The development of watches is dependent of applied patents to protect pertinent inventions from being used by competitors. Normally patents concerning ameliorations of watch systems are limited to parts of the watch caliber, but can also concern the case or other parts of the watch, which feature unknown and relevant innovations.

During the quest for the development of electric and later electronic watches, there was not only the need to develop caliber parts, but also completely new caliber systems. Patents for such calibers allow an insight into the very first thoughts of the inventors and show the detailed explanation of the first working versions. Some patents show experimental systems, which ‘academically’ worked in forms of ‘proofs of concept’ but then were not pursued, as practical, functional or economic hurdles could not be overcome.

To correctly interpret the exact timing of the patent, one must pay attention in which countries the patent was filed and at which date. The content of the patent is mostly identical, even if the language in which the patent is filed is adapted to the respective country. Three date statements correspond to the three phases of patent processing:

‘Application Date‘, ‘File Date‘ and ‘Publication Date‘.

When the patent is submitted in different countries an additional date is mentioned:

The Foreign Application Priority Date‘.

This date states the earliest application of the patent, mostly in the country where the legal site of the watch company submitting the patent is located.

You will find the Pdf’s of interesting watch patents below. These are listed by date of application and/or publication.

Omega, improved time setting through stem, CH – 1894

LIP, Electromagnetic Oscillatory Motor, FR – 1949, US – 1949

Bulova, Accutron, CH – 1953/1955

Hamilton, Electric Watch (Model 2), US – 1954

Omega, Electro – mechanical System, CH – 1954; US – 1956

Hamilton, Electric Watch (Model 3), US – 1957

Ebauches SA (ESA), Dynotron caliber, CH – 1962 / 1969

Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), Quartz suspension, CH – 1966/1968

Ebauches SA (ESA), MOSABA caliber, CH – 1966; US – 1967

Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), Vibrating Motor (Beta 2, Beta 21), CH – 1967

Omega Megaquartz, Motor, CH – 1968/1976

Centre Electronique Horloger (CEH), Improved Quartz Suspension, CH – 1970, US – 1971

Omega, Protective Case – Alaska II Project, CH – 1971; US -1972/1973