Nour Aldin Yousuf interviewed at Baselworld 2014
The Watchonista team met Nour Adin Yousuf - Concord's Ambassador - at Baselworld 2014. He agreed to respond to some questions on Swiss watches and the brand he represents in the Middle East.
Welcome to Switzerland! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, what you do, what you are doing?
Nour Aldin Yousuf: My name is Nour Eldein Al Youssef. I come from a mixed Syrian and Emirati family, I was born and raised in Dubai. I have worked in the media since 1997, that's almost 18 years, modelling and acting and presenting on TV, which is the main thing I do. Until January this year I had a technology show, which ran nine years non-stop. And so I decided to leave technology to move on and do something different, because everyone was telling me to do something with fashion. Fashion is a local thing in Dubai and there is my technology gig at the same time. So I am moving into a different field, it’s a surprise, I can’t reveal the details, but it has something to do with media.
What is the purpose of your visit here in Baselworld
NAY: I want to see the exhibition, to get to know my colleagues and to connect with the Concord people. And to meet the press. I haven’t seen all the halls, yet, but I am very impressed by the design. In Dubai, we have exhibitions every single day, but this high standard and high quality is, honestly, a first for me. I am very much into decor and architecture, and I loved every single thing, the décor, the displays.
Do you know something about watchmaking? Do you have a relationship with it?
NAY: Let me address this in a general way and talk about my relationship with time. I appreciate time a lot. I was raised in a conservative family, meaning that my dad said “time is time!" That's not the Arabic way, where, if someone has an appointment at 3, it really means 3:30! So I appreciate and respect time. I like to be on time every day, but I am not a schedule person. I do things spontaneously at times. I believe in the Arabic saying: "Time is like a sword, if you don’t cut it, it will cut you."
What is your relationship with Concord?
NAY: Had you asked me this question before, I might have answered, that I was the face, the ambassador of Concord in the Middle East. But now it’s more like family. Because I feel I am part of them. When we were introduced a few months ago, I really liked the watch, especially the one I am wearing. I found something different in Concord watches. It’s not only about luxury and classic watch at the same time. The watch has a modern touch. Anybody can wear it. If we talk about size, young people like big watches these days, and stylish watches, but at the same time it has class and edge. It should be elegant, too. I found, honestly, all these things with Concord. It was a choice between Concord and another brand, to be very frank. But I chose Concord for these reasons. And the relationship is really nice. When I got introduced to Concord in Dubai for the first time, it became like a family relationship with them.
Which one of the novelties are you going to go for?
NAY: I really loved the Mariner. My close friends say I am a person with an edge, and I do love the edges in this watch. But it is also classy and simple. That is what caught my eye.
You are a geek, so let me ask you: What do you think about the new iWatches?
NAY: Let me get straight to the point: It’s just another way to market mobile phones. To be even more specific, Samsung launched the first one. If you use the mobile phone without watch it’s fine, but you can’t use the watch without the mobile phone. So they are in fact synchronized with each other. Plus the design of the watches is not really nice, so you can’t wear it with a suit. It’s too casual.
Would you consider a brand like Concord in the future taking a mixed approach, integrating new technologies into mechanical watches?
NAY: If the design is suitable and acceptable to a wide range of people, fine. To be specific: let’s take people who live in the GCC countries… the campaign was very specific, with the traditional gandora and the watch. It was not really acceptable, so it has something to do with the design, not the technology. (…) Of course, if they would attach their name to another technology brand, yes.