The Resurrection of Retro!

If you’re a millenial, you may not have heard of nixie tubes, and I’m pretty sure you don’t care much for desktop clocks. Technology has taken over these two products, rendering them obsolete, but if history is any indication, even obsolescence is temporary. Nintendo’s NES is back on the shelves, Fujifilm and Polaroid are actually banking on sales of instant cameras… In short, vintage will always have a cool quotient… and nothing can ever be cooler than a Nixie Tube!

The Blub Keo is a whoppingly large nixie tube timepiece that sits on your desktop representing everything that’s awesomely analog. Completely hand-crafted (and the largest ever to be assembled for production), these tubes tell the time by illuminating the digits one by one. Blub may have taken the retro approach with the nixie tube, but if you take a glimpse at the video above, or the product below, the Blub is no less beautiful than any Apple product. The tube’s construction is meticulous, precise, and simply marvelous. Even the industrial process behind its manufacturing has a rich heritage that’s just plain beautiful to watch. The tube sits on top of an anodized Aluminum base that gives the product its edgy modern twist. The base houses a microUSB-to-USB connection that allows you to power the clock even via your laptop (nixie tubes have an incredibly low power consumption). On the front of the base is an IR Sensor that accepts signals from the Blub’s remote control that allows you to read not just the time, but also the date and temperature. You can choose between five very contemporary different finishes for the base of the Blub, giving your product the perfect blend between vintage and modern… I call this Neo-Vintage!

What’s beautiful about the Blub Keo is the fact that it introduces a slowly fading but ever beautiful piece of technology into a modern setting, giving it a new avatar. The coils that light up on the inside provide a soothing sensation that takes you away from today’s screen-centric world, plus every Industrial Designer should experience the nixie tube as an important milestone in our industrial history… The interaction and interface is incredibly simple, and even comes with the ability to be easily replaced. If the Nixie Tube should ever break, it can be easily replaced in under 5 minutes by any and everyone. So what do you think of the beautifully hypnotic, Neo-Vintage Blub Keo nixie tube clock?

Designer: Duncan Hellmers

Buy It Here: $300