Given how the stresses of modern life have driven people to pop pills to catch up on elusive sleep, it’s easy to see the appeal of a seemingly innocuous product that promises the same benefits of prescription sleep aids—but without the side effects.
That has undoubtedly been the secret to the success of the Philip Stein sleep bracelet, which launched in 2011, a line that complements its already popular watches claiming feel-good effects that are said to rely on natural frequency technology.
The brand’s tagline is “Live in tune.”
Unlike Philip Stein watches, which are geared toward total well-being, the disc in the sleep bracelet is programmed to tap specific natural frequencies that help the body increase its melatonin, the hormone that controls the body’s sleep and wake cycles, thus inducing deep, restful, uninterrupted sleep.
The sleep bracelet looks pretty much like a slim rectangular watch, minus the dial. It comes in two sizes, with interchangeable straps.
“Over the past 10 years, the perception of sleep has changed,” Philip Stein co-founder and president Will Stein said at the recent relaunch of the bracelet in The Farm in Batangas.
“In big cities, 10, 15, 20 years ago, people would pride themselves about needing sleep like ‘only three hours a night.’ They thought it was such a waste of time to be sleeping when they could be working,” Stein noted. “But there has been a big paradigm shift. Today, it has been established in the Harvard Medical Student Review that sleep is the third pillar in health and well-being. First is nutrition; second is exercise; and third is sleep. Scientists have studied more what sleep does and how we benefit from it.”
The foundation of the Philip Stein brand is natural frequencies—low-frequency electromagnetic waves produced by spontaneous phenomena like lightning that occur several times each second, and are trapped on the Earth’s crust and the ionosphere.
The idea was first proposed in 1952 by a German physicist named Winfried Otto Schumann. Later, another German, biologist Rutger Wever, claimed that these so-called Schumann resonances influence a person’s health and general well-being, after conducting a series of experiments over a period of 10 years.
It is Philip Stein’s stance that overexposure to artificial and man-made frequencies (electrical appliances and mobile phones, among others) has made humans out of sync with the Earth’s naturally occurring frequencies. Thus it introduced natural frequency technology through its watches.
The company has successfully marketed this well-being technology in a luxury watch line.
The claim is that its watches and bracelets, which contain a special metal disc that acts like an antenna that harnesses natural frequencies, guides the body into a relaxed, balanced state. The disc is said to produce a frequency of seven to nine Hertz, the same range emitted by the brain in its most relaxed state.
Philip Stein has conducted pilot experiments and double-blind, placebo-controlled scientific studies to bolster its own claims and all other anecdotal evidence professed by customers. “In 2003 when we started, we were among the first wearable technologies,” Stein said. “Now wearable technology is one of the biggest buzz words.”
It all sounds like baloney, if you think about it. But Stein’s challenge always is, try it or your money back.
Seems likes this former airline executive has put his money where his mouth is, and he has convinced some very influential personalities in the process.
Road to fame
Now in 30 countries, Philip Stein’s road to fame was paved by the patronage of celebrities like Madonna and Oprah Winfrey.
Stein had sent some watches to the Queen of Pop, a known health buff, who in turn gave them as a gift to Winfrey after she guested on the latter’s show. Not long after, the Queen of Talk personally called Stein, who was in disbelief, especially when Winfrey asked if she could include Philip Stein in “Oprah’s Favorite Things.”
The fledgling businessman scrambled to beg his manufacturer to take a gamble on him and prioritize his order, in anticipation of the market’s response.
When the episode aired, there were long lines for the “Oprah watch” at Neiman Marcus. On the “Oprah” show’s 25th anniversary and final season in 2010, Philip Stein was once more asked to create a limited-edition Oprah watch.
And owing to the Philippines’ affinity with Hollywood, it was one of the brand’s first overseas markets, in partnership with the Lucerne Group. Stein, a German national who divides his time between homes in the United States and Switzerland, had first visited the country as a backpacker in his youth.
Last week, Philip Stein unveiled its Legacy watch collection, a collaboration with its local brand ambassador Lea Salonga.
The company was founded by the former airline executive and his wife Rina, a watch entrepreneur. The couple planned to name their firstborn Ben Philip, but decided to appropriate the second moniker for their other baby.
Stein is warm, laidback, and a health enthusiast who does not eat meat.
He advises sleeping early, since the most restorative sleep happens from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., he said.
Stein, however, said that the effect of the sleep bracelet varies for different people. The studies have shown that it works extraordinarily better on people with well regulated physiology—those who practice yoga, qigong, or other types of meditation.
Stein has personally never had trouble sleeping, but he understands that people have a harder time falling—and staying—asleep when they’re in unfamiliar surroundings, like on airplanes, ships, hotel rooms. He has tapped into that market: the sleep bracelet is sold inflight by 15 airlines.
“We think that when we sleep, we’re unconscious and that’s it,” Stein said. “That’s not true. When you sleep, your brain is active. It processes information and prepares for future action. It creates new memories and consolidates old ones. And very important, it does ‘housekeeping.’ It clears you of toxins… cleans up your brain. It also reduces risks of a heart attack, strokes, even certain cancers.”
At P24,000 a Philip Stein sleep bracelet isn’t cheap. But if it doesn’t work for you, the company offers a full refund in 30 days, according to its website.