The influence of sci-fi and retro-futurism on horology leads to some funky creations. The new Nixie Machine III by German artist and former sci-fi illustrator Franck Buchwald is aesthetically "out there," to say the least, but it offers a striking approach to the otherwise mundane exercise of telling the time.
Measuring 63cm wide by 43cm tall and weighing 17 kilograms, the Nixie Machine III is perhaps best described as an electronic sculpture. Nixie tubes (otherwise known as cold cathode displays) are a technology from the 1950s that uses low-pressure neon-based gas to fill and illuminate glass tubes. Within the Nixie Machine III, six tubes contain the numerals zero through nine presented on outstretched arms to display the time. The result is a a retro-futuristic-looking desk clock like something out of a cyberpunk fantasy.
The collection is presented by the Swiss avant-garde brand MB&F in their MAD Gallery, a showcase for high-end mechanical and other art. Like other clocks offered by MB&F, the intricate structure of the Nixie Machine III is finished with high-end techniques, making for a refined luxury product: The base itself is made from polished brass and steel that has been chemically treated and hand-burnished for a black oxidized effect. Inside, the electronics are connected to wifi to display accurate time and can be controlled remotely from a computer, though the clock, which derives power from a standard 12V adapter, can also function autonomously.
You can buy the Nixie Machine III from the MB&F MAD Gallery for a price of ~$35,195.