February 23, 2024
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Laurent Picciotto is a well-known maverick in the world of watch retailing. His boutique outlet Chronopassion in the heart of Paris is an Aladdin’s cave for true watch aficionados who can find one of the most eclectic choices of brands in the capital. As an independent retailer not tied to any major group, Picciotto has a degree of freedom to stock brands that appeal to him and meet his demanding criteria. The analogy with Aladdin’s cave, or indeed any other form of comparison, is, however, not one that appeals to Picciotto, who prefers to remind people that he is simply an independent retailer.“At Chronopassion our specifications are to propose brands that bring a real plus to watchmaking,” he explains. This is why you will find creations from the likes of MB&F, Sarpaneva and Strom watches alongside mainstream brands like Audemars Piguet, Hublot and Tudor. But what is the plus from DeWitt that appeals to this retailer, who is known for his knack of smelling what sells and defying conventions?The latest brand to catch Picciotto’s eye is DeWitt, the independent, family-owned and run brand from Geneva.  Laurent Picciotto

“My answer is expressed in the form of obvious questions,” he says. “ Who else makes an independent deadbeat seconds with a flying time hand that represents the tenth of seconds for some and the speed of time for others? Who else enjoys making a watch around the subject of mathematics?There are other questions, too, and the list is long, which is why we represent DeWitt.

The parallels between Chronopassion and DeWitt are striking. Both are independent, both family run and both steered by personalities who quite clearly love what they do. As Jérôme DeWitt takes great delight in dreaming up the most fanciful and playful watch complications, Laurent Picciotto admits “I like the idea of getting up every morning without knowing what the day holds in store – no more than our clients do. And despite these unknowns, sooner or later one of them will walk through the door, and in a reasonable act of madness, allow themselves be swayed by their feelings and wager everything on a watch that really stirs them. And that never grows old for me: it’s a great feeling, every time; that’s just the way I am.”

Chronopassion Paris interior