J. M. De Cristofaro used an ex-Soviet IVL2-7/5 VFD tube as the core for his Cyberpunk Wristwatch, which adds steampunk notes in the form of a brass "roll cage" around the tube.
It's all tied together with a wide, butch leather cuff that serves as a watch-strap.
I love this thing so much, but hasten to point out that it's still far from my ideal impractical sovkitsch watch, which would use tiny contrafactual Nixie tubes whose alphabetical characters were in the Cyrillic alphabet, and would display the time in seconds since Epoch, expressed in hexadecimal.
The single biggest constraint on a project like this is the power supply. Because this is a costume piece that I’d only wear occasionally, I decided I wouldn’t mind if the battery only lasted 6-10 hours. However, I didn’t want it to be uncomfortable to wear or excessively bulky, so my options for battery power were limited. Coin cells were out because the internal resistance was too high to meet the current requirements, so I was left with AA and AAA single cells. I decided to go with alkaline cells, since the lower nominal voltage of NiMH rechargables would mean an even lower efficiency for the boost converters, and less current for the filament. The finished project can be used with either 1xAA or 1xAAA alkalines (with the appropriate clips), however AAAs only last about 2 hours, so I’m sticking with AAs for now.
CHRONODEVFD: A CYBERPUNK WRISTWATCH
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