Interview: Laurent Picciotto of Chronopassion
May 8, 2011
JP: How did you get started in the watch industry?
LP: I started in the watch industry because my father gave me an interest in watches because he was a watch addict. When I was 27 I opened my shop as the shop of our dreams, only watches and only the brands I like. It was a mixture of institutional, historic brands and niche brands right at the beginning with an opulent choice.
JP: What are some of your best selling timepieces so far this year?
LP: Hublot, Urwerk, Panerai, Greubel Forsey
JP: How has the internet impacted your business?<
LP: A lot for notoriety and communication and also for sale, Facebook and other social networks, Twitter and of course our website increase up a lot our business we receive 100 mails a day and a good part of those end in a transaction with regular and also new customers.
JP: Do you have a lot of international clientele, or mostly French?
LP: 80% of our customers are not French.
JP: What are you wearing on your wrist today?
LP: Our new limited edition Hublot of 25 pieces, black and white Aerobang with a white rubber strap.
JP: Do you ever work directly with brands to create special edition timepieces?
LP: A lot of times, since the beginning and even unique piece sometime, we even had a line in the front of our shop last year for our sumersible left handed Panerai.
JP: Chronopassion is often sited as one of the most innovative and influential retailers in the watchmaking world. Why?
LP: Difficult to answer, but I do it my way like the way I am, I do not care about regular frame, I tell the people the truth good or bad on every subject and I think this honesty is part of the reputation. I do not like compromise, and I want to be serious but in a fun attitude, like in a toy shop.
JP: On average, how many days a week are you at the Chronopassion store?
LP: We are open 5 days a week , and I am there 5 days but I have to tell you, I like holidays too, so I am able to disappear 2 months a year.
JP: Where did you get the nickname "LOLO"?
LP: John Simonian and Gregory Pons started to use it some years ago and they also invented the formal "followlolo" when I quit carrying two major brands 3 years ago.
JP: Do you have any other interests or hobbies other than watchmaking?
LP: I play electric guitars and accoustics and I collect them (there is a guitar made by a jeweler -Jean Grisoni-in the shop). I started playing drums two years ago and I also like motorbikes. I am going to the Harley Festival next week in Saint Tropez with my new Zero Engineering Type 5 (1340cc).