A revival of old technology
VULCAN is a contemporary square-faced wristwatch that features two Nixie tubes for numerical display. Nixie tubes (AKA cold cathode displays) are neon-filled glass tubes that use gas discharge to emit a warm, orange glow from shaped wires. They are a truly beautiful way to display time as well as a symbol of an era filled with unprecedented scientific and engineering breakthroughs. Though modern technology has rendered Nixie tubes obsolete, we are still enamored with the character of their layered numerals and enchanting glow.
In this carefully crafted harmony of modern and vintage, we are giving Nixies a new life in a modern vessel. We want you to be able to bring this rare and special technology into your everyday life as an expressive accessory that you can wear anywhere. The VULCAN watch's sleek look and unusual display make it distinctive yet understated, and is sure to pique the interest of all who catch a glimpse of its clean, bold design. We're also happy to say that at 44 x 47 x 16.5 mm, VULCAN is the smallest 2-tube Nixie watch available.
This is a project our team based in Vancouver, Canada started nearly 3 years ago and have worked on tirelessly and passionately ever since. We strived to develop a Nixie watch that was more stylish, less bulky, and competitively affordable relative to existing products with less compromise regarding materials, interaction, or software.
The following is a demonstration of some of VULCAN's key features. Please note that the software is still being refined, and that demonstrated features may be subject to changes. A more in-depth tutorial video will also be produced once software is finalized, and each watch comes with a user manual.
- Wake Activation — The watch shows the time only when you want to see it. It uses an accelerometer to trigger the display of time in hours, then minutes (and optionally seconds) in 24-hour time when you motion your wrist to check the time. You can choose to disable this feature and activate the display by pressing the button on the watch's side instead. Disabling the wake feature extends the battery life and prevents accidentally triggering the display by disabling the accelerometer.
- Transition Animations — Choose from 6 different transition animation settings: default, fade, cross-fade, slots, random, neon flicker, glitch.
- Quick Display Mode — Displays only the hours and minutes within 1 second and disables animation transitions for a quicker flash of the time.
- Water Resistance — VULCAN is safe to use even when wet. Though the watch can withstand significant submersion, we would still advise against fully submerging it for an extended period of time as the watch is NOT WATERPROOF!
- Wireless Charging — The watch uses Qi wireless charging protocol which will be compatible with most wireless chargers on the market. A wireless charging dock will also be provided with your VULCAN watch. It takes approximately 2 hours to fully charge.
- Dimensions: 44 x 47 x 16.5 mm
- Body: Highly scratch-resistant 316L stainless steel watch body with sapphire crystal face to withstand long-term daily use. Anti-glare and lipophobic coating on the crystal.
- Battery: 200 mAh Lithium-Polymer battery with heavy optimization that would last about a week under excessive use during the first few weeks.
- 2 x 5870 series Nixie tubes
- Standard 22mm watch straps so you can customize freely.
Risks and challenges
We know that VULCAN is not the first wristwatch to use Nixie tubes, and we also know that our product currently is fairly expensive and therefore is not completely accessible to everyone interested. These are some of the challenges we face going forward with this campaign. We hope that enough people see the merit of our creation and invest in VULCAN both as a product and a brand so we can work towards more affordable Nixie tube products together.
Our team also understands that production can be a complicated process, and have limited our assembly and production schedule so that we do not become overburdened. We are confident that we will be able to get all rewards to all backers in a timely fashion.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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