Today most of the products presented in the luxury, digital or horology sectors are there to generate profit, which is understandable and logical as it’s the main aim of a business. However this time I’m not going to talk about one of these products; in fact I’m going to tell you about a completely different concept – the Polio Watch. The name of this watch is very self-explanatory, it exists to fight poliomyelitis, or otherwise known as polio disease. In case you never heard about it (which is actually possible if you are young and live in an economically developed country) let me tell you briefly what it is and what it can do – polio is a transmitted disease that starts after a poliovirus infection. The most dangerous effects of polio can include spinal and neural system paralysis, and there literally is no cure for this disease today. However there is a vaccine, and that is the reason why nowadays not many people in Europe or US hear about polio: the vaccine doesn’t cost a lot and many countries have access to it, however there still are several LEDCs where polio is a very dangerous virus.
The reason I am telling you all of this is because there is also a way to battle polio and raise money for the countries in need to get vaccinated and prevent polio from spreading across our planet, and at the same time get a really cool watch – the Polio Watch.
The project was developed by the Rotary Club Marseille, which is also a place that gathered very talented watchmakers, designers, engineers and innovators. The idea of the project was to have 5 great designers create 5 unique digital watches in 5 years and raise 500 million $ overall to get rid of polio once and for all.
The first model called Polio Watch One was designed by Marc Alfieri, who you might know for his own line of mechanical complicated watches he had before this project.
Polio Watch One
The first model has a very unique look as well as purpose and way of functioning. As you can see from the casing there are no crowns or pushers, and the digital movement put inside the watch is easily visible from the sides – that is because the watch functions using the connection that you establish between your model and your phone (iOS or Android). I usually don’t like digital watches but when I saw it work I genuinely thought it’s awesome – you can set the time automatically from your phone and change timezones as you travel, but that is not even the most important aspect of the watch-phone relationship.
As the watch has a clear purpose (get rid of polio virus) it will update you on the current state of the disease. By pressing one button on your phone the watch will receive data about the polio spread and the aperture at 6 o’clock will display either our clean planet (in form of a 3D globe or 2D map depending on your model) or the virus, and if you see that with time our planet takes up more space than the virus it means the fight for the vaccination is going well. The aim of course is to have a polio-free world, which ‘Polio Watch’ wants to achieve in a 5-year period.
How To Help
Apart from the obvious ‘Get vaccinated if you still aren’t’ the way you can help reduce the poliovirus level on our planet is by buying one of these watches. Price for the first model is 650$ and you can rest assured that the first 150$ of every watch goes to fund 250 (!) vaccines. That means that with every watch a person buys he saves 250 kids in less developed countries from being infected with polio, and at the same time gets a pretty cool watch that will tell him how the fight is going. Of course you might say that there are other diseases that need our attention – like various forms of cancer or AIDS, but in this case the prevention technique already exists and you don’t need to be a scientist or a doctor to help the people in need, that is why I think this project should definitely get more recognition and be supported.
Find out more about the watch and ways to help at www.poliowatch.com – thank you for taking time to read the article, and I hope that I got the important message (that this is not just fighting but actually stopping polio) through to you.
Photos for WatchAnish.com by Adam Priscak and James Cole.