NIWA Nixie tube watch

Super excited when my Kickstarter NIWA Nixie Tube Watch finally arrived in my mail. As all Kickstarter products, I was rather skeptical about every product companies, yet there were the few that exceptionally met my expectations or exceeds it.

And NIWA delivered on both!

So what is this watch all about? NIWA is a nixie tube wristwatch which displays time using classic vintage-looking Nixie tube or old cathode style display brings back the much-loved retro technology from the 70’s and 80’s. Very groovy indeed! Designed delicately by Alexander Avramenko and Yauheni Artsimouski they manufactured a luxuriously beautiful solid machined aluminium cased wrist clock (mine’s the matte black painted).  The tubes are super quiet, zero heat, uses very little energy and has the most beautiful way of displaying time that would make any goggle-eyed steampunk, fashionista hipster, huff-puffing away with obvious envy.

But enough of the chit-chat backstory… On to the main event! The Unboxing…

Don’t you just love the packaging? Well, I do! I find the classy laser etched wordings to be so beautifully crafted. Sure it’s not solid hardwood, but it’s still something I’d proudly display on my mantle piece.

Opening it up, I really feel like Christmas came early. Inside, includes the sassy, snazzy Nixie Tube Watch with a charging dock, a micro-USB cable, a nifty little keychain magnet, and the instruction manual.

A closer look at the watch itself. Sure, it’s a bit bulky for my slim, slender hands, but hey, it still looks rad as ever! I might probably get a thick leather strap to attach it to. That way it’d look much more proportionate to my thin Asian wrists.

Here’s a back look, and there’s the nifty Kickstarter Pledger’s number etched at the back. Oh, how my heart melts to know I’m one of the few ‘special’ people in the world with this watch.

And finally, after charging it up for an hour or so, it was time to light it up!

Alright, so here’s the thing; for a USD $440 watch (Kickstarter price… sorry guys), this is a pretty well lit tube watch with exceptional craftsmanship. While it may not be like the other super-pricey Nixie Tube watches in the market, it *is* affordable (Hey, if you can spend a couple hundred bucks on a pair of kicks, why not get something that actually tells you the time as well?). There aren’t any buttons on the side, so don’t start panicking just yet. To turn it on, the device works on a built-in accelerometer that at a 45 degree angle, will light up the time for half a second.

So how do you adjust the time, you might ask?

Interestingly enough, it uses magnets. Yes, I said it right – MAGNETS! (That little attached key chain? yeah, that!) hover it on either left or right side of the watch to adjust the setting to either 12hr or 24hr display, and set the time. Heck, you can even adjust the angle of the accelerometer turning it on.

Though it was a novelty idea, it took some getting used to – a lot of figuring out if I was doing it right, and I took roughly a good half hour to get it, but I finally got the hang of it and adjusted the time just right.

OMG, I just *LOVE* how it lights up in the dark!

Anyhoots, this tick-tocker (doesn’t actually tock. Or tick) spouts a large 55mm diameter sapphire glass face (Looks so huge on my Asian K-pop style wrists), takes about 3hrs to fully juice it on it’s own little charging dock. Once done, will last 4-6days. I’ve got to say, that’s pretty impressive. I even got the choice to choose 1 of 8 different straps to go with it – course I’d choose the metal linked one. But hey, if you enjoy being spoiled for choices like choosing pizza toppings, then it’s pretty awesome that there are so many different wrist wrappers to pick from. – think that might only be available for kickstarters?

Not only that, it comes in the original silver, and matte black casing.

So, verdict?

While it might not be a super-luxurious timepiece, the NIWA Nixie Tube Watch does meet my affordable-luxury expectations; without burning a deep-hole in the financial accounts department. Definitely an eye-catching conversation-starter timepiece that’ll guarantee to get everyone talking about it. I’m giving this a 4/5 in my books!

As hot as…

…flashy Marty McFly totting his spliced retro-futuristic, steampunk De Lorean flux capacitor from the Future/Wild West slapped onto his wrist.

[ Kickstarter Campaign Page ]

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  1. Andrew

    Good afternoon!

    I am also the owner of Niwa. After fully charging my watch lived for 2 days and there was not even a warning that they were discharged. Although I did not use them intensively. In addition, I did not receive additional spare tubes. I want to ask you how you are with this? How long does your watch last? Are there other problems with the clock.

    With all respect, Andrew

    1. derekyap

      Hi Andrew,

      As an owner, and avid Tech-Gadget person, I can safely say most wearables lasts roughly 1-day at most. Depending on usage.

      For me, I’m using the Niwa and it lasts me at least 2-days as well, on moderate usage. Yeah, I do agree with you on the discharging.

      Initially there was a problem with setting the time. But I realised it was magnetic interference with my computer while adjusting it. After that it was pretty much okay.
      Point to note though, if the watch discharges, you’ll have to re-set the time all over again. Which is a bummer. There’s no battery life indicator, so I usually just charge it on the dock after every use.

      Hmm.. I didn’t receive any spare tubes either. I don’t believe I saw that in the package included with the Early-bird starters pack.

      Anyway here’s some tips as well…

      1. Don’t set your watch close by to anything magnetic or has interference
      2. Before setting your watch, angle it at 45 degrees.
      3. don’t hold the magnet to the setting point for too long. dab it to change the settings (I had a hard time figuring this out)
      4. practice.

      After some practice, you’ll get the hang of it, and it’s totally fine. =]

    2. Beau Smith

      Hey do you still have this watch by chance? Would you sell it to me?

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