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“I like the simplicity of the Hacker watch and the feeling of wearing it”

Waleed and Siba

Dezeen Watch Store has customers all over the world, but even we were surprised when an Egyptian architect based in Kuwait ran up to us in Venice to tell us how happy he is with the MY03 Hacker watch he bought from us in Singapore (+ interview).

Waleed Shaalan and his wife Siba were heading for the Venice Architecture Biennale when they spotted Dezeen’s editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs in Piazza San Marco.

Fairs did an impromptu interview with the couple, who both own watches bought at our pop-ups: Shaalan bought his Michael Young-designed Hacker at our pop-up store at the World Architecture Festival in 2012 while his wife got her Denis Guidone-designed Ora Unica at our shop at the same event in Barcelona in 2010.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Waleed Shaalan, I’m from Egypt. I work in Kuwait as an architect. Right now we’re in Venice at the Biennale. It’s the first day and we’re excited to go and see it.

How did you come across the Hacker watch?

Well I met you at the World Architecture Festival two years ago and I loved Dezeen Watch Store’s collection. This one I love specifically because it’s black-on-black. It makes me have to really work to find out what time it is, so it reduces my anxiety a bit. Plus, it’s a really cool design.

Why did you choose that model?

I like the simplicity of the design and the feeling of wearing it. I also like the strap and the fact that there’s no writing on it – it’s very minimalist. My wife has also got one, but in white. We’re very happy with them. 

We really like the minimalist design because watches nowadays are so overloaded with information. I’m not going to jump from a plane, I don’t need to know my altitude. I don’t need to know that information.

Do you think watches are going to disappear as smart watches start to emerge?

No. We have laser treatment for those who struggle with their vision, but I still wear my eye glasses. It’s not just about looking at your phone. Watches and glasses are ornaments, a statement you make on your face. Especially for me.

I can’t make a statement with my hair because I don’t have much of it, so glasses are important. A watch is important too and I like it as an object. It’s not so much what it does, it’s about the object itself.

You’ve had it for nearly two years now, is the watch still working ok?

Yeah it’s working fine. I mean, actually, I’ve had it for more than two years. My wife got hers in Barcelona and then I got this one later on in Singapore.

They’re really nice glasses by the way.

Thank you. This is a 3D-printed pair of glasses by Mykita, printed from resin. I’m obsessed with black, I don’t know why.

Buy the MY03 Hacker »

Read our earlier stories about the favourite watches of MINI brand manager Daniel Werg and Dezeen contributor Alyn Griffiths »