Sunday, September 17, 2006

Rolex Glidelock

Rolex have always been criticised over the cheap aesthetic of their bracelet clasps despite more than adequate function. Recent upgrades have been well received, but there is more apparently afoot.

Rolex have been active in this area for some time and there are two main patents on a new type of clasp system. They have also been trademarking the name Glidelock. It will be interesting to see what final form this takes. For your convenience: Patent 1 & Patent 2.

From the patents in Rolex's own words:

..... to improve the closure security of this type of clasp against unexpected opening both on account of a catching and on account of a pulling force in the wake of a blow to the wrist or of violent impacts such as those which may arise when the user applauds or when he strikes his fist on a table, for example. The object of this invention is also to facilitate opening of the bracelet while still making it possible simultaneously to increase the force necessary for separating the attaching elements. A further object of this invention is to allow the branches of the clasp and the bracelet connected to these branches to pivot through at least 180[deg.] in order to obtain maximum opening of the clasp and thus to facilitate the passage of the hand through the bracelet. A yet further object of the invention is to make it possible to have a clasp with a base which is substantially identical when the clasp includes a cover and when it does not include one.

One of the advantages of the proposed solution, in addition to those ensuing from the abovementioned objects, lies in its simplicity and the small number of parts required. Indeed, despite the various improvements of the clasp according to the invention, it may be observed that these are not obtained to the detriment of the simplicity and thus of the reliability of the solution proposed. For the user, handling of such a clasp is characterized by a high level of convenience, giving him a sensation of great security, which is enhanced by the appearance of the clasp, which constitutes a veritable small precision mechanism.
...... it will be noticed that the lever of the clasp according to the invention clearly acts on the elastic return means such as a lever, which allows it to obtain a gearing down of the force exerted thereon to cause the elastic return means to flex. Thanks to this gearing down of the manual force exerted on the lever to open the clasp, the force of the elastic return means can be increased and therefore the force that is exerted on the latching hook can be increased. This force continues to be exerted in the closed position, holding the branches tight against one another, thus taking up the clearances between the branches of the clasp.

The last paragraph is the most telling and the most consistent with the concept of a Glidelock.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting developments for sure. One thing I could not discern - does this new clasp include a dive extension or is it integral to the new design?