic bath until the stones. crystals or fragments 3 are completely covered by the depositing metal layer 4. By carrying out a metal removal operation it is then possible to expose or free the uppermost surface of the stones, crystals or fragments.

lf instead of a basic form formed of electrically nonconductive material there is used a basic form 1 formed of metal, then of course the working step of rendering conductive the surface of the basic form by means of the electrically conductive lacquer, as shown by way of example in FIG. 1, can be dispensed with.

While there is shown and described present preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be distinctly understood that the invention is not limited thereto, but may be otherwise variously embodied and practiced within the scope of the following claims. ACCORD- lNGLY,

What is claimed is:

l. A method of decorating visible parts of a watch by producing a irregular, furrowed, metallic surface which is decorated with electrically non-conductive material or synthetic stones, crystals or fragments thereof, the improvement comprising the steps of:

starting with a basic plate,

pre-treating the surface thereof to be decorated for the purpose of producing irregularities thereat,

rendering such surface electrically conductive in the event it is not already electrically conductive,

then provisionally securing to such surface the untreated stones, crystals or fragments,

thereafter immersing the basic plate which has been processed in this manner into a galvanic bath for a time sufficient to galvanically deposit upon the remaining electrically conductive open areas of such surface a metallic layer of such a thickness that the stones, crystals or fragments are mechanically fixed from the marginal edges thereof, by at least partial covering of such edges by the galvanic deposit.

2. The method as defined in claim 1, wherein the surface is mechanically altered.

3. The method as defined in claim 2, wherein the surface is mechanically altered by engraving.

4. The method as defined in claim 1, including the step of using as the basic plate a watch dial and setting the stones, crystals or fragments in the form of hour characters.

5. The method as defined in claim 1, including the step of using as the basic plate a watch case, the glass crystal fixture and/or outer part of the central portion of which forms the surface to be decorated.

6. The method as defined in claim 1, in which the basic plate is of electrically non-conductive material the surface of which to be decorated is made electrically conductive by applying an electrically conductive lacquer, the steps of applying the electrically conductive lacquer irregularly to said surface of the basic plate for the purpose of producing irregularities thereat.

7. The method as defined in claim 6, wherein the stones, crystals or fragments prior to the complete drying of said lacquer are placed upon the surface of the basic plate, so as to provisionally secure the stones, crystals or fragments by means of the lacquer which is undergoing drying.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1821561 *22 Jun 19281 Sep 1931Wadsworth Watch Case CoMethod of decorating watch dials, etc.
US2411867 *19 Dec 19423 Dec 1946Brenner BertIndustrial diamond tool and method of producing same
US2424140 *22 Jan 194215 Jul 1947Norton CoMethod of making abrasive articles
US3377264 *3 Nov 19649 Apr 1968Norton CoCoated abrasives for electrolytic grinding
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7025110 *12 Jun 200311 Apr 2006Arthur SuozziMethod and apparatus for setting odd-shaped precious stones
EP1916567A122 Nov 200630 Apr 2008Mimotec S.A.Mixed manufacturing method for parts by photolithography, adding inserts and electroforming
EP2913711A117 Feb 20152 Sep 2015Mimotec S.A.Method for manufacturing metal parts with inserts by photolithography and electroforming
Classifications
U.S. Classification205/114, 968/721, 968/154
International ClassificationB44F9/00, B44C5/00, G04B19/10, G04D3/00, G04B19/06
Cooperative ClassificationB44F9/00, B44C5/005, G04B19/103, G04D3/0092
European ClassificationG04B19/10B, G04D3/00D14, B44F9/00, B44C5/00B