The M.A.D Gallery – short for “mechanical art devices” – is the MB&F-owned boutique that sells not only brand’s timepieces but also all manner of creative and ingenious mechanical creations. Now the Geneva M.A.D Gallery marks its fifth year with the Nixie Machine II, the second edition of the architectural Nixie tube clock created by Frank Buchwald, a German craftsman better known for his extraordinarily elaborate, hand-made standing lamps.
Constructed similarly to the first Nixie Machine, but more aggressively styled, the Nixie Machine II is hand-made from burnished steel and brass, measuring an impressive 1.2m, or just under 4ft, from end to end. Some 200 parts are required to build each clock, including six Nixie tubes – glass vials filled with neon gas, and equipped with a cathode that causes the gas to glow orange when an electrical charge is applied.
Unlike the vintage, “new old stock” Nixie tubes used in the first clock, the tubes in the Nixie Machine II are produced by Czech engineer Dalibor Farny, who reverse engineered vintage Nixie tubes and now offers them in several sizes, alongside smaller table clocks with Nixie tube displays.
But despite the retro tech for the time display, the clock is kitted out with conveniently modern electronics including a Wifi connection, allowing it to automatically sync with a time signal. All the features of the clock, including dimming the numerals, can be programmed online.
Price and availability
The Nixie Machine II is a limited edition of 12 pieces, available at the M.A.D Galleries in Geneva, Dubai, and Taipei. It’s priced at SFr29,700 including Swiss taxes, or about US$30,000.
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Frank Buchwald, the German lamp maker championed by MB&F's M.A.D. Gallery, recently completed the Nixie Machine, an imposing desk clock equipped with a Nixie tube display.