The auction world is in some disarray at this moment, however one auction is certainly going ahead regardless of the current situation – whether it will be an online-just auction or take place at Hotel Speicher7 in Mannheim, Germany live as planned, or perhaps both, is as yet in transition. This Dr. Crott auction has been moved from its usual May date to June 29, 2020 around early afternoon CET.
One thing is certain, however: because of Germany’s eased COVID-19 restrictions, invested individuals can make a date to inspect timepieces in Mannheim after making a reservation.
The Dr. Crott auction house was established by Dr. Helmut Crott in 1975. Presently Germany’s head auction house for watches, today is possessed by Stefan Muser. It’s a given that German timepieces are more regularly offered here than at the other top-level houses, and usually there are a great many more pocket watches and antique clocks than one finds at other auction houses.
There are a couple of watches in the upcoming auction that are notable for various reasons outside of the fact that they fine, rare, and attractive. Or on the other hand because they were made by Rolex or Patek Philippe (however there is, of course, plenty of that here as well). Here are a couple of my highlights.
Lot 103: A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 in stainless steel
A. Lange & Söhne never officially launched a serial stainless steel watch before the Odysseus arrived in late October 2019. Yet, that doesn’t mean that that there are no stainless steel examples of the flagship Lange 1 in existence. There are a few – a not very many made for certain early Lange retailers, as you can see here – however they are scarcely any and far between that they have an almost mythical standing among watch collectors. We estimate that there are about 25 or so in existence.
This example appears to have been offered to its original proprietor on April 1, 1999 (what an April Fool’s Day for this individual!) and comes to this auction with its original box and papers.
According to the catalog, Dr. Crott’s research reveals this to just be the seventh example of the steel Lange 1 to come to auction.
For more information, please visit www.uhren-muser.de/en/img.html?lot=51543 .
Behind The Lens: Rare Lange 1 Limited Editions
The Value Of Rarity: Christie’s Auctions A Black-Dialed A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 In Stainless Steel (Exclusive And Never-Seen Photos)
The Mythical Stainless Steel A. Lange & Söhne Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 in stainless steel
Case: stainless steel, 38.5 x 10 mm
Dial: strong silver, silvered, blued steel hands
Development: manually twisted Caliber L901.0
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; large date, power hold indication
Year of manufacture: 1999
Latest auction price: Phillips Game Changers, December 10, 2019, $343,750
Auction estimate: €220,000-€300,000
Lot 21: A. Lange & Söhne Large Lange 1 Luna Mundi
A complete set of A. Lange & Söhne’s Luna Mundi in mint condition is also on proposal at this Dr. Crott auction.
Introduced in 2003, the Luna Mundi set puts a fascinating marvel on center stage: the fact that the crescent of the moon appears to be unique to the inhabitants of the northern half of the globe than to those of the southern.
This wonder occurred to Richemont Group executive chairman, Johann Rupert, a man who frequently dwells in South Africa, which is in the southern hemisphere. Rupert gave A. Lange & Söhne the task of building up a timepiece correctly displaying the moon as it genuinely appears from the two halves of the planet. The Grand Lange 1 Luna Mundi was born.
Luna Mundi is a set containing two A. Lange & Söhne’s watches, one showing the moon from the northern half of the globe and one as seen from the south side of the equator. It was restricted to 101 sets. This set on offer is 34/101 and comes to auction with its original box and papers.
Framed by the large Lange 1 case coming in at 41.9 mm, Luna Mundi/Ursa Major is a cool 18-karat white gold rendition featuring the moon as seen from the northern half of the globe. Luna Mundi/Southern Cross is a red hot 18-karat red gold adaptation depicting the phases of the moon as they are seen from the less crowded lower half of the globe.
Most moon phase displays are driven forward once or twice a day, and because Lange’s is constantly moving it is more accurate than that. Simply after a time of 122.6 years is there a deviation of one day. This technology was used in Caliber L901.8 for the Big Dipper model Ursa Major, and adjusted in Caliber L901.7 to show the perfect representation of the northern moon for the Luna Mundi/Southern Cross model. The recessed pusher located looking into the issue somewhere in the range of 7 and 8 o’clock can be utilized to reset the moon phase display should the watch’s mainspring wind down.
For more information, please visit www.uhren-muser.de/en/51597/lange-soehne-grosse-lange-1-luna-mundi-no-34-101-wristwatch#startlot .
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Large Lange 1 Luna Mundi
Case: white gold and red gold, 42 mm
Dial: strong silver, silvered, blued steel hands
Development: manually twisted Caliber L901.7/L901.8
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds; large date, power hold indication, moon phase from the two sides of the equator
Year of manufacture: 2003
Auction estimate: €55,000-€100,000
Lot 102: A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite
The Tourbograph came into being in 2005, while this ultra-complicated variation, the Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite, came about in 2017 with the addition of a perpetual calendar.
It is a remarkable watch, not because it combines five genuine complications, a one-minute tourbillon, and a chain and fusée, but since it does as such with such class and rationale, bringing about a watch that is easier to read than you may suspect on first glance. And it fits all that in a 43 mm case.
Even however the perpetual calendar mechanism is covered up underneath the dial, the rear of the development with the split-seconds chronograph is altogether visible and completed in typical Lange perfection. The dial was created with as much logic and precision as possible, to such an extent that this dial is iconic in its classiness in spite of the array of displays.
It isn’t the most complicated watch A. Lange & Söhne has at any point crafted, yet it’s in the best three – and with just 50 pieces at any point made, it is also exceedingly rare. Genuine treasure here.
This example originally sold on November 20, 2017 and is in excellent condition. Number 02/50 comes with its original box and papers.
For more information, please visit www.uhren-muser.de/en/51576/lange-soehne-tourbograph-perpetual-pour-le-merite#startlot .
Further reading: A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual Pour Le Mérite: Building On Foundations
Quick Facts A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual Pour le Mérite
Case: 43 x 16.6 mm, platinum
Development: manually winding Caliber L133.1 with fusée-and-chain transmission and one-minute tourbillon
Functions: hours, minutes; split-second chronograph with minute counter, perpetual calendar with leap year indication and moon phase
Limitation: 50 pieces
Year of manufacture: 2017
Original retail price: €480,000
Auction estimate: €180,000-€400,000
Lots 77 and 78 : original Tutima Glashütte pilot’s chronographs
Talk about treasure! Dr. Crott has not one, but rather two legendary pilot’s watches made by Tutima from World War II on proposal in this auction. Let’s take a gander at the historical backdrop of this to understand it fully.
In Glashütte, Germany at the start of 1927, another gathering of companies most popular by the initials Urofa-Ufag was established under the management of Dr. Ernst Kurtz. Urofa-Ufag rose up out of the economically crumbling Präzisions-Uhrenfabrik GmbH. Kurtz made the legendary Glashütte watch factories Urofa (Uhren-Rohwerke-Fabrik Glashütte AG) and Ufag (Uhrenfabrik Glashütte AG). While Urofa concentrated more on manufacturing ébauches, Ufag produced completed watches.
This also marked the introduction of Tutima , the leading brand of the recently established conglomerate. Kurtz is subsequently considered the originator of Tutima, which was originally a line created to encompass the company’s greatest products.
With war on the personalities of Europeans and a belated lesson learned in being past the point where it is possible to introduce new products – in this case the switch from pocket watches to wristwatches, which occurred so late in Glashütte’s set of experiences that the town almost lost its source of income because of overpowering competition from Switzerland – Glashütte began heavily concentrating on the manufacture of wristwatches.
As of 1938, Urofa and Ufag were appropriated as factories for safeguard manufacturing (as were such countless different companies all through Germany), and plans for pilot’s watches began to take shape utilizing specific characteristics given by the air force.
Tutima would become generally famous for a pilot’s watch referred to today as the original Tutima Glashütte pilot’s chronograph: this Glashütte classic boasted a striking fluted bezel featuring a conspicuous red reference marker on an extra-large fluted case furnished with a large crown, ergonomic chronograph catches, and a large, legible dial featuring luminescent elements for great night-reading capability. It also featured a flyback function, which was known as a “Tempostopp” in old German watch parlance.
From 1941 through 1945, approximately 30,000 of these classics left the Glashütte workshops bound for pilots’ wrists, a number confirmed by author Kurt Herkner in his historical book, Glashütter Armbanduhren Band II . (Just as an aside, a perspective on the back of this watch graces the cover of that book.) This pilot’s watch was equipped with Urofa’s presently legendary chronograph Caliber 59, a development created especially for it.
The manually twisted column-wheel chronograph with a 30-minute counter was created from 1939 to 1941 and remained in production until 1945. Caliber 59, the main German chronograph with flyback function, measured 34 mm in diameter and 5.4 mm in tallness and had 17 gems. It boasted integrated column wheel control of the chronograph functions, a monometallic screw balance, and a Nivarox Breguet balance spring as well as shock protection.
Herkner’s book describes this present development’s wheels, pinions, and case as having been imported from Switzerland. Caliber 59 was just utilized for this one model and never offered to different manufacturers. It was produced in three completions: silver-plated ice covered with gold plate; silver-plated ice; and nickel plate.
On May 8, 1945, simply scant hours before the official finish of World War II, Glashütte was bombarded one final time. The Russians made sure that all of the “military installations” located there were leveled. Any factories that endure the attack from the air were dismantled and transported back to the Soviet Union, including the contents of Urofa and Ufag. Herkner describes in his book this taking place as of July 1, 1945. By August 8, the factories’ rooms were totally unfilled, and all outlines for Caliber 59 were lost.
Tutima figured out the development to introduce its cutting edge Tempostopp in 2017, yet the two lots offered here are wartime originals.
For more information, please visit www.uhren-muser.de/en/51141/tutima-uhrenfabrik-ag-glashuette-chronograph#startlot and www.uhren-muser.de/en/51325/tutima-uhrenfabrik-ag-glashuette-chronograph .
Quick Facts original Tutima Glashütte pilot’s chronographs
Case: 39 mm, matte nickel-plated metal
Development: manually twisted Urofa Caliber 59, integrated chronograph with column wheel, 34 x 5.4 mm, 17 gems, monometallic screw balance, Nivarox Breguet balance spring, shock protection
Functions: hours, minutes; flyback chronograph with 30-minute counter
Years of manufacture: approx. 1942 and 1940
Auction estimates: €2,200-€5,000
Lot 477: LeCoultre Galaxy Mystery
I love these old secret watches and watch with interest when they (inconsistently) come to auction. Created in the era of the ” American Dream ,” they were made for men, not ladies, as you may think.
One watch of that era to typify the renown of Swiss lineage with American taste of the time frame was the LeCoultre Galaxy . . . and something different baffling you probably won’t know is also present: one not just finds the LeCoultre name on the facade of this watch, yet in addition the Vacheron Constantin name on the back of it. That makes this watch the solitary model endorsed by the two brands: the case is endorsed with Vacheron Constantin, while the dial is endorsed by LeCoultre. And the development is a LeCoultre caliber.
The reason Vacheron Constantin’s name is working on this issue is best explained by the fact that at the time the Galaxy was introduced, both of these venerable Swiss companies had gone into an agreement created to aid the then-ailing Genevan giant. “The arrangement showed up in 1938 with a striking association between two of the most renowned watchmakers on the planet,” Franco Cologni wrote in 2015’s Artists of Time , a magnificent retrospective of Vacheron Constantin’s set of experiences. “. . . SAPIC (Société Anonyme de Produits Industriels et Commerciaux), a joint company, was shaped, comprising Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and the latter’s various subsidiaries.”
This association combined the qualities and abilities of both Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre. In 1938, “Fundamentally reorganized, however more grounded, Vacheron Constantin prepared to face the dramatic years ahead.” The two just separated again in 1965.
This meant that both Vacheron Constantin and Jaeger-LeCoultre shared the same American subsidiary from 1938 through 1965 – LeCoultre was the brand name utilized in this period in the United States. Perhaps the collaboration of the two brands’ combined marking of this watch was to offer potential customers an extra reason to purchase it.
The unassuming 14-karat white gold case sets the stage for the real action here: the dial offering small, white gold rectangles filling in as hour markers, each of them featuring three brilliant-cut diamonds set inside the applied marker outline.
These diamond-filled markers structure the external border of the dial at whose center turns a circle set with a single diamond inside a white gold chaton indicating the hours. Above this another circle made of transparent hesalite is situated in which another diamond is set encircled by a white gold chaton; this diamond indicates the minutes.
The brilliance of the plan is that the diamonds appear to be suspended in air. The transparent circle is exactly same size as the spinning center of the dial, with the goal that when one glances at the watch the transparent plate it is virtually invisible. From the side an astute spectator can see the plate, although to accomplish this the watch should be situated at precisely the correct angle since the cleverly framed crystal keeps eyewitnesses from seeing it otherwise.
For more information, please visit www.uhren-muser.de/en/51240/lecoultre-watches-co-swiss-vacheron-constantin-a-geneve-galaxy-mystery#startlot .
Quick Facts LeCoultre/Vacheron Constantin Galaxy Mystery
Case: 33 mm, 14-karat white gold
Dial: silvered, set with 35 diamonds in the markers and two as hands (37 total), rotating circle with applied diamond hour and moment hands
Development: manual winding LeCoultre Caliber K480/CW
Functions: secret hours and minutes
Year of manufacture: approx. 1950
Last realized auction price: $6,875 at a 2012 Christie’s auction
Auction estimate: €2,500-€3,500
Lot 511: Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques American 1921
This Les Historiques-line re-creation of Vacheron Constantin’s novel 1921 model is offered in mint condition and with box and papers. A personal favorite of mine, this model is a genuine eye catcher.
Vacheron Constantin is a specialist in taking elements of its long past and revamping them for choice use in an undeniable present. This traditional maker has been producing timepieces uninterruptedly since 1755 and it frequently draws on that heritage for the models in the Historiques collection. In this case, it has recreated a 12-piece driver’s watch of 1921, the initial three pieces of which went to clients in the United States – hence the “American” predicate.
The inceptions of the “1921,” as collectors and fans of the style are wont to call it, lie in the purported driver’s watch style, which allowed the driver of a (for the time) newfangled automobile to see the time without taking eyes off the road.
The visually arresting 1921 American is perhaps Vacheron Constantin’s most recognizable model. Among connoisseurs it is quite possibly the most popular – which allows us to excuse the Geneva-based company’s many reissues, most notably the 40 mm size we see here. The brand chose that size back in 2008 during the era of larger watches, and it has demonstrated rather successful for them.
For more information, please visit www.uhren-muser.de/en/51068/vacheron-constantin-a-geneve-les-historiques-american-1921-#startlot .
Quick Facts Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques American 1921
Case: 40 x 46 mm, pink gold
Development: manually twisted Vacheron Constantin Caliber 4400/1; 65-hour power save, Geneva Seal , 28,800 vph/4 Hz frequency
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Year of manufacture: approx. 2012
Auction estimate: €20,000-€28,000
For more information on the auction and timepieces, can see the catalog at www.uhren-muser.de/de/documents/Crott_102 .
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