Ever since it opened its doors to the public in 1907, Nehayat Salamon, the oldest watch shop in Cairo, has been the hit place for Cairo’s elites to get and repair their unique, one-of-a-kind watches. The antique shop has a legacy of over 100 years, which will soon be put to an end, after the decision of the municipality to demolish the shop’s building, just like hundreds of others located Downtown, as a part of developing the Maspero triangle.
The shop was King Farouk’s only place to repair his watches. Essam Sayed is the grandson of the shop’s main partner. With tears in his eyes, he always recalls his grandfather’s stories about repairing watches that were all handmade, with only a few versions of them worldwide.
One of the shop’s most known stories is the alarm that belonged to King Farouk and got broken, and no other watch shop in Cairo back then was capable of repairing it.
With a couple of looks, the main owner, Salamon, repaired it. Astonished, King Farouk decided to give the alarm to him, in order to keep it at the shop, and it is still located on one of the shelves until now.
While Daily News Egypt’s photographer was roaming the shop, Cairo’s elites were rushing the place with rare watches, asking for the oldest watchman in the city to take a look and fix them.
The owners, so far, do not know where or if they will be relocating the shop.
“Even if we took our belongings and relocated elsewhere, how could we take the heritage, architecture, and history along?!” he concluded.
All photos taken by Asmaa Gamal