Introduction: Nixie Watch Prototype_C

Picture of Nixie Watch Prototype_C

Small worklog of my new nixie watch creation

I spend 6 month for building this watch.

Aluminium case. - Created from one solid piece of aluminium. Using lathe I cut 2 parts: top cover and casing

Quartz glass. - Glass cutted and polished from one solid block of quartz glass

Leather bracelet. - 28mm width

Docking station. - cutted from oak wood. On docking station installed mini-USB port for connectivity with charger.


Sensor adjustments - no mooving parts.

This is Fully Assembled and Tested Nixie Watch with 2 Pieces IN-16 NOS Tubes.

Power By: DC 5V via rechargeable battery or via Docking station.

Time before recharging: 6+ hours in active mode or more than 3+ month in passive mode

User Selectable: HH-MM / Change on - off / Charge left /Back-light colour

Dimension: Width 50mm x Depth 19mm

Docking station powered via USB. Oak Wood

Water resistance: Rainy weather will be not a problem.

Battery: Lithium-polymer, nonremovable. 400mah

Accuracy: +/- 1 second per month

Operating Temperature: -25 to +40°С / +3 to 105°F

Glass: Quartz glass !!!

Step 1:

Picture of

First of all i'll ansver for your question abaut sharing drawings or cirquit:

Sorry byt it will be really impossible: 2 weeks ago my SSD drive died with all drawings... of all my creations

I have 5 finished boards left and i\ll use them for Steampunk art. (like on first photo)


Materials: Solid aluminium block, bicycle spokes, quartz glass, oak, little brass.

Equipment: Lathe, Dremel, file, time

Step 2: Circuits

Watch assembled from 4 circuits

1. Mainboard

2. Tube board

3. Left RGB led board

4. Right RGB led board


1. Atmel microcontroller

2. Accelerometer or buttons

3. 2 batteries

4. no RTC

5. power supply

Working mode: Dynamic indication

Circuits i ordered on factury this time. I use board with multiple layers. Board thickness 0.75 mm

Step 3: And More Photos

Picture of And More Photos

And more photos from photoset it was really cold


AzamatB (author)2017-01-17

Hi for all) sorry my english)))

I working about this question something like one year. I have some circuts and sourse codes. I am ready to work with you. Write me on

ok, i'll contact with you+i know belarus, ukrainian and russian

lets see a collaboration!

well done, sir, well done.

I have never worked with arduino or nixie....but I think they are beautiful.

This really is a great piece!

ThirdEarthDesign (author)2017-01-22

That's just awesome, I love nixie clocks, never thought I'd see one on a wristwatch.

Zachary Goode (author)2017-01-20

Is there anyway that you can recover the schematics, maybe through the company that made the board and post them?

its too expensive. ill draw new one for watch with in-17 tubes

odellcowgirl (author)2017-01-17

I LOVE THIS! Would like to buy one for my son, I'm not smart enough to make one!

i can assembly one for you

How much would it run me? My son is a junior in high school, along with his sisters (yes they are triplets) and the girls just love this for him. He's the one in the red suit at the Texas state Debate competition! Just think how cool he would look with your super cool watch, (I get it I'm old)

Check PM

Ds45 (author)prototype_mechanic2017-01-18

can i buy it?

prototype_mechanic (author)Ds452017-01-18

RicksterInstructables (author)2017-01-18

I LOVE it.

As one who followed the Apollo program as a kid, I've always lived nixies.

And while this is wayyy beyond my capabilities, it inspires me to make something.

Thanks for sharing!

bmiller91 (author)2017-01-17

"2 weeks ago my SSD drive died with all drawings... of all my creations"

So sorry! Hopefully it will at least serve as a reminder to others to do online backup.

RockeyDA (author)bmiller912017-01-17

how can you do a backup online? i use 2 hdd's for backup cuz putting 5tb of data on DVD's is unreasonable.

DavidA26 (author)RockeyDA2017-01-18

Better choose what to backup, Hardly 5% of those 5 gb are thing that you create.In my opinion it's just enough make backup of the pictures folders and personal documents.

bmiller91 (author)DavidA262017-01-18

Agree. Point is to backup material which would be impossible/difficult to reproduce.

You can get free cloud space with Microsoft Onedrive, Google Drive etc. or paid service such as Carbonite.

Onedrive is great but requires a bit of "mindset" change. It's not a backup per se rather it's an online drive which you can sync to your local drive (PC, Tablet etc.).

Taz-Hood (author)2017-01-17

I'm so sad for you that your SSD failed. This is one of the coolest watches in the whole world and totally unique. I also really like the Steampunk versions you built using five (?) Nixies and three leather straps. They are very bold and beautiful as well. Great work! Your solid aluminum Nixie watch should someday be on display in a major museum. Is it for sale? I'm sure I could not afford one, but I think a well-off watch collector would LOVE to have it. Thank you for sharing this Instructable. You are a design genius!

<i>I also really like the Steampunk versions you built using five (?) Nixies and three leather straps</i>

4 in14 nixietubes and one dot-nixietube

ups sorry. in-16 tube used on prototype_a

josephlebold (author)Taz-Hood2017-01-17

I use an old program called drive rescue to recover files in deleted and reformatted drives. I don't know what failed in your ssd but it would have to be a total hardware failure to be unrecoverable. I'm just theorizing here but I would imagine if you disassembled it you may be able to devise a way to read data out of the individual flash chips.

Duplicity (author)2017-01-15

Really cool. Love Nixie Tubes. Incorporating into a watch was something I never thought of. Well done!

i think abaut creation smaller watch using this rare tubes.

I keep thinking about that too, as I found a few hundred of these tubes. The case design is very challenging, to make it appear reasonably thin, like the watch in the game Metro: Last Light.

AzamatB (author)nixiebunny2017-01-17

which tubes do you have? i bought on e-bay several B-4997. my designs thickness with them 22 mm. i cant find any way to optimizate it size

metro. probably this VFD tube. 30VAD

or this old led

mythcat (author)2017-01-17

look's great , can you put a video for us ?

on youtube

or check my instagram page

if you want video with watch - i can make new one

I saw the videos, look's working well ...and just 5 volts. I think is numitrons which have incandescent filaments because most nixie need over 160 volts, anyway great work.

nixiebunny (author)mythcat2017-01-17

These are IN-16 Nixie tubes. There is a high voltage power supply on the circuit board to make 200V. Did you not see that?

miniaturization :)

numitrons has bigger power consumption

gm280 (author)2017-01-15

Now that is unique. I can only imagine all the hurtles you had to over come to make it work. Bravo sir Bravo.

nixiebunny (author)gm2802017-01-17

It's not exactly unique, as I have made over a thousand similar Nixie watches for over ten years. But it is the only one just like it.

Kalle Klæp (author)2017-01-17
Just when you think you've seen it all...?

That's one of the coolest watches I've ever seen..!

You do your handle justice...thanks for sharing your piece of art.

nealalan (author)2017-01-17

Curious how similar this is to Steve Wozniak's Nixie Watch?

Steve have CatodeCorners watch.

My smaller and....

smurf (author)2017-01-17

There's something to be said for religiously doing regular backups …

prototype_mechanic (author)smurf2017-01-17

i worked from firewalled net... google drive and dropbox was denied

+ it was sheer laziness on my part to

someone call techmoan

LOL, yes!

Techmoan would definitely get this XD

arduino shield coming

Red-Fox (author)2017-01-17

this, Sir, is the most awesome not analogue watch I have ever seen!

rod.chastain (author)2017-01-17

COOL factor=10000000

CCX191 (author)2017-01-17

Well built and professional. Very nice indeed. Would give this ago one day. looking forward for more.

ste1389 (author)2017-01-15

is love to give this ago but can u help me were can I get the circuit boads and such from

Hello what exact you need?

1. watch?

2. electronics (watch without casing)?

3. cirquit?

4. you want address of factory to create you own boards?

nqtronix (author)2017-01-15

Beautifully executed project! It's a bummer that the technical files got lost, though :/

About This Instructable




Bio: Steampunk artist, scientist, engineer
More by prototype_mechanic:Nixie Watch Prototope_a V5. Full DatasheetNixie Watch Prototype_CUniversal Measure and Control System for SCIENCE Purposes
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