55® Nixie Time Zone Clock

In 2008, Adatte Design was already passionate about vintage and eclectic technology and produced a limited run of simple Nixie tube clocks for a client, using six Z566M Nixies mounted on a solid machined aluminum body made in Switzerland. It’s only recently that we rediscovered this clock and thought to make a new one, just for us.

We did a research and eventually found a large new old stock of Z560M tubes in East Europe, the smallest available on the market at that time. More than fifty years ago, they were used on measuring and scientific instruments and calculators, instead of the LED technology we have today. Having found so many, we logically thought to make a large time zone clock that use 5×6 tubes. After many sketches and 3D renderings, no interesting results. We didn’t want to make just ‘another’ nixie clock and there weren’t enough tubes in stock to make a decent number of units, that’s when the breakthrough idea came : Make an all-in-one time zone clock. Six tubes per clock (HH:MM:SS) and a rotating dial to display the corresponding time of each of the five cities through an aperture. The concept was born.

After another bunch of more elaborated sketches on what we called the rotating ‘drum’ and the details of the clock, we started the 3D renderings to give it a strong visual identity and added the colors. I always loved the contrast between matte black and rose gold so it was a natural choice for the clock. It was all designed in our studio in Lausanne, located at Avenue du Léman 55, that’s where the brand name comes from.

Our clock has an original design and is entirely Swiss Made. It holds our own patented system and design and uses 6 new old stock and genuine nixie tubes as a display.