Twenty-eight years ago, in 1988, Laurent Picciotto decided to open an innovative, unique boutique that sold watches. Laurent Picciotto is a watch lover and rare watch collector. He understands what watch lovers want, how they think, and is devoted to helping them find the watch their heart most desires. And he has made a fortune doing so. He didn’t want to just sell watches; he wanted to sell the best, the finest, the most unique watches he could find. The rarer the better in his eyes. Laurent Picciotto is the founder and owner of Chronopassion, the high-end, Paris-based watch company.
The name Laurent Picciotto is known around the world. His name is a sign of fine craftsmanship, high quality, and high class. As a young boy, he became entranced with his father’s timepieces. Before becoming the success he is today, Laurent Picciotto took a chance on an idea. He has helped the cherished and treasured timepiece rise from the shadows and achieve the remarkable success and stature they now have today.
1. You know Laurent Picciotto is a collector and lover of fine watches.
But, do you know where this passion for rare, unique watched came from? Laurent Picciotto’s father was a collector of fine watches. He has said that he was entranced by the complexity of the watched his father collected. The more complicated and technically improbable the piece was, the more he liked it. There you have it – this passion was passed down to him by his watch-loving father.
2. When Laurent Picciotto opened his boutique in 1988, he did not have much knowledge about watches.
Though he held a special interest in specialty watches, he did not possess the knowledge he does today. Even his father, from whom he inherited an innate love of watches, doubted his success. However, Laurent Picciotto persevered. He knew there would be buyers who would be thrilled to find one boutique they could go to in order to find special timepieces, without having to travel far and from store to store.
3. Before becoming a successful, rich man with a knack for choosing perfect, fine watched, Laurent Picciotto dabbled in several different lines of work.
He worked in real estate, insurance, and in banks. He also had short stint in the music industry. When CDs were first coming out, Laurent Picciotto was working trying to get people to start using CDs and to convert from the now-ancient cassette tape to CDs.
4. Laurent Picciotto helped the watch industry to step up and out.
When he first started out, there were no watch magazines dedicated to watches and it was rare to find a shop dedicated to watches. Usually, you would need to go to a jeweler to find a watch and to several if you were looking for a limited, rare piece. People would generally buy one watch and that was it. There were not many collectors at that time. Today, that has all changed and that change is due to people like Laurent Picciotto; people that share a true passion and love for the timepiece.
5. Laurent Picciotto does not plan to expand his boutique.
Though his business is booming, don’t expect to see a franchise or an insurgence of Chronopassion shops anytime soon. Laurent Picciotto has said he does not believe in or feel the need to expand just because he can. He prefers to main in control of his lucrative business. Also, he prefers to interact with his customers. He loves the fine contact he has with all of his customers, the special intimacy and bond he creates with each and every customer. He prefers to keep it small, and that appears to be working for him. Laurent Picciotto is not one of your typical money-hungry businessmen.
6. Laurent Picciotto carefully chooses each brand of watch that he sells in his boutique.
He does not just pick a watch brand because he likes the look of a watch. He has a successful collaboration with companies such as Hublot and creates lasting relationships with these companies as well as his customers. He says he has to believe in a company in order to support them and present them to his customers. The companies he works with must have a unique product, a certain quality that entices him, a legitimate story, and just be truly special and innovative in what they do.
7. Laurent Picciotto does not only sell watches.
He has helped to develop some of the rare, innovative, and unique watches you find on his shelves. In the late 1900s, he helped develop the RM 001 Tourbillon that was priced higher than $130,000. In order to prove the durability and toughness of the watch, his co-creator threw the watch against the wall. Also in the late 1900’s, he backed Urwerk, who had creative, science fiction-like watches that didn’t have the finds to create them. Most recently, he worked with HYT, a newer company that uses modern technologies.
8. Laurent Picciotto has developed a loyalty from not only his customers, but also the brands he sells.
This has earned him first round deliveries of pieces that are highly-sought after and available in limited quantities. Brands also consult with him, on occasion, when they have an idea about a new sketch, prototype or idea for a new watch. His opinions and the way he feels about the watches mean the world to them.
9. Laurent Picciotto loves to show off his watches.
He has a desire to share his love of watches with everyone that steps into his boutique. He has even said if someone comes on just to step out of the rain, he will show them the pieces he has in store. Whether you have the money to purchase one of his expensive, elusive watches, he will take the time to show you and introduce to them. He is not a snobby boutique owner that will not show you the light of day unless you have a large bank roll.
10. Laurent Picciotto is an all-around nice man.
Every interview and article I have read about this man that is as rare a gem as the watches he sells, says the same thing. Everyone praises him on his loyalty, his demeanor, and his warm, passionate, kind, and genuine personality.
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Written by Garrett Parker
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