One of the main pleasures of being a writer is getting the opportunity to review really cool products and in particular watches. In the last decade, the horological landscape has massively changed and designs are becoming more radical. Essentially, brands are trying to push the boundaries to survive in a very competitive industry. Certainly, Smartwatch technology has had a major impact. Another more recent factor is the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. As a consequence of this outbreak, Baselword and Watch & Wonders have announced they will be cancelling their shows. This could potentially have a devasting effect on small microbrands who rely on this type of publicity. However, there are small craftsmen like Igor Gudiy that have found other outlets to sell their bespoke timepieces.
I have always been fascinated by nixie tubes and actually reviewed a Nixie Watch from Cathode Corner several years ago. At the time this was the only Nixie watch available on the market and was a personal favourite of Steve Wozniak (who was reported to own several). The concept of this timepiece was pretty cool and I even like the deconstructed façade. As I mentioned there were some design niggles like the narrow lugs and generic strap that seemed like a bit of an afterthought. However, these details didn’t detract from the overall appearance and even inspired Igor Gudiy to create his own version.
I first became aware of Igor Gudiy on Etsy, where he has a store/brand called NixieHorizonte. One of his most distinctive products is a rectangular Nixie Watch with four tubes. In my opinion, this is the best Nixie watch I have ever seen and the design is very accomplished. It is also the first model (I am aware of) to be crafted out of solid titanium. Considering the epic size of the piece ( 57mm x 46mm x 15.5mm) it is exceptionally comfortable and lightweight on the wrist. This material is also more durable than aluminium used in many other nixie models. Another high-quality detail Igor has incorporated scratch-proof sapphire crystal for the lens.
Aesthetically this Nixie watch has a distinctive industrial appearance that really appeals to me. I love the fact this model has four tubes rather than two, which is the default for most models. A few years ago I reviewed the Devon Tread 1 that displays time via an innovative belt drive system. Certainly, I would say NixieHorizonte’s rectangular Nixie watch is equally as impressive for a fraction of the price ($1,217). When creating this timepiece Igor Gudiy employed a Russian friend to devise a complex electronic system. Everything else including production and assembly was done by Igor personally in Italy (where he resides).
Most Nixie watches (including the original by Cathode Corner) only have two tubes. Therefore, hours and minute are presented intermittently. NixieHorizonte’s rectangular titanium watch has a 24-hour clock that is displayed on one screen via 4 horizontal tubes. It also has other functions including temperature sensor, accelerometer activity monitor, date and battery charging indicator (percentage). Another really cool feature is the magnetic docking station, which is a more practical charging solution than batteries or USB connectivity. Impressively it is made of solid wood (Mogano Meranti) with a metal base.
As a perfect finishing touch Igor has designed a high-quality bespoke leather strap with complimentary titanium buckle. To purchase this amazing timepiece follow this link