Chronopassion’s Laurent Picciotto And His Favorite iVee Guitar
Laurent Picciotto, owner of Chronopassion in Paris, has played the guitar since he was 14 years old. While he has never played professionally, it only takes a few seconds of listening to know that Picciotto plays very well – and extremely passionately.
Picciotto collects a few different things: watches, guitars, but also motorcycles and even shoes. Picciotto owns around 60 guitars, but these are not locked away like his watches. These hang out in every room in his house on walls and stands, ready to play at a moment’s notice.
Recently, Picciotto invested in Sauvage Guitars, a small independent French guitar brand with only a small handful of craftsmen. If this concept sounds familiar it should; it mirrors some of the best independent watchmakers, micro brands that Picciotto wholeheartedly supports in his shop.
Music is his passionate avocation, but Picciotto is also passionate about his vocation – which led to him open Chronopassion in 1988 (13 years after he began playing guitar). So why not unite the two passions in one luxurious and unique object?
Ivan Mulia of iVee Guitars, a small collector brand of handmade resonator and metal body guitars in Java, offered to make the first customized piece for Picciotto’s shop on Paris’ famed Rue Saint-Honoré: the new-T Chronopassion was commissioned in early 2015.
“I got the idea to do this one after ‘meeting’ Mulia through Facebook,” Picciotto explained. “I sometimes play it in the shop because this is the best place to play this guitar!”
Ivan Mulia founded iVee Guitars in 2009, and the premise of his little workshop in Java, Indonesia is the cast aluminum body famous for its “floral” etching that features elements from traditional Indonesian batik and songket artistic techniques.
The new-T Chronopassion guitar’s hand-etched aluminum body reflects the horological world of its owner: it is engraved with the faces of master watchmakers and their works, brands distributed by Laurent Picciotto’s watch business.
The faces featured here include those of Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey, Stepan Sarpaneva, Giulio Papi of Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi, and Felix Baumgartner of Urwerk in addition to Picciotto’s own countenance.
The visages are surrounded by the Chronopassion universe, which includes watch parts and other mechanical symbols sure to thrill each and every WIS among us as our eyes search through the details – like the components that decorate the fret board.
Engraved MB&F iconography on the knobs of the new-T Chronopassion guitar (photo courtesy David Carteron)
Why did Picciotto choose to feature MB&F so prominently on the knobs? “Because right now, [founder] Max Büsser is the one setting the tone in independent watchmaking – and sometimes the volume too.”
Picciotto’s point in commissioning this guitar is “to have fun.” It is an object celebrating the fun side of Chronopassion, symbolizing Picciotto’s pioneering spirit and rock ‘n’ roll attitude.
The new-T Chronopassion is a unique work of art that is not for sale. It is on display at the shop located at 271 Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. And if you’re lucky, Picciotto will play a few bars for you.
Check out these slow blues and other riffs . . . with Giulio Papi’s face looking out over the strings!