Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube - Page 7
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Thread: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Re: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

    Quote Originally Posted by papou.79 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    What I'm worried about is not the look of the watch, it's the Nixie display.
    Indeed it’s the most sensitive part in the life watch.

    The hermeticity of the passage of the inner electrodes to outside the Nixie tube is fundamental and represents a great technical complexity.
    Neon gas leaks over time are a very difficult parameter to control at this level,
    even Dalibor Farny on his big series had had problems in production?

    Do you have pictures of your Nixie display to tell us how you solve
    these reliability issues over time on very small runs.

    Thank you in advance for your information.
    Good question, but no worries. As I said in my previous reply, I spent most of my time on this issue. BTW, that is why the case design is so frustrating - it is just the looks, but it will be crucial to the market response. As an engineer, I felt that my job was done once I finished the work on the tube, but oh no... the troubles just started :)

    I don't want to reveal all my secrets regarding the tube, but I can reveal the obvious ones. I spent first 2 years just researching and testing many different technologies to make such a small tube with 4 digits, and another 2 years perfecting the technologies I chose.

    I use kovar (cobalt nickel and iron alloy) headers with glass feedthroughs for my electrical connections (these are used in military / space technologies and in microwave circuits). Those are very durable and leak proof. They will not leak to spoil the noble gas inside, in 100 years.
    For windowed lid, I use the same technology but instead of feedthroughs the whole window is sealed in the kovar frame. Very few companies in the world make those, especially large windows like mine. These technologies are meant for lasers and such stuff where openings are much smaller, so it is expensive.
    I have developed additional features for vacuuming, gas and mercury dosing and activating the getter inside without RF power, but I can't reveal all specific procedures.
    The construction inside is made of stainless steal and zirconia layers with some PVD coating on some parts.
    Lid and header are laser welded together and the whole tube is tested and proven to be leak proof below 10^(-12) mBar l/s. That is the minimum my equipment can measure.

    Small run or big run, the process is the same.

    Is my answer good enough? ;)

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Belarus, Minsk

    Re: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

    I have no clue how it works for nixie tubes, but for regular digital watches there's no empty space between the crystal and the LCD/LED screen. They are just stacked one on top of another. And there's no dial, usually. just a thin film or coat of paint on the inner side of the crystal.

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Re: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

    This is really cool, but I strongly prefer the original case design you posted, that or the one on page 3 of this thread. Basically, I think that to me, a watch like this in a lug-less case would look cheap... Jut my 2c. Good luck with this!


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  5. #64
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Los Angeles county, California, United States of America

    Re: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

    One thing I like about the most recent case version from posts #53 and 57, is that it seems to use a strap attached by conventional watch strap spring bars. The strap and clasp may be custom-made, but if (when) they fail, there will always be lots of possibilities for replacement if originals are no longer available.

  6. #65
    dec is offline
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

    REALLY waiting to see how this turns out! I feel your pain with the design side... I'm wondering who the intended market is? Is it tech guys, who know about nixies, and might be convinced to buy a fun watch to wear a lot? Or is it watch collectors looking for an ultra-cool oddity to add to their rotation? Like a lot of people here I have a ton of normal dress/sport/vintage/etc watches, for me the reason I would buy this watch would be if it creates a strong Nixie-Punk / retro-future aesthetic. The design of #37 captures this best for me, but still a bit safe for my tastes. I might be unusual in that! It's a little bit like the challenge facing designers of modern vinyl record players! Several different markets/price brackets/aesthetic approaches...
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    Last edited by dec; April 9th, 2019 at 05:15.

  7. #66
    Join Date
    Jun 2013

    Re: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

    That is one sweet watch.

  8. #67
    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    Re: Aestus - a Nixie watch with custom made nixie tube

    If the black PVD case will be available and have a good price I might be tempted to buy one. Would just need to have a black Milanese strap on it and it would be perfect for me.

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