Watchprosite Review of the Dalibor Farny Puri Nixie Clock

Dec 10, 2018,16:54 PM

By Patrick Yuan; a review of the new Nixie Clock by Dalibor Farny. 



I’ve slowed down on buying watches; and I’ve stepped up increasing my acquisition of horological “lifestyle” items.  It’s not just about having more watches than you can wear and enjoy, it’s also about having enough horological and mechanicals objets d’art that aren’t on your wrist, but are in your home, office, and other places you frequent.  The past few years I’ve been more focused on surrounding myself with rare and unusual devices that satisfy my horological and mechanical passions.    


I recently found myself starting to fall in love with Nixie Clocks.  Many of you will recall my research and exploration in my post here (feel free to peruse this article quickly again, as a lot of things in this review pertain to it):


In my quest of learning more about Nixie Clocks, and after seeing the Nixie Machine II, a creation of Max Busser’s MB&F Gallery artist Frank Buchwald, I learned more about a Czech gentleman named Dalibor Farny who also discovered his love for Nixie tubes and subsequently Nixie Clocks.  Here is a man who fell in love with Nixie tubes, particularly the Z568 tube, one of the largest and most elegantly proportioned tubes.  Farny took his passion many times further than I did; Farny, driven by his passion and quest to resurrect Nixie tubes, decided in 2011 to take it upon himself to devote his life (and savings) into studying and recreating the Nixie tubes.  Keep in mind, these Nixie tubes haven’t been made for around 50 years!  Farny’s passion led him down a path; he had to painfully (and injuriously) learn glass blowing, electronic circuitry, and he ended up building a factory structure in his garden.  Like a tech company start up, less the funding, he bought second-hand industrial equipment, glass making equipment, and lots of testing and detecting scopes.  He’s since outgrown his factory and now rents professional office space where he keeps dozens of gigantic machines that are required in building and testing the Nixie Tubes to ensure they’re wired properly and that they don’t leak any gas. 


Farny makes two different Nixie Clocks; the ZEN Clock is his flagship; a six tube display that shows the hours, minutes, and seconds.  It resides in a glass case that is both aesthetically impressive as it is practical at keeping the dust from entering the clock. 


But the piece mentioned in this review is Farny’s latest masterpiece; the PURI Nixie Clock which is a simpler 5 tube design; two tubes display the hours; one tube of Farny’s own design displays the colon; and two tubes display the minutes.  I’ve been enjoying this clock for nearly a month now and the excitement has only grown. 

This is the wood crate you want to see on your door step.

Box within the box...

Custom made box for the PURI Nixie Clock. It's awesome!


The design is an architectural masterpiece that’s destined to become a classic.  It’s got a warm mid-century modern feeling – perfect, considering that’s the time Nixie tubes were the most popular – and yet a futuristic clean design that wouldn’t be out of place on the set of a Star Trek movie. 


The architecturally modern clock looks great within classical mahogany environs...

The clock is a blend of Cold War Era technology with 21st century technology.

Moreover, the piece not only embodies the elegance and display of the time using Nixie tubes, but the clock also communicates to a iOS Apple device or Android mobile device via WiFi with Dalibor Farny’s proprietary clock control app!  In the app, you can sync the time, customize display settings (12h or 24h; leading 0 in the hours), set the frequency of the slot machine scrolling effect (more about this really cool looking feature), and even set brightness to different levels.  This app makes the piece truly a 21st century device.  All of this software is specially integrated into a proprietary circuit board designed by Dalibor Farny himself.  The “colon” tube in the middle is also Dalibor Farny’s personal creation.  Never done before.  The colon tube is perfectly integrated into the clock. 

The Dalibor Farny clock app allows numerous customizations so you can enjoy your clock to the fullest and on your own terms!


Perhaps the biggest question that one gets when guests see a Nixie clock for the first time is… 1, how often do you have to replace the Nixie Tubes?  2, How much do these Nixie Tubes cost?  The answers used to be quite alarming, but now, Farny has found a solution to the problem.  Nixie Tubes now last tens of thousands of hours.  Tubes currently cost less than half an alligator strap for a Patek Philippe (the cost combined with the cruelty that these alligators and crocodiles must endure is another great reason to consider avoiding alligator straps in the future).  Currently, Farny shows his appreciation to his clients, who buy his experimental clocks by offering them a ten-year warranty!  This is definitely appreciated by individuals like me, and I have my clock running all day and all night. 


In a world today where it’s hard to find something that is actually original…  Even tourbillons and minute repeaters seem to be en masse in major metropolitan areas (especially in China, Singapore, and Hong Kong), it’s hard to find something that separates a watch collector from a watch collector with a horological and mechanical lifestyle.  This PURI Nixie Clock is definitely something that is definitely for someone who likes watches and clocks in a cool and modern interpretation, yet is ironically from the Cold-War Era past. 


At a price typical of a Longines timepiece, this is an incredible value for something with such a high degree of hand-workmanship.  Wait times sometimes exceed six months due to a strong backlog of orders and such a small number of tubes can be made at a time.  Think about how many human labor hours is involved in making each batch of tubes!  It’s also not possible to contract out a lot of the glass manufacturing, as many of the wires within glass is only   Farny’s video shows the entire process from beginning to end; each tube is a cacophony of differing skills; from glass-blowing to circuitry, to materials science to make sure that all the metal and glass are slowly annealed and patiently hardened so there is no stress.  The glass, if stressed, could develop micro fractures allowing the neon gas within the tube to escape.  The highly edited video alone is over 37 minutes long, so you can imagine how long it takes to make a batch of tubes in reality.  As of this publication date, Farny has only made a little over 6000 tubes. 


It brings a tear to my eyes when I see someone follow their passions and makes it a success.  These success stories are rare, but Dalibor Farny defied all odds; he was mostly self taught, had humble beginnings, and was driven by passion and ingenuity.  But driven by passion, maybe even an obsession, he had a clear mission to reintroduce the romanticism and charm of Nixie Tubes to a new generation.  Well, I’m only too happy to write this report and tell you about Farny and his captivating clock.  And I’m only too happy to be able to enjoy this mixed-century masterpiece on my desk! 

Disclosures: Please enjoy some more photos below.  Photo credits for the top and bottom photo belong to Dalibor Farny; all other photos are those of the author.  As always, I read all of your comments, please comment and leave your thoughts. 

Close up of one of the tubes.

The clock comes with a ten year warranty! That's a lot of confidence. Each piece is hand signed by Dalibor Farny himself, as he quality-control checks each clock himself!

The packaging is definitely Apple-esque, but in black instead of white! Perfection, down to the packaging! 

Instructions are so simple that they don't need to be printed.  Like an Apple device, the user interface is very intuitive. 

Each piece is individually numbered and signed. I'm proud to own a Dalibor Farny Original Creation!

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Comments: view entire thread


That's beautiful Patrick, thanks!

 By: JohnFM : December 10th, 2018-18:08
For the lover of clocks and tubes. It could sit next to my conrad-johnson tube amp and pre-amp ;-)

Oh, that'd be sweet!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:24
Tube clock meet tube amp! There's a lot of tube to love! There are definitely a lot of Hi-Fi lovers here.

Masterful: both the machine and the post

 By: Tim_M : December 10th, 2018-18:38
I relish the passion and the depth that you bring to all of your posts, Patrick. Thank you for giving us a full-frame portrait of these devices and Mr. Farny's extraordinary commitment. Your enthusiasm for the Nixies was clear from how you spoke of them l... 

Thank you Tim for your kind words! I've been watching a lot of your Rolex videos lately!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:35
I guess Rolexes have been on my mind lately. Would love to see you and catch up. Have some developments to share with you. Will have to call you sometime!

Thank you so much for reviewing this, Patrick

 By: Brandon Skinner : December 10th, 2018-19:53
I have long loved Nixie clocks and have been following Dalibor's progress on Instagram. The one area where others fall short is in presentation which I think is his strong point. I hope to have one one day, but also don't mind waiting as they're only goin... 

Ahh! Good one!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:25
We love seeing Grail-Baby enjoying your watches. He'd definitely enjoy this clock, but try to put it somewhere he can't quite reach it yet. And it's all your fault that I've been thinking about Longines timepieces the past day!

I have actually been thinking along your lines more and more...

 By: Brandon Skinner : December 11th, 2018-21:43
A few more non-wrist timekeepers, a few less watches. If you wanna trade your Dalibor Clock for my LLD maybe we should talk!🙄

Legends Diver is a keeper!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-22:12
You gotta keep that one! You've got some awesome pieces. But yea, I think 2019 might be "other" stuff like a clock, mechanical belt buckle (I drooled for nearly ten years looking at Roland Iten buckles), and whatever other art that happens to catch your e... 

Awww... That's one happy kid!

 By: patrick_y : February 24th, 2019-22:43
Put the clock somewhere high up! That way he can't reach it!

This is great.

 By: IPman : December 10th, 2018-20:27
Thank you for letting us know about this. Adding it to my list of cool horological “stuff” to acquire.

+1 [nt]

 By: Arie - Mr Orange : December 11th, 2018-00:02

Get one soon!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:30
There's a bit of waiting list. I find I stare at mine, just waiting for the slot machine effect to take place.

Will do [nt]

 By: Arie - Mr Orange : December 12th, 2018-13:09

Let me know which one you get...

 By: patrick_y : December 13th, 2018-23:29
I want a Puri with six tubes next!

Don't look at Roland Iten Belt Buckles...

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:28
I saw the Roland Iten belt buckle it and pondered it for the next ten years... Then I met the man and his wife... All I can say is true artists are infectious. This clock is awesome. Definitely something to put on the top of the list. The best part is whe... 

Such a cool clock .

 By: Watchonthewrists : December 10th, 2018-23:20
👌🏻😘 Thanks for sharing and such a great report too

Thank you!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:31
It's easy to write a nice report about such an awesome clock. Heck, the clock is so awesome that I'm not able to fully convey how great it is. It's currently on my desk as I type this, and I find that I get a delight whenever it goes through its "slot mac... 

Thank you for this nice and elaborate read. [nt]

 By: Arie - Mr Orange : December 11th, 2018-00:04
No message body

Fantastic Review, one of the Coolest Clocks out There

 By: SALMANPK : December 11th, 2018-00:24
I remember seeing on for the first time over 3 years ago in Tokyo, blew my mind then S ...  

Loving the warm glow 👍🏻

 By: JLCman : December 11th, 2018-00:40
Thanks a lot, my friend, for enthusiastic report of this Nixie Clock. I always have been a fan of this pre IC area technology. A big part of my audio gear is tube based too 😉

An Audio enthusiast!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:37
The tubes are huge. Nearly 13 cm from base to tip! Beautifully proportioned too. Tube amps for audio systems are really cool. But I saw a "clean power supply" for audio systems that used a tube too; that one got me thinking.

My pleasure. Thanks for reading!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:37
A great timepiece for the home or office.

NIce fancy toy.

 By: VMM : December 11th, 2018-05:15
Excellent review. Thanks for sharing. Vte

Thank you for reading and commenting!

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-21:43
Always appreciate your comments. It'd be nice to get one with six tubes. The six tubes but this same clean architectural design. Sometimes I want some more "movement" and the seconds would add a nice amount of movement.

Bravo! Great review.

 By: Allen : December 11th, 2018-23:03
Now I want one! Can you take a picture of it compared with say an iPhone so we can tell the relative size of it? Thanks for the review!

My messy desk...

 By: patrick_y : December 11th, 2018-23:15
Here's an iPhone Plus size. I'm using my iPhone X to take the photo. There's also a pen as a good reference. ...  

Thanks for sharing

 By: KevK : December 12th, 2018-13:45
Truly stunning clock, still thinking if I should get another nixie after the last few rounds of failed clocks. Cheers

Mine has been good so far...

 By: patrick_y : December 13th, 2018-23:28
Some user error. I programmed it to go dark at night. But then I thought it was broken after coming back from a trip where I hadn't seen the clock for a few days. Then I remembered I set the clock to turn off at night so it would use less electricity.

Many thanks for commenting!

 By: patrick_y : December 17th, 2018-01:18
Those tube watches are really cool too!

I saw this on one of your YouTube posts and WOW!

 By: intangibles : March 24th, 2023-08:56
I have to thank you for promoting this clock. I bought one relying upon the fact that you had invested in one - it had to be the best quality! It arrived with a week and is amazing. Thanks for providing the maker’s name.

Hey! Sorry I missed your post!

 By: patrick_y : April 7th, 2023-18:00
Thank YOU for commenting and responding! I'm not sure it was me on YouTube as I don't have any YouTube videos that I know of. And welcome to the forum! I'm honored to be your first post! Apologies that I'm so late in responding. Dalibor Farny is indeed an...