You may have heard of Teslar Watches, and the “wearable wellness” technology that sets them apart from other quartz timepieces, and wondered how exactly a wristwatch can do what this one claims to do — protect its wearer from the harmful effects of “electromagnetic pollution” and counteract stress, anxiety, and low energy. We sat down with Paolo Marai, President and CEO of the Timex Group Luxury Division, parent company of Teslar, who took us through how Teslar tech works, his vision for the brand, and what motivated the Timex Group to get behind it.
Marai has been with the Timex Group Luxury Division since its foundation in 2005, initially composed of licensed fashion-oriented properties like Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Valentino, and eventually adding niche luxury brands like the Italian auto-racing-inspired CT Scuderia, the high-end, artisanal Swiss atelier Vincent Bérard, and, in 2019, Teslar. Delivered in packaging that boldly trumpets “This is Not a Watch,” Teslar watches’ claim to fame is their proprietary technology, which uses a special copper “Turbo Chip” that the company says generates a biofield around the body, enhancing its resistance to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from now-ubiquitous everyday devices like cell phones, tablets, computers, microwave ovens, and Wi-Fi. The Teslar technology first made its splash in the watch world with the Philip Stein brand, which made similar claims of wellness for wearers and used a Teslar chip for a brief time.
“Today, electromagnetic pollution is a big deal,” Marai says. “All the health organizations in the world are looking into it. It’s not yet been linked with cancer but it’s certainly causing troubles: people are having trouble sleeping or can’t drive their car without their mobile phone switched on, for example. Our device is all about reducing stress and increasing brain energy to help people have a better, healthier life.”
According to Teslar, its American-made Turbo Chip works in synchronization with the battery of the watches’ Swiss-made quartz movements (most from Ronda) to mimic the natural frequency of the Earth. The electric field of the battery works with the magnetic field of the movement’s coil to transmit a pulse — through the nanotech chip, which is partially exposed by the watch’s caseback — directly into the body via the so-called triple warmer meridian, which activates the immune system. The intended result is a strengthening of the body’s bio-field against the ill effects of electromagnetic exposure, a growing health concern that has drawn the attention of the World Health Organization.
Asked about the science behind the Teslar technology claims, and how it convinced him to add the brand to the Group’s stable, Marai explains that the extensive research he studied convinced him that the watches’ effectiveness can be confirmed scientifically, albeit with different results for different individuals. “It took me a while to really embrace the product,” Marai says. “But my team and I went through all of the scientific research and duly checked out the results and their validity. We found that certain benefits are extremely individual. For example, we tested a man who did two two hours a day of yoga, and the two ‘lines’ that we monitor, low stress level vs. high energy level, were already perfectly parallel before he tried on the watch, so it’s hard to improve on that. Other people may have a completely different situation. If I do yoga, I don’t feel relaxed at all; after 10 minutes I’m trying not to think about something else. Some people say a hot bath relaxes them; if I go into a hot bath, I start sweating in about 20 seconds. I took the test and my lines were crossing each other. After wearing the watch for a while, they were more parallel — brainpower going up, stress going down. Some benefits are certainly individual, but all are based on scientific study.”
(For the record, the testing of Teslar technology in laboratory settings has demonstrated that it “may reduce the negative effects of stress, may help the body resist the negative effects of EMF radiation, and enhances immune response in the presence of EMF.” Results will, as Marai makes clear, vary with the user’s “general awareness” and the technology “is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”)
For a Swiss watch brand one that touts its unconventional properties with the “This is Not a Watch” tagline, Marai is also quick to point out that Teslar is very focused on design as well as its technology. Three core collections launched last year, with variations aimed at both men and ladies, all deriving their names from the brand’s “Re-Balance Yourself” motto. The Re-Balance T-1 is a 40-mm “unisex” collection, which offers three-hand and tricompax Chronograph and Chronograph Sport options, with subdials at 12, 9, and 6 o’clock and a date window at 4:30. The two other collections are aimed at ladies — the T-2, at 36 mm in diameter, with its decorative “Seed of Life” yoga-inspired dial; and the T-3, also in 36-mm cases, distinguished by its swirling “Fibonacci sequence” dial. Unifying all the models aesthetically is the 6 o’clock subdial with Teslar’s hallmark triangular seconds hand, and the sunray and wave patterns on the dial representing the flow of energy.
“To contrast the ‘This is Not a Watch’ claim, we went in the opposite direction in terms of design,” Marai explains. “The brands in the Luxury Group all have very strong design DNA, so that was important. Overall, the watches have a very uncomplicated design that should appeal to a wide range of people, with the triangle symbol of the chip used for the seconds and the caseback. On some of the models, we pay tribute to the man who the watch was named for, Nikola Tesla, whose name is associated more with electric cars these days. The Fibonacci sequence design on the T-3 is inspired by Tesla’s research on the electromagnetic biofield.”
The Teslar Re-Balance collections are offered in a variety of executions and colorways in polished and sandblasted stainless steel, IP rose gold-plated steel, or two-tone; prices range from $595, for the steel, 36-mm two-hand models, up to $2,695 for a gold-plated model with a link bracelet and diamond-set dial and bezel. Asked in conclusion what category he sees the Teslar models competing in — fashion watches, smartwatches, wearable tech like FitBits — Marai says,”We are competing with every brand and no brand, really. Nobody else has this technology or can claim what we claim. And we have other new technologies that we want to bring to market this year. Smartwatches deliver certain things but are mostly replicating information you have in another format. You often have a battery life problem and a dark, dull dial on the wrist. I think we’ve set ourselves aside with something fresh and different, something speaking to a consumer who cares about a healthy lifestyle.”