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Chronopassion - Laurent Picciotto: “My top picks from the Geneva Watch Days”

Chronopassion Laurent Picciotto: “My top picks from the Geneva Watch Days”

Among a reduced field of watch brands, there were two exhibits that stood out. The famous watch trend-spotter Laurent Picciotto reveals the watches that caught his eye in Geneva.

He was there... without being actually there. Like the vast majority of watch retailers and journalists, Laurent Picciotto followed the Geneva Watch Days from his desk. After several Skype calls and Zoom meetings, some Instagram scrolling and a few phone calls, the Chronopassion CEO made his preliminary selection. “Obviously, you lose the physical contact, the magic of touch and feel, but when you’ve followed a brand for 15 or 20 years, you have a pretty good idea of what to expect,” he explains. Not to mention the fact that he is often privy to future developments, well before they appear in the shops. 

Laurent Picciotto : « Mes coups de cœur des Geneva Watch Days »

Laurent Picciotto © Chronopassion

The eagerly awaited Streamliner

H. Moser & Cie’s latest creation has been eagerly awaited. The follow-up to the Streamliner Chronograph Automatic Flyback is called the Streamliner Centre Seconds. This three-hander inherits its design from its chronograph ancestor, including the powerful all-steel case with integral bracelet. We asked Laurent Picciotto why he chose this timepiece. “Because this Streamliner has been slimmed down to 40mm, which makes it a far less polarising watch than the 42.3mm chronograph,” Laurent Picciotto explains. “The Streamliner chrono, with its 434 components and its racing vibe, was aimed at the extremely dedicated collector. The three-handed Streamliner is smaller and slimmer. It consolidates the collection, and it’s half the price – 19,000 euros rather than 38,000 – which makes it a watch for every day, a watch you can wear in town, at the beach, in sports mode or dressed up. It’s a very elegant and distinctive piece.” 

Laurent Picciotto : « Mes coups de cœur des Geneva Watch Days »

Streamliner Centre Seconds © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

Bulgari: the confirmation

Did Bulgari need a sixth world record? That might seem an odd question. And yet, after setting five records in just six years, it’s legitimate to wonder where the manufacture intends to stop. Collectors are already familiar with the company’s credentials in terms of ultra-slim timepieces but, Laurent Picciotto points out, “It’s a fine demonstration of continuity. It drives the point home with those people – thankfully increasingly rare – who think Bulgari is just a Roman jeweller, when in fact it’s a Haute Horlogerie manufacture that has very little left to prove.” 

Laurent Picciotto : « Mes coups de cœur des Geneva Watch Days »

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic © WorldTempus/Jordy Bellido

 And that’s why Chronopassion has selected the new Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic. This timepiece combines an ultra-thin (3.5mm) manufacture self-winding skeleton movement, with a single chronograph pusher and a tourbillon, in a watch just 7.40mm deep, with a diameter of 42.5mm. The case is made of sand-brushed titanium. Just 50 will be made. The price: 155,000 euros. “Despite its high-end appearance, the positioning is appealing and coherent. Simply combining an automatic chronograph with a tourbillon can often push the price up. Having both these complications in an ultra-thin version, 100% manufacture, at this price, is totally justified. Clearly, it remains a collector’s piece. Bulgari’s presence is more broadly represented by the three-handed Octo Finissimo models which, let’s not forget, are accessibly priced, starting at 13,000 euros. That gives an idea of the breadth of the range.” 

Laurent Picciotto : « Mes coups de cœur des Geneva Watch Days »

Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic © Bulgari

Patience is a virtue

Laurent Picciotto’s long-distance love affairs are the unavoidable result of public health requirements that apply equally to his own clients. The commercial impact has been considerable. “Most clients are not yet prepared to shell out 100,000 euros on the strength of a photo,” he explains. “But for some collectors it makes very little difference. They know they’ll have to wait. They know they might not see the watch in the flesh until they receive their own. The manufactures are not operating at full capacity, and some subcontractors are no longer available. But so what? These collectors are waiting for a number of pieces. They invest in limited series, and they don’t want to miss out. Those customers that are in a hurry are still in a hurry. The more patient ones are still patient.” 

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