HE CALLS HIMSELF THE WATCHMAKER OF TRENDS AND EXCELLENCE.
HIS SLOGAN :
« LIFE IS PRECIOUS, YOUR WATCH WILL TELL ».
This is how Laurent Piciotto sees the passage of time and people from the back of his fashionable watch boutique at 271, rue du faubourg St Honoré. The den is called Chronopassion.
Founded in 1988, the store is now home to several brands of the highest repute. Before, according to Piciotto: « Watch dealers used to sell precious stones, and were so unhappy at being all alone in the world ». He calls himself a « toy seller ». « I’m completely intoxicated. I’m ready to find the rare pearl for anyone who asks. People trust me totally. I can’t sell a watch to someone if I know it doesn’t suit them. I’m ready to go to the very end out of curiosity ».
And if you agree that the difference between childhood and adulthood can be expressed by the price of the toys you dream of, then you’ll observe that Piciotto supplies, among others, the most expensive watches in the world, including for example, those of Richard Mille. « A lot of people sell tradition, but he’s ready to dare to do anything. There is a ‘before and after’ Richard Mille. With him, you can have the object you can see in your head ».
In Laurent Piciotto’s store, you’ll find 300 new products every year. Here, the conversation turns around exclusive pieces, the perpetual calendar, skeletons, passing chimes, tourbillons, indicators and retrograde displays. And if it takes hours, watch in hand, to understand the whys and wherefores of each model in this dream store, it will take only a few seconds to catch the infectious passion for his subject that Piciotto communicates.
In his opinion, the watch is a very particular object, as it measures time. Women find this idea unbearable, so they don’t often wear a watch. He says you can see the same thing happening among children, with little boys who
have already acquired the reflex of coming into school showing off with a watch on their wrist. « So it’s only logical that you’ll blow the same money on a watch that you’d pay for a Porsche. But the guilt that some men suffer aftewards is huge ». He remembers an Italian who owned over 1500 watches and as many cars and cameras.
« Every time he bought himself a model, he made it his duty to give his wife and son a cheque for the equivalent amount».
For Piciotto has seen stories good enough to make into films. From the beginnings, when he sold very little, to his poker shot at the Basel watch fair where he started off with the Genta brand. For him, the most important thing is the emotion you feel for the object. Some are far from that. « It’s not enough to be at the top. In the world of luxury, trust is communicated by time ».
Delphine de Malherbe