LAURENT PICCIOTTO, Founder of ChronoPassion.

Man cultivates paradoxes. He began working as a horologist in the 1980s, when the profession did not yet exist. He took social networks to bras-le-corps, in a feudal universe where every word was adjusted by a directing committee. In 2011, he served as master of ceremonies at the Geneva Grand Prix d’Horlogerie (GPHG). He has always admired independent watchmakers, even as the trend toward institutionalization of brands grew. We might almost say that Laurent Picciotto enjoys going against the grain. Except that, quite often, he is the one who provides the sense of flow.

His partners include Audemars Piguet, Hublot, MB&F, and Urwerk, among dozens of others, such as Richard Mille, of which he was an investor and co-founder.For Audemars Piguet, he opened a boutique under their banner for ten years, which in 1997 was one of the very first AP monobrand boutiques.. A model that did not exist twenty-five years ago. For the second, Hublot opened the world’s first mono-marque boutique in 2007, with the door located next to the sienne. “A few minutes of discussion with Jean-Claude Biver, a post-it note on the table, and a handshake. Laurent Picciotto recalls, “At the time, with CEOs of this level, things went like this.”

 Laurent Picciotto© Stéphnane de Bourgies

The cases of Urwerk and MB&F are distinct: he has essentially witnessed the birth of these brands. Max Büsser does not mince words when describing Laurent Picciotto: “Curator, talent scout, risk taker, magician for the most deserving, connoisseur of fine horology, unwavering enthusiast, and, above all, devoted friend.”

Laurent Picciotto continues to be where no one expects him: in 2017, he decides to sell his whole personal collection. A one-of-a-kind sale distributed in a matter of hours under the auspices of Aurel Bacs. What’s the reason? ← The moment had arrived. I wanted to start from zero. »

For the rest, humans follow their instincts. He collects almost everything that moves, builds guitars, and acquires more leather jackets than he can possibly wear. And even in 2020, this ballet of young creators who come to see the old lion in his Parisian annexe with the same question: “Laurent, what do you think about it?” We don’t give up.


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