You have most certainly heard about the expression oldies but goldies when it comes to good old music that you listen even today. The expression can easily work with Frank Buchwald’s creation, the Nixie Machine. This is an amazing sculptural clock, which features six glowing Nixie tubes from the 1960s.

The clock is made of brushed brass and steel and the numbers are shown in six glowing Nixie tubes which have been made 55 years ago. Each of the glowing digits is displayed thanks to an originally and amazingly well preserved Z568M Nixie tube, produced by RFT in the 1960s in East Germany. The six tubes are divided into three pairs, for hours, minutes and seconds or day, month, year. The Nixie tubes are placed on a retro-futuristic designed structure in Buchwald’s signature ‘heavy engineering’ style.

The Nixie tubes used for this project are 90mm in height, being among the largest and rarest ever manufactured. They are combined with electronic circuitry to display the glowing 6 digits. The brass for the Nixie Machine is hand polished and the blackened steel parts are burnished by repeated heating and dipping into acid to give them the silky, black oxidation.


As each Nixie Machine is handmade and require months of meticulous work, Buchwald can only make about 6 such machines per year, each one signed by the artist. Each machine has around 350 components, each of them hand crafted by Buchwald out of blocks and bars of raw metal. The Nixie tubes have survived the communist era being stored in a sealed army depot in Bulgaria. The stock was sourced by Alberto Schileo, a Nixie clocks collector and the one who creates the electronic circuit board for each of these machines.

As each Nixie machine is unique, so are the options for displaying the date and time. You can choose from fading effects, flip over effects, and many more. The clock circuit board has both a DCF77 receiver and a GPS receiver for date and time setting, but manual setting is also possible.