Nixie Watch by Cathode Review

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by Chaz Nash

Nixie Watch by Cathode is a nostalgic journey back in time with a dual digit presentation of time at the mere flick of a wrist.

Calling all gadget creators and engineering geeks, the Nixie watch is just what creative minds ordered for reading the time of day. Engineer David Forbes got the idea for this incredible watch viewing web pictures of Jeff Thomas’ four digit Nixie watch. The watch inspired Forbes so much that he took out his defunct Fluke 8100B nixie DVM and removed its B5870 tubes. He discovered he could fit two tubes along with a camera battery inside a 1 ½ inch square. Forbes found that he could fit four tubes to make a pocket watch sized clock. He also found that a microcontroller (like a 68HC705J1A) worked perfectly and appeared to be a good fit.

Forbes contacted Jeff Thomas consulted with him on the engineering design and the rest became trial and error history which lead to Forbes production journey of his two digit Nixie tube watch.

The watch does not require button-pushing to operate. Wearers need only hold the watch at a stand viewing angle and the hours are displayed, another twist of the wrist reveals the minutes in perfect glowing orange digits. The watch is water resistant and rugged. The case is made aircraft aluminum and hard anodized to handle years of abuse and manages to pull off looking great.

Apple computer co-founder, Steve Wozniak, absolutely loves the geeky Nixie watch. As an engineer he shared with BBC writer Maggie Shiels, that he wished that he had invented the watch

While the Nixie watch is not currently available, Forbes is currently working on a new design for the Nixie watch, considering a possible limited production of only a meager few pieces, depending on demand. Forbes also indicates on his website that if demand warrants it he may bring back the original version of the watch. The Nixie watch has one year warranty. If the watch fails to operate within one calendar year Forbes will repair or replace it free of charge. However, broken Nixie tubes are not covered by the warranty. Additional Nixie tubes are sold for $10 each.

It will be interesting to see what Forbes has in mind for the new Nixie watch design, but whatever the new design offers geeky engineers and gadget fans alike will definitely want to leap on purchasing this amazing watch.

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