Laurent Picciotto, founder of Chronopassion created the store he and his father would have loved to find. Armed with zero retail experience, a passion for watches and an acute sense of what he didn’t want, he established a concept that made his store a destination for avid collectors.
1. Please describe your childhood briefly.
Happy childhood, I was happy, teasing, curious, turbulent, joker and I still am.
2. As a child did you have any ambition?
I would have liked to have been an actor.
I'm not sure I really grew up, I like use my creativity to have fun, in my childlike indifference. Besides, I have staged my profession to be a little actor but also to humanise communication, and the floor of a shop is also a stage.
3. What is your first significant memory as a child?
At the age of 14 when my parents gave me my first "Moto" (Yamaha TY50)
I then spent entire days going off-road, every weekend, a feeling of freedom and fun unparalleled in my childhood, I still ride today, I have a lot of motor bikes; old bikes, some newer ones too, from 50 to 1600 cm3, it's always the same pleasure, the same feeling of intense freedom.
My first electric guitar ...
My first watch ...
I could tell you about it for hours ...
4. Have you ever had another profession?
Yes, several: Bank employee, insurance salesman, commercial for a compact disc manufacturing plant in the music at the very beginning of this new medium and today apart from Chronopassion I am in charge of and am a shareholder of a French luthier company of electric guitars which is at the dawn of a patent (Gyrock) of my invention which will soon revolutionize the subject (Wild Customs)
5. What made you decide to go in the direction you are currently in?
I wanted to open a shop dedicated to (only) watches, without any retail experience (but with a good understanding of what I did not want to do) and with my specifications where the object has priority over the Brand, a toy store for an adult, but with free speech and a lot of enthusiasm to transmit. The shop that we would have liked to encounter with my father, we would surely have become very good customers (it was also the case). The passion and above all the conviction to do it my way; I like to reinvent, I'm passionate about marketing and I like telling stories to make people discover that they are interested in new territories.
To return to the place of social exchanges that a shop must be, even more so on a subject that is specialised.
6. What is the worst job you had to do?
Many, but I do not have bad memories, I am conscientious and patient, bordering on stubborn, so the result outweighs the severity I see positively the fact of having overcome the constraints to reach the final outcome.
The more difficult the climb, the more amazing the finish at the summit becomes.
7. What was the most difficult moment in your life?
8. Who has had the most influence on you?
My father, by his intelligence, his rigour but also his tolerance, it is he who transmitted to me his interest in watches.
We are also a family of collectors or rather hoarders on a large number of subjects, curiosity is the engine to discover also the interesting people who hide behind all manner of concepts, whether they are watchmakers or from an innumerable number of trades.
9. What are you most proud of?
To have become a reference for some, in our industry by breaking some rules or having invented, never giving up on ethics and without putting humour to one side.
To have for a large part believed from the beginning in a good number of people who have succeeded in our profession and who are still there. I am proud to have participated in the development of their stories, my involvement is often significant, so all the more more delight that they are successful.
10. What advice would you give to a 20 something thinking about taking a path similar to yours?
I meet every year young and old and I often tell them to do things their own way, to create their own differences, so to make up, to invent or to reinvent instead of following.
11. Name three things on your bucket list?
1) Be in a film, 2) Be in a film 3) Be in a film.
12. Where do you think the industry will be in 10 years?
For now the world is too complex to answer, the world has changed (one way or the other); where it took 20 years now it takes two years for issues to be questioned. (Apple Watch) Technology is increasingly at the heart of upheaval, the world is constantly changing.
Who would have thought that Kodak, Nokia, Moulinex, Pan American, Lehman Brothers would disappear to give way to the Gaffa or new companies more in phase or reactive with the time.
To learn more about Laurent Picciotto www.chronopassion.com