Most Nixie tube clocks ordinarily look a little steam punk and a little scientific a la Thomas Dolby. But I found a few companies that make nixie clocks pretty enough for almost anyone's taste. The neon tubes, when combined with blackened bronze, silver chrome, and stunning woods, become an unusual blend of science and art, making a functional item a pretty piece of home decor.
What is a digital Nixie Tube?
A nixie tube is an electronic device for displaying numerals or other information. The glass tube contains a wire-mesh anode, and multiple cathodes in the shape of Arabic numerals. Applying power to one cathode surrounds it with an orange glow discharge. The tube is filled with a gas at low pressure, usually mostly neon and often a little mercury and/or argon, in a Penning mixture (Weston 1968), (Bylander 1979,).
above: A typical Nixie tube clock.
How Nixie Tubes work:
Each glass tube typically contains 10 or more individual cathode wires in the shape of numbers or letters. The cathodes are stacked so that different numerals appear at different depths, unlike a planar display in which all numerals are on the same plane relative to the viewer. The anode is a transparent metal mesh wrapped around the front of the display. The tube is filled with the inert gas neon (and other gases) with a small amount of mercury. When an electric potential of 120 to 180 volts DC is applied between the anode and any cathode, the gas near the cathode breaks down and the digit spreads into a glow.
1. The NIXIE desk clock
Above: Silver plated bronze exterior with digital nixie tubes.
The desk clock easures 6"H x 11.5"W x 2.5"D and is available in Blackened bronze, Natural bronze, Silver plated
2. The NIXIE wall clock
Above: Bronze exterior with digital nixie tubes.
The wall clock measures 21.25"H x 9.5"W x 2"D and comes in Blackened bronze or Natural bronze
3. The WOODEN NIXIE Grandfather clock
Above: Wood exterior with digital nixie tubes.
Measures 75"H x 10.75"W x 7"D and is available in American white oak / Dark oak finish, Osage orange / Natural oil finish, Claro walnut / Natural oil finish
Known mostly for their hand crafted wood furniture, BDDW makes stunning tables, chairs, mirrors, lamps and rugs, too. You can inquire about their nixie clocks and see all their beautiful furniture and rug designs as well here.
Another company making Nixie tube clocks that have updated them with wood and chrome finishes is Nixie Clock.net. Since 1997 they've sold Nixie Tube Clocks and living accessories. The company is located in Germany and they run a warehouse in the United States in order to improve their service standard. Having started retailing Nixie Clocks they are now developing their own Nixie Tube Clocks and below are some of their models.
CHRONOTRONIX V400 NIXIE TUBE CLOCK:
Buy it here.
The CHRONOTRONIX V300 NIXIE TUBE CLOCK:
Buy it here.
Unfortunately the CHRONOTRONIX IN-18 NIXIE CLOCK shown below is sold out:
As is this lovely one made by Karlsson:
Check out their inventory and pricing here.
The ones above can also be found here at Chronotronix Nixie Tube Clocks.
The Puhlmann Nixie Clock designed by dutch designer Frank Clewits is another nice modern version:
Above: wallclock with Nixie-tubes, steel, L32,5 x H 16cm, incl. adaptor
Unfortunately, I can not find this clock for sale anywhere. Even the puhlmann shop doesn't seem to have it.
Another site that sells handmade nixie clocks, as well as nixie clock kits, is Peter J. Jensen's tubeclock.com.
And if you are digging the nixies, check out this gallery of homemade nixie tube clocks.