WARNING! Before you part with any hard earned money after reading this blog, check out the comments at the end, because community member Duediligence says that the site I reference is a scam.
Let’s start by my acknowledging the fact that I love Nixie tubes in general and that I have a soft spot for steampunk inspired Nixie tube artifacts in particular.
The reason I mention this here is that my chum Charles J. Lord just emailed me to say, “I have no idea why, but I thought of you when I saw this.” Charles’ message was accompanied by a link to a rather cool, and amazingly affordable, Nixie tube watch on the Leonenri website.
As an aside, did you notice where I just wrote “Charles’ message” and wonder if I should instead have said “Charles’s message”? Well, according to this entry on WordReference.com: Traditionally, the possessive of Charles is Charles’s, pronounced “Charlz-uhz.” According to the new rules, the possessive of Charles is Charles’, which can be pronounced either “Charlz” or “Charlz-uhz.”
But we digress… In addition to the four Nixie tubes, which are used to display the date and time, this wrist-mounted chronograph is equipped with tricolor LEDs (that can be deactivated if required), a temperature sensor, an accelerometer, the ability to set the brightness of the tubes, and a slot machine effect when the display is activated or deactivated.
According to the Leonenri site, the body of the watch, which is 63 mm in diameter and 18 mm thick, is milled from a solid piece of material. Somewhen confusingly, the site also says that the body is made from titanium and brass. I think the main body is titanium accompanied by a brass bezel, but I’m not 100% sure on this. The “glass” face is 2 mm thick artificial sapphire. There’s also a docking station for charging that’s made out of wood with a metal base.
The most amazing thing about this little beauty is the price, which is only $29.99 plus shipping (if you buy three, you get free shipping).
I must admit that if I wasn’t already the proud possessor of the “Rolls Royce” of Nixie tube watches, I’d splash the cash in a flash for one of these little rascals. As it is, for special occasions like technical conferences, I proudly flaunt one of the original round Nixie tube watches that are hand-crafted by David Forbes of Cathode Corner fame.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak also proudly sports one of these Cathode Corner creations. Apparently, it’s the one techno-geek gadget The Woz owns that he wished he’d invented himself. As Woz told the BBC in the Woz’s Words of Wisdom interview, “It’s a geeky watch and I would have loved to have invented that. I would feel real good about it.”
As another aside, if you haven’t already done so, may I suggest The Woz’s autobiography iWoz for your reading pleasure. Although this book received mixed reviews, I personally enjoyed it, especially when read in conjunction with the biographies/autobiographies of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Paul Allen.
It’s not often I find myself in the company of someone like The Woz (although I did once meet him at a conference and we had a nice chat about “this and that”), so it’s pretty cool to know that — considering he could afford to acquire any watch on the planet — he opted for the same offering as your humble narrator. How about you? Are there any Nixie tube artifacts upon which you would like to lay your hands?