Cool Digital Space Clock Shows Earth’s Daily and Annual Journey

SpaceTime Blade: A Unique Digital Clock by Urwerk

SpaceTime Blade

If you’ve ever dreamed of wielding a lightsaber that tells time, Swiss independent watchmaker Urwerk has got you covered. Introducing the limited edition “SpaceTime Blade” clock, featuring retro-style Nixie tubes displaying an array of quirky time and astronomical measurements.

Urwerk is renowned for its assortment of eccentric and complex timepieces, often housed in exotic materials, designed to captivate attention and spark conversations. Now, the company ventures into uncharted territory with the SpaceTime Blade, a towering 1.7-meter (67-inch) creation weighing 20 kilograms (44 pounds), primarily crafted from a massive glass tube, making it decidedly unconventional for wristwear.

SpaceTime Blade

According to Urwerk, the inspiration behind this timepiece harks back to the early medieval clocks, surprisingly intricate devices aimed at replicating various celestial movements. As for the SpaceTime Blade, it not only indicates time and date but also visualizes the distance Earth travels in a day and a year.

SpaceTime Blade

The base of the SpaceTime Blade features a bronze crown-shaped pedestal, crafted using a lost-wax casting technique dating back to ancient Greece. In this method, the problematic item is first carved in wax, allowing for exceptionally fine details. This wax original is then encased in plaster or some other molding medium. Molten bronze is poured in through a series of small holes, replacing the wax as it flows out. Once cooled, the mold is opened, and the bronze piece is polished and finished with a layer of copper dust.

However, the most striking feature is the handcrafted domed glass tube housing eight Nixie tubes for display. For those not accustomed to or fond of vintage tech, Nixie tubes were a popular means of digital display production from the 1950s to the 1970s, predating LCDs and LEDs.

SpaceTime Blade

Within the Nixie tubes of the SpaceTime Blade, each device comprises a sandwich of ten 0.1mm thick, digit-shaped steel cathodes, held within a metal anode cage, sealed within a low-pressure glass bulb containing a mix of neon and argon gas. When current passes through one of the metal digits, it emits an orange-red glow. It may seem a bit antiquated, but the company claims a display refresh rate of up to 500 times per second.

It’s functional, but each Nixie bulb requires assembly of 88 handmade parts. In total, the SpaceTime Blade comprises 1446 components. With the accompanying remote control, the SpaceTime Blade can display hours, minutes, and seconds; accurate to one hundredth of a second; day, month, year.

SpaceTime Blade

Notably, this clock can display how many kilometers the Earth has rotated at the equator on a given day or how many kilometers the Earth has orbited around the sun since the start of the day or year.

Urwerk co-founder Felix Baumgartner remarks, “We will continue to explore the relationship between time and space. As early as the 19th century, Gustav Sandz created a clock that, instead of displaying hours, counted down in kilometers, making this relationship visible. This entirely original instrument reminds us that we are mere passengers on Earth’s spaceship, hurtling through the galaxy at astounding speeds. It’s this concept that we now interpret through the ‘SpaceTime Blade,’ designed to make our journey visible; transforming the 940 million kilometers we travel around the sun each year into hours, minutes, and seconds.”

If you’re interested, the SpaceTime Blade is limited to 33 pieces, each priced at 55,000 Swiss Francs (approximately 61,000 USD).

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