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GELFMAN IN-16 Nixie Watch

Approximately 16 years ago I purchased a Nixie Watch from Cathode Corner. This company is the brainchild enthusiastic inventor David Forbes. He gained global exposure for his first generation watch because of Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak bought multiple pieces. There must have been something about the deconstructed naivety of the design that really resonated with him. Since then I have reviewed other much more sophisticated models like a 4 tube variant from NixieHorizonte. There are also notable examples like the cantilevered NX.2. from Battenberg Foundation and multiple exquisite clocks from Frank Buchwald. This Berlin based designer is represented by Maximilian Büsser’s fantastic M.A.D.Gallery and was featured in my latest book entitled ‘The Art of Luxury Design’. This background information is a perfect Segway to introduce how I became aware of the GELFMAN IN-16 Nixie Watch.

In 2015 I wrote my first book entitled ‘Limited Edition Watches’ for Pennsylvania based Schiffer Publishing. Very generously they gave me full creative autonomy to include merit worthy inclusions of my choice. One of these was the phenomenal GELFMAN IN-16 Nixie Watch. In contrast to Nixie Watch from Cathode Corner (which, is a 10th of the price) the IN-16 is far more refined and aesthetically pleasing. In fact I would go as far to say the IN-16 is a brilliant piece of industrial design. That’s why it comes as no surprise it was officially nominated for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2022 in the “Petite Aiguille” category. Every aspect of this timepiece has been meticulously considered and the USSR manufacturing quality is superlative.

Even though the GELFMAN IN-16 Nixie Watch exudes large proportions it’s nowhere near the size of many other models on the market. In fact in my opinion the exquisite sculpted 45.9mm x 47.8 mm x 20.5mm polished steel case perfectly frames the futuristic composition. This timepiece also sits comfortable on the wrist and could potentially be worn on a daily basis. However, with a water resistance of 30 metres it’s probably highly advisable to avoid excessive moisture. Ultimately, this is a luxury novelty watch that needs to be cherished. If treated respectfully you can expect years enjoyment because the deluxe Nixie tubes have 10,000+ hours of life time.

There was a point where I thought the GELFMAN IN-16 Nixie Watch may never come to market. Ilya made many prototypes and from early conversations with him it was apparent he’s a true perfectionist. Fortunately, his vision has become a reality and with technological advances the delays have probably been advantageous. Essentially this device can be fully controlled and programmed via computer. Impressively the recipient can select the desired Nixie tubes’ backlight, adjust the brightness, any operate many more facilities. Functionally the IN-16 features hours, minutes, seconds, date and battery percentage indications. There is also an accelerometer with wrist gesture recognition.

As a final touch the GELFMAN IN-16 Nixie Watch is equipped with a black rubber strap and is presented in a spectacular space rocket-inspired case. This incredible watch is limited to 999 pieces and is priced accordingly at $7,714.

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