Fred Niell's Elegant Nixie Clocks
By James Grahame
Fred Niell's Индикатор-6 (Indicator-6) digital clock mixes old fashioned woodwork with modern electronics. Each of these timepieces is housed in a beautiful mahogany and black walnut dovetailed case. The compact unit measures only 5.75” x 3.5” x 3.25” and consumes a mere 1.5W during operation.
The vintage display tubes were manufactured in 1971, at the height of the USSR's technological might. As Fred explains, "Russian-made vacuum tubes were specially selected for this clock. According to their original manufacturer, these tubes are rated for tens of thousands of hours of continuous use in extreme vibration and altitude environments. The exotic materials used in the tubes' construction, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Mercury, steatite ceramics, etc., stand testament to the immense work put into their development and manufacture. The manufacture date of 1971 points to a time when the tube industry had reached its pinnacle in both reliability and technological advancement. Truly, these tubes represent one facet of the peak of the USSR's intellectual and scientific output, fueled by the Cold War's escalations."
The limited edition run of one hundred Indicator-6 clocks is hand-assembled in the USA and sells for $275, including a wall-wart power supply. An international version is available for $10 more.