Chronopassion Picciotto: “Six watches to watch in 2018”
Laurent Picciotto, founder and president of Chronopassion and an opinion leader in the watch world, introduces some of the pieces he thinks will leave a mark this year.
Retailers are tightrope walkers. They have to meet the demands of first-time buyers and seasoned collectors alike. They have to be able to respond to current needs as well as the as yet unknown requirements of tomorrow. Often, they have to be able to anticipate trends while reining in their personal predilections. And, whereas buyers can take their sweet time to make their minds up, retailers have just a few weeks to set out their stall for the rest of the year.
Laurent Picciotto treads a narrow path between reason and passion, reality and instinct, blue-chip classics and exciting outsiders. But eclecticism is the USP of Chronopassion. And 2018 promises to be a very eclectic year.
Chronopassion has plumped for a range of references that Laurent Picciotto believes will be landmarks. They include the new Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight, as well as the Black Bay S&G (Steel & Gold). “The new champagne dials with leather straps are a great combination. We see a lot of NATO straps, but the aged leather strap on the Fifty-Eight diver is an excellent alternative.”
Black Bay Fifty-Eight and Black Bay « S&G » © Tudor
Another newcomer to the Rue Saint-Honoré is Bulgari. Or, more precisely, the Octo by Bulgari. It’s a first for Chronopassion, which has never represented the Neuchâtel manufacture before. “I’ve had my eye on the Octo for a number of years. There’s that unmistakeable Genta style which appeals to me personally. And then there’s the direction the collection has taken. From the Finissimo to the Skeleton and the Tourbillon, you can see the emergence of a coherent identity, obvious technical mastery, and design perfection served by exceptional mechanical engineering.”
Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic © Bulgari
Hublot and Audemars Piguet push the envelope
Hublot represents both an inescapable presence and a personal preference. “The Big Bang Unico Red Magic is an outrage, but its a perfectly executed outrage. It’s fun, but it’s backed up by the kind of technical accomplishment we’ve been waiting for. Such an intense red ceramic is a real achievement,” Laurent Picciotto confirms.
Big Bang Unico Red Magic © Hublot
Audemars Piguet is another Chronopassion staple, whose relationship with the retailer goes back two decades. “The 25th anniversary limited editions of the Royal Oak Offshore offer two major advantages. First, they are genuinely limited series: 50 per model, no more. Also, they introduce a new style, a bold architecture that will be seen as a landmark, because it could be a harbinger of the Audemars Piguet of the 21st century.”
Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon and Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph © Audemars Piguet
L&JR: more, for less
And then, there’s L&JR. This brand is the brainchild of Lionel Ladoire and Jorg Hysek Junior, the “L” and “JR” in the name, respectively. Their brief was simple: to offer the maximum perceived value with a positioning that defies the competition. “It goes beyond what we usually see with this kind of exercise,” Laurent Picciotto concludes. “The product is original, perfectly designed, it has its own style and it’s a third of the price you would expect.”
S1301 © L&JR
And the most atypical: Carl Suchy & Söhne. “I admit, I was enchanted by their approach,” Laurent Picciotto explains. “It has a very good mechanical movement, and an aesthetic that, on the face of it, will appeal to discriminating collectors. The bold guilloché design is fully revealed for just one second every minute, the kind of creative approach with which Chronopassion identifies strongly.” The first model by the Viennese-inspired brand is already in the window at Rue Saint-Honoré.
Waltz N°1 with silver and black guilloché pattern dial © Carl Suchy & Söhne
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