A Nixie with New Life


One of the first digital display clocks, 1950s Nixies are now prized for their modern aesthetic. Lizzie Wright’s take on the vintage find merges modern finishes with the classic nixie tube clock circuit.

Each glass tube contains a filament for every number, adding up to 60 filaments in total. The result is soft orange glowing numbers within these glass tubes. The challenge was to create a structure with aesthetic appeal that would not distract from this mesmerizing function. Ash wood was chosen for the face and sides because of its attractive grain and machinability, then finished by hand planing and sanding. The aluminum body was made from an extruded tube welded to flat stock, which was then machined. All the edges were beveled by hand and given a sandblasted finish. The radius of the wooden component allows it to easily slide into the aluminum body where it appears to float above the ground plane.

Designer: Lizzie Wright