CURRENT NEW CANAAN STORE
Mr Chiappelloni has been responsible for introducing a long roster of independent watchmakers to the United States over the past 30 years, including F. P. Journe.
It has taken decades of education and marketing to establish a market for these independents and Manfredi, many of which have recently become red hot as a new generation of collectors discover watches beyond the likes of Rolex, AP and Patek Philippe.
It was a massive disappointment, therefore, when F. P. Journe took the decision to withdraw from all its retail partners last year in order to concentrate on selling directly to consumers.
To Mr Chiappelloni, that decision was not just a business blow, but a personal one as well.
“My toughest challenge this year was accepting the decision of F. P. Journe to pull out of my store after so many years of success together, so he could sell in his own boutique only. Needless to say I was a huge admirer of F. P. Journe watches and despite this disappointment, I remain so to this day,” he says.
Mr Chiappelloni can roll with the punches. After all, his mission to bring pleasure to his customers by giving them access to a broad and carefully curated portfolio of watchmakers means he is benefiting from a number of brands that are catching fire right now such as Vacheron Constantin, Voutilainen, Parmigiani, Ressence, Laurent Ferrier and Grand Seiko.
His commitment to keep stocking watches he loves, and presenting them to his loyal customers is key, and Mr Chiappelloni rails against the current trend towards people buying watches for profit rather than pleasure.
“Right now one challenge for the watch industry in America is to get the clients to go back to buying themselves a fine timepiece for their beauty, complication, comfort, and to compare and contrast among the wide selection of fine timepieces available on the market. Not all watches are financial investments, but will deliver a lifetime of personal reward,” he insists.