At Nuvitron, we salvaged the phenomenal electroluminescent technology of the VFD tubes and put the old school into a fascinating contemporary design. Not only will this clock tell you the time in a distinctively unique way, but it will also outlive you in the following nuclear apocalypse.
We’re talking about the Chroniker, the wooden clock that brings together the beauty of art and the irresistible fascination of science. Sit down to look at it at your own risk, because once you catch a glimpse of its mesmerizing VFD tubes, you might never be able to look away again. And as you sit there staring at its posh blue glow, right between the moment when you begin to feel hungry and the moment when you finally grasp the meaning of life, a question will strike you. Where do these beautiful VFD tubes come from?
The first VFD ever made came from Philips, in 1959. At the time, the Cold War was in full swing and state-funded science and technology research was booming. The arms race and the space race were at stake. Government and military patronage became the norm in terms of techno scientific practices, while the methods employed were increasingly project oriented, team based and subject to national security restrictions. Often under the veil of secrecy, research intensified in agriculture, biomedicine, computer science, ecology, meteorology and many other fields.
The competition was so tight that the United States’ CIA even considered using Russian cats as spies by implanting them with bugging devices. Imagine their disappointment when the first implanted cat was run over on its first mission. The whole $15 million Operation Kitty just went down the drain. Damn it, Misty!
Against this ever-tense political background, the vacuum fluorescent display began its amazing journey. During the 1980s and before they were replaced by LEDs and LCDs, tens of millions of VFD units were being manufactured every year. Thankfully, a large number of them made it through the decades and into the present day. Amongst other things, they are now used to bring the Chroniker and other vintage pieces to life.
Just by looking at the Chroniker, you can relive a little part of this tense history. It’s no wonder your inner geek can’t stop staring at it! Will it turn you into a brilliant scientist who can bring a meaningful contribution to humanity? Probably not. But will it bring back some of the fascinating atmosphere of the Cold War science laboratory and make you look cool in front of all your friends in the process? Yes, yes it will.