These Hand-Made, Solar-Powered Nixie Watches Are Retro-Tastic

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Nixie watches are nothing new – Woz wears one sometimes – but these glowing tubes, originally designed in the 1970s for heavy-duty industrial displays, are hard to power and hard to maintain. However, it looks like a designer has finally hit on exactly the right mix of cool styling and power management.

Created by an Australian named Michel van der Meij, these watches hold a single Nixie tube and have large solar panels on the front. The buttons on the top allow you to scroll through features and you tell the time by reading the display one digit at a time. He sells them for about $1,000 on eBay. The watch is called the Kopriso Mi Esposita and is completely hand-assembled by Michel.

He also makes a round model called the Cold War, but it uses a single battery that may or may not stay alive for long. The Esposita can last, without charging, for months as long as it gets plenty of sun. They are surprisingly rare – there are only about seven in the world – and Michel posts them to his page when he’s completed them.

Sadly Michel is not yet crowd funding these but I’d be the first in line. A real, working Nixie clock on your wrist without a bulky battery charger is a great thing. Techmoan has a very long video describing the watches, but you can keep an eye on Michel’s Facebook page for photos and updates.