[Editor's Note: This post has been edited to reflect a comment regarding the physical nature of nixie tubes.]
In this age of digital displays, it's hard not to appreciate the old-school aesthetic of a nixie tube. To individually bend ten different digits out of cold cathode neon tubes the cathode, then stuff all of them together in a little glass dome—i.e. the tube itself—is perhaps needlessly labor-intensive but provides a clearly legible readout with an Edison-bulb vibe.
Sydney-based Duncan Hellmers is of the same mind. "[Nixie tubes] fit in well with today's aesthetic trends but still retain that sense of nostalgia and sentimentality," he writes. "I'd seen quite a few tube clock designs online, but couldn't find one whose character matched what I was after, so I decided to design my own."
Industrial designer Hellmers worked up some honest-to-God marker renderings, hired an engineer/physicist to work out the guts,
advanced the design into CAD, and succesfully CNC-milled prototypes out of aluminum. Now ready for prime time, the Blub clock, as it's called, is now up for pledging on Kickstarter.
The AUD $369 (US $321) Blub can be set to display the time, date and even the temperature, and has an alarm to boot. With $18,000 in pledges Hellmers is already well past his $5,000 target, but there's still 21 days left if you wants to get you some nixie time.