A few years ago, I watched a documentary about Steve Wozniak. Most people know him as the business partner of Steve Jobs and co-founder of Apple. However, this larger than life character also has a penchant for unusual watches. Rather than opt for exclusive brands like Patek Philippe, Richard Mille or Rolex he went for a Nixie Watch from Cathode Corner. This company develops unique timepieces using obsolete vacuum tube technology. The business is the brainchild of David Forbes and is located in Tucson, Arizona, USA. Interestingly this budding inventor has a day job creating radio telescopes.
Since David Forbes created his first Nixie watch the market has really expanded. The original model (sported by Steve Wozniak) is pretty striking but not that refined. For example, the battery is visible on the dial and the lugs are massively too small for the 56mm case. Since then brands like Nixie Horizonte and Frank Buchwald have created much more sophisticated products. Recently I became aware of a beautiful clock from the Battenberg Foundation called the NX.2. This creation was created by renowned Swiss designer Björn Ischi, and Czech programmer Dalibor Farny (under the supervision of Stefan Kuonen).
Even though Nixie tubes were widely used in measuring instruments and electronic computing machines during the 1960s and 1970s, they are now experiencing a renaissance period. The NX.2. celebrates this technology by reimagining it in a sleek contemporary design. I absolutely love the cantilevered façade that has an almost architectural appearance. This was enabled by configuring four of the six Nixie tubes upside down. Swiss designer Björn Ischi really has excelled himself by envisioning this extraordinary clock. With only 10 limited pieces available worldwide I’m sure aficionados will be clambering to their hands on this incredible product.
Dimensionally the NX.2. has a sculptural aluminium case measuring 590mm x 250mm x 170 mm. These proportions make it an ideal accompaniment for any living room. This exquisite clock delicately combines retro Nixie tubes with state of the art technology. For ease of use, this device can be operated via Android and iOS Apps. The NX.2. also cleverly incorporates a WiFi module and therefore time is automatically synchronized via the Internet. However, it’s pertinent to mention the clock can operate autonomously.
As a final note, it is important to acknowledge that for 50 years the Battenberg Foundation has trained individuals with physical or mental disabilities with the goal of reintegrating them into the workforce. For more information about the NX.2. follow this link