The German designer Frank Buchwald presents his new “Nixie Machine II”, which he has created together with the engineer Dalibor Farny. The steampunk clock has been designed for M.A.D.Gallery and is a jaw-dropping, sculptural clock featuring six beautifully glowing Nixie tubes from the 1960s.
The architecture of Buchwald’s industrial creation fuses his distinctive design principles with his vivid imagination. The base of the 1.2-meter wide and it’s legs are akin to those of insects. The core of the clock is a flexible, tentacle-like tube system that “feeds” the Nixie tubes with energy and information. The orange glimmering light contours of the visible interior structure. Crafted out of burnished steel and brushed brass, and featuring six glowing Nixie tubes made half a century ago, this is a clock like no other.
Nixie tubes are basically vacuum tubes with cathodes shaped in the numerals from 0-9 placed in a tube filled with low pressure neon gas. When an electrical charge is applied to the numerals, the wire and the gas around it glows in the shape of the number. Each number is on its own circuit, so there are multiple pins exiting the bottom of the tube.
The electronic heart of Nixie Machine II takes a completely innovative approach. Based on a powerful, Wi-Fi-enabled electronics dock, the clock is connected to the internet to automatically keep accurate time, removing the need to set it manually. All settings and special features – including scroll effects, day/night modes, digit light dimming, time zone settings and more – can be intuitively programmed online. The clock can also operate offline, regulated by a knob on the back.
This is the previvous model in action.