Around Easter of 2003, I had taken up the nixie watch design torch again
with the discovery of a new battery made by Panasonic - a lithium-ion
rechargeable coin cell 32mm diameter and only 3mm thick. I asked the
distributor for a sample, and received three units. However, they wanted
to get a credit application from me to buy a carton of batteries from
Japan - they were sold in lots of 2,000 units for $11,000! I was not
prepared to front that much money for this watch yet, since I hadn’t
gotten the case figured out.
The case design I had in mind was to put the logic boards on the sides, the battery underneath, and pot the whole thing in clear resin. A metal tub on the back would cover the battery and connect to the strap. I actually made three PC boards and one metal back, but never got any further than that. I was leery of the recharging nuisance, and scared that the tubes would fail and dead potted watches, expensive garbage, would be returned to me at an alarming rate.