Nixie-based tube clocks

By Dieter Wächter / Nocrotec


Chronotronix V600-NT Nixie Tube Clock

This is the latest creation from Dieter Wächter / Nocrotec and it is based off of RFT Z5660M tubes. There are two version of this clock listed on Nocrotec: V600-NT and the V600-RT. The NT is the one for sale and has the "nipple top" whereas the RT version has the rounded tube design. I believe the clock has a buy it now price of around $800USD but since bidding has started, I cannot find the price.

As usual, Dieter has done a great job of documenting the design and building of this clock. You can see all of the details here:


  • Fading digits (see video)
  • Stainless Steel Case
  • Directly driven display


v600 tubes


From the auction description:


This Nixie clock combines nostalgic Nixie tubes with innovative circuitry in a nobly stainless steel case. Its elaborate software and features, the good craftsmanship and the beautiful case make this clock a distinctive top-quality product. It's a handmade masterpiece in design and functionality.

This clock uses the beautiful Z5660M tubes with a digit height of 1.2" (30 mm) made by RFT!


Well balanced proportions and a clear geometry making up for a coherent and disciplined yet charming design. The clock is a celebration of purist elegance. The case is made of brushed stainless steel - a complimentary material for this unique Nixie clock. The surface is very shiny and reflects the orange glow of the Nixie tubes - you won't be able to take your eyes off it. We will send a pair of cotton gloves along with your Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock in order to avoid leaving fingerprints on the case. Please wear them whenever you touch your Nixie clock.
View the wonderful case finish here:


The Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock uses a state of the art circuitry. Time is kept by precise real time clock. It's accurate to within 0.0003s per minute. Nixie tubes require a high voltage to operate. In Nixie clocks there are different techniques used to generate this voltage. The Nocrotec V600-NT Nixie Clock uses the most innovative power supply we are aware of. It is a highly efficient, super low noise switch mode power supply in a very small shape (inside the case of course). The clock is not multiplexed, but the 6 Nixie tubes are driven directly.


This clock uses the beautiful Z5660M made by RFT! A popular tube with a great digit height of 1.2" (30 mm). The shape of the numbers of the Z5660M Nixie tube has been considered to be one of the most beautiful ever made. Long life and stable operation are the benefits of these tubes.


  • Digit height: 1.2" (30 mm)
  • 12/24h mode
  • Date in configuration DD.MM.YY or MM.DD.YY
  • Leading zero suppression: The leading zero can be blanked or shown
  • Cross fading: different modes to fade the digits from one number to the next
  • Alarm clock
  • Power down mode: tubes and supply can be totally switched off for a user programmed period in order to save energy and increase life expectancy of the tubes
  • 12VDC input voltage
  • Wall power supply for worldwide use is included
  • Time is battery buffered when no line power is available; battery will last for more than 10 years
  • User settings are always stored
  • Tubes are not soldered but mounted in sockets, that means they are easy to replace
  • Case is made of brushed stainless steel; bottom plate and all screws are made of stainless steel as well
  • Security protection against contact of the high voltage. The high voltage can not be touched also if a tube is pulled accidentally

DIMENSIONS Overall dimensions (incl. tubes):

  • 9.9" (250 mm) long
  • 3.1" (80 mm) deep
  • 3.4" (86 mm) high


  • Diameter: 1.2" (30 mm)
  • Visible part is 2.25" (57 mm) tall from the glass surface to the top of the tube
  • Digit height is 1.2" (30 mm)


  • 9.9" (250 mm) long
  • 3.1" (80 mm) deep
  • only 1.1" (27mm) high




eBay seller Turbo_Hobby emailed me to show off his newest creation -  a 4 digit IN-12 nixie clock that he has been working on.  Bidding is up to $19 and ends in 7 days.  It comes fully assembled and ready to use. Since this uses IN-12a tubes, the "5" digit is actually an upside down "2".  Presumably the designers did this to save the effort of forming one more digit, however small of a savings that would be.  I really like these tubes because of that little quirk. it gives them more of a personality.

He suggests using this as a novelty desk clock...but given the form factor, you could easily mount this in a small photo box frame or other gadget.  I do have one item from this seller, a single digit clock, and I've been happy with it so far.  Go check out his auction at the bottom of this article.


Turbo Mac IN12 Clock


This is a fully assembled four digit nixie clock with tube saving function. The clock is assembled with high-quality components and accurate clock pulse generator. Digits displayed are large and bright, which is good for a desk clock. Time will be kept by a lithium battery (soldered on board) when it is unplugged. Please refer to the video below or contact me for other details.



  • 4 NOS Soviet IN-12A nixie tubes, bright even in daytime
  • 3 Sets of Alarms
  • 3 Sets of programmable tube saving mode to extend tube life time (Tubes are physically turned off by MOSFET during those periods)
  • 24 hour mode
  • Stores both time and Date
  • Ultra easy control with 4 buttons (set, select, up and down)
  • Standard DC 12V 3.5mm inner positive power supply
    • 150-200mA working current
    • 10mA only at tube saving mod (all tubes are off)
  • Colon displayed by vantage neon bulb as well
  • Reliable high quality components
    • Real-time Clock DS1302
    • Accurate SMD Clock Oscillator
    • Murata (Japan) SMD Clock Trimmer Capacitor
    • ATmel M8 Microprocessor
    • SMD CR1220 Backup Battery
    • High Quality Resettable Fuse
    • ultra slim SMD Alarm Speaker * 2


UPDATE: not 5 minutes after this was posted, the item sold

Jeff Thomas has put one of his rare nixie watches up for sale on eBay for $500. To the best of my knowledge, this is the only 4 digit nixie clock on the market.  It is slightly larger than the David Forbes design but it appears to be narrower and is enclosed in a clear acrylic case.  As bet as I can tell in my research, this is the original nixie watch design.

Jeff Thomas Nixie Watch

From the auction:

Background: thirty five of these watches were assembled in 2001. Now nine years later, I revisited the original design.

I had completed a small production of six watches this week.  This is the one remaining watch, and is being offered on ebay.

Shipping will be by USPS Priority Mail in the USA.  International shipping will be USPS Express Mail worldwide.

Jeff Thomas Nixie Watch

(now quit reading and go buy it!)


  • The Auction
  • The Seller I have personally purchased from him and I can verify that this is his real eBay account.

Ebay Find: Giant Nixie Tube Digital Clock - 4 B-7971 Display Tubes

Price: Currently $102 / Ends May 07, 201003:05:36 PDT

Here is a great clock I found while doing my daily scour for gadgets on eBay.  It is a 4 digit B7971 clock that was home-made but it looks quite nice.  Given that the tubes alone have gone for as high as $80/each recently, I can't imagine this clock selling for less that $350.  I've got to keep an eye on this one; I'm already jealous of whoever buys it.


4 digit B7971 Clock

From the auction:

The first of twelve digital clocks I built using B-7971 Giant Nixie Tubes
(This is also the last one in my posession)

The Clock Chip used is Fairchild's 7002, BCD output.

A cmos Logic circuit was designed so unique digits could be created.
(Note in the picture the unique shape of the 3,4,& 7 characters)

The cabinet measements are approximately 14" x 7" x 6"

These clocks & display tubes have a very long life expetency.

(Never had a failure of the 12 I built)
I will include any spec. sheets I can find for the components used in this item.
This clock was once used in a home with a smoker but cleaning and time has removed 99% of the related odor.

4 digit B7971 Clock

4 digit B7971 Clock


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