The Numitron Geekwatch

numitron_uhr_gehause_i

[Johannes] wanted to develop an unusual way to display time on a custom wristwatch. LED’s were too common, and mechanical indicators with small engines were too expansive, but Nixie tubes were just right. His design for the Numitron Geekwatch utilized two boards that were soldered together at a right angle, with a 3D printed enclosure made of semi-transparent PLA.

Future designs of this will improve on the button functionality as well as the housing of the wristwatch to protect the fragile tubes from external forces.

After the break is a video (in German) with [Johannes] going through the steps needed to make one of these of your very own:

EDIT:

This watch contains a vacuum with some filaments, not a gas. There is a difference between numitrons and nixie tubes, which has been stated in the comments below.

17 thoughts on “The Numitron Geekwatch

    1. Yeah but stick it in a matt black case, reduce the height quite a bit, replace the bloody awful PLA with a thin metal casing, etc… and it’d be a very nifty looking watch. Would be nice to have the Numitrons slightly proud of the casing, rather than deeply recessed among so much empty space. If he wants to use plastic there’s plenty of potential to make it tighter, since he has access to a 3D printer.

      I think Johannes was concentrating more on getting the electrics working first, maybe he’ll tackle the aesthetics later. He can still say he’s got a Numitron watch and you haven’t!

  1. Anyone have pics or vid of it actually working?
    I’ve seen Nixie tube watches (such as the one the Woz showed off in 2009), but they always have a separate filament for each number (0-9) in each tube. This one appears to only have two vertical filaments in each tube.

      1. A Nixie is a neon discharge lamp with a shaped cathode for each digit.

        A Numitron is a vacuume seven-segment filament lamp (which were also made on DIP format).

  2. Cool hack, but if you’re going to zoom all the way in with your camera try not to move your hands (and the parts you’re trying to show) so much :-P

  3. Nice, but it sounds like he’s speaking a whole nother language! It would look better with a totally clear case though, show off all that geek goodness.

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