Despite having our iPhone in our pockets and an Apple Watch on our wrists, my custom desk clock made with vintage Soviet Union-era Nixie tubes still gets a ton of attention. Anyone that sees it in person is immediately drawn to it, likely because there’s something about the vintage, steampunk-esque look that you’ll never get from the cold modern industrial design of your smartphone or smartwatch. It’s the coolest desk clock you can buy, but you can debate that in the comments if you dare. I get dozens of inquiries about the clock each week because it’s pictured in the photo of my desk used in our weekly Top Stories post on 9to5Mac. Here’s how to get one…
Mine is made by Past Indicator from Moscow and features cherry wood and hammered soviet coins for the gold accents around the tubes. They start around $279 USD and you can make a custom order. The clock has time and date modes, an alarm, sleep mode, adjustable brightness, 24 and 12 hour modes, and a built-in blue LED that can be turned on and off separately.
The tubes last around 30 years and Past Indicator uses Soviet Union tubes manufactured between the 70s and 80s. The tubes aren’t being manufactured anymore, so the value of the tubes and clocks themselves keep increasing.
They also sell the clocks without cases (pictured above) that start around $80 if you want to DIY something, and other companies sell similarly priced Nixie Tube clocks & kits on Etsy, Amazon and elsewhere.
This one from RadioTec mounts the tubes in an antique clock design:
Grab some extra tubes ($5-$10 each) and you’ll be good to go for 60+ years.