What is a Nixie Tube Clock: A Journey Through Time and Retro Technology

Posted by Eugeni Zemtsov on

Hey there! So, Nixie tube clocks are these super cool vintage timepieces that have been charming folks with their unique looks and warm glow. In this article, we're gonna dive into their history, how they work, and why they've made a comeback. We'll also chat about how you can make your own Nixie tube clock and where to find some already made.

What is a Nixie Tube Clock?

Alright, so a Nixie tube clock is this retro-style electronic clock that uses Nixie tubes to show the time. Nixie tubes are these old-school display devices filled with a gas mixture (usually neon) that creates a glow discharge effect when a high voltage is applied to bent metal wires inside the tube. The result? A super distinctive, warm orange glow that makes these clocks an absolute treat to look at!

A Brief History of Nixie Tubes

Back in the 1950s, Nixie tubes were invented and became pretty popular for various uses, like calculators and measurement devices. But as newer tech like LCD and LED came onto the scene, Nixie tubes started to fade out of the spotlight.

The Inner Workings of Nixie Tubes

Nixie tubes work by having a bunch of metal wire numerals inside the tube, and when a high voltage is applied, they start glowing. The whole process makes for a really cool and unique visual effect.

The Resurgence of Nixie Tube Clocks

Lately, Nixie tube clocks have been making a comeback as more people fall in love with vintage electronics. Their one-of-a-kind look and warm glow are hard to resist, so they're popping up in modern gadgets and custom creations.

Building Your Own Nixie Tube Clock

If you're keen on making your own Nixie tube clock, you'll need to find some Nixie tubes and other parts first. It's important to know some basic electronics and safety stuff since you'll be working with high voltages. Don't worry, though – there are plenty of DIY kits and resources online to help you out!

Where to Find Pre-Made Nixie Tube Clocks

If you'd rather snag a pre-made Nixie tube clock, you can find them online or at specialty retailers. Vintage electronics fairs and swap meets are also great spots to check out. Just remember to look for quality when choosing your clock – like the condition of the tubes and how well it's been put together.


Nixie tube clocks are the perfect blend of vintage vibes and warm, glowing ambiance. Whether you want to build your own, find the perfect pre-made model, or just enjoy learning about these awesome timepieces, the world of Nixie tube clocks is a fantastic trip through time and retro technology. We at Nixie-Team are super passionate enthusiasts who create our own nixie bulb clocks, and we'd love for you to check out our catalog for some amazing designs. Happy Nixie hunting!