Before dot-matrix displays took over the known world, Nixie tubes β€” glass lightbulbs containing light-up tubes for the digits 0-9 β€” were the best way of displaying changing numbers. One designer had the bright idea of taking the Nixie tube technology (and bulbs), and building a surprisingly beautiful analog clock.

Whereas original Nixie clocks were all digital, the Nixie Radian flips that idea on its head, using long, thin Nixie tubes as the arms of a clock. Depending on the current flowing through each arm, it lights up further, to show the hour, minute, or second.

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The body of the clock is made of cherry wood, with the numbers engraved and hand-painted in black and white. Power comes from a wall socket, with a backup battery in case the power goes out. It’s currently Kickstarting for a steep price: $345, although that’s less than the $500 it will cost at retail.

That’s a whole bunch of money to sink into a Kickstarter without a firm promise of a shipped product, but the company behind it is at least reputable: Tungsten Customs has successfully shipped a bunch of Nixie tube (and other) clocks without scamming anyone’s money, so this is about as safe as you can get in the crowdfunding world.

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[Kickstarter]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.

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