Interview: Laurent Picciotto of Chronopassion
May 8, 2011
How did you get started in the watch industry?
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.
What are some of your best selling timepieces so far this year?
Hublot, Urwerk, Panerai, Greubel Forsey
How has the internet impacted your business?
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.
Do you have a lot of international clientele, or mostly French?
80% of our customers are not French.
What are you wearing on your wrist today?
Our new limited edition Hublot of 25 pieces, black and white Aerobang with a white rubber strap.
Do you ever work directly with brands to create special edition timepieces?
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.
Chronopassion is often sited as one of the most innovative and influential retailers in the watchmaking world. Why?
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.
On average, how many days a week are you at the Chronopassion store?
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.
Where did you get the nickname "LOLO"?
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.
Do you have any other interests or hobbies other than watchmaking?
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).