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The Millennium Watch Book
Chronopassion - Who is Laurent Picciotto, Founder of Chronopassion?

Chronopassion Who is Laurent Picciotto, Founder of Chronopassion?

For GMT Publishing has created The Millennium Watch Book for the 20th anniversary of GMT Magazine, available for pre-order now. Read here an exclusive excerpt from the book.

On the occasion of GMT Magazine’s 20th anniversary (and WorldTempus’s upcoming 20th anniversary in 2021), we have embarked on the ambitious project of summarising the last 20 years in watchmaking in The Millennium Watch Book, a big, beautifully laid out coffee table book. The Millennium Watch Book is available exclusively now for pre-order at a discounted rate on www.the-watch-book.com, in French and English, with delivery aimed just in time for the holiday season. 

In the coming weeks, WorldTempus will be exclusively sharing excerpts from the book, to give you a taste.

Only a few days left to get an additional 10% discount on the Millennium Watch Book. To obtain your code, fill in the information requested in the dedicated area to the left of the article.

Here’s is an exclusive excerpt from our section “Who’s who”, where we name the 80 industry players, from CEOs to Creative Directors to retailers and independent watchmakers, who have indelibly shaped the last two decades of watches, written by those in the industry who perhaps know them best. For more information, visit www.the-watch-book.com.

Laurent Picciotto Founder, Chronopassion 

Laurent Picciotto revels in the art of paradox. He set up shop as a watch retailer in the 1980s – at a time when there was no such thing. In a world in which every word of every public statement had to be signed off at a board meeting, he dived headlong into social media. In 2011, he was MC for the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG). He’s always been fond of independent watchmakers, even when the trend was towards the standardisation of institutional brands. It would be tempting to conclude that Laurent Picciotto likes to go against the flow; but the fact is that more often than not, he’s the one deciding the direction of flow in the first place. 

He’s worked with dozens of partners, including Audemars Piguet, Hublot, MB&F, Urwerk, and of course Richard Mille, of which he was a shareholder and co-founder. He headed up an Audemars Piguet brand store for 10 years – a concept that simply didn’t exist 25 years ago. Then in 2007, he opened the first Hublot own-brand store in the world – right next door to his. “A few minutes’ discussion with Jean-Claude Biver, key details jotted down on the back of an envelope, and a handshake. That’s how you did business with CEOs of that calibre in those days,” recalls Laurent Picciotto. 

Who is Laurent Picciotto, Founder of Chronopassion?

Laurent Picciotto © Stéphane de Bourgies

When it came to Urwerk and MB&F, the story was something else entirely, with Picciotto playing the role of midwife for both brands. Max Büsser spares no praise when it comes to Laurent Picciotto: “Curator, talent-spotter, risk-taker, benefactor, fine watch fanatic, compulsive enthusiast – and above all, a faithful friend.” 

Laurent Picciotto is always doing what you’re least expecting. In 2017, he decided to sell off his entire personal collection. It was an exceptional auction – over within the space of a few hours, under the hammer of Aurel Bacs. Why did he do it? “It was time. I wanted to start again from scratch.” 

Basically, Picciotto follows his instincts. He collects pretty much everything on wheels, designs guitars, and buys more leather jackets than he’ll ever be able to wear. And in 2020 there’s still a steady stream of young designers calling on the veteran in his Parisian lair, all with the same question: “Laurent, what do you think of this?” Truly case of ‘You are what you is’. 

Who is Laurent Picciotto, Founder of Chronopassion?

Laurent Picciotto © Stéphane de Bourgies