Dr. Helmut Crott: Horological auctions owe him their hundreds of millions

Temps de lecture : 2 minutes

Although less well known than Antiquorum founder Osvaldo Patrizzi, expert collector Dr. Helmut Crott is, like Patrizzi, the forerunner of worldwide watch auctions. We owe him the first thematic auction dedicated exclusively to A. Lange & Söhne. It was in Germany, in Munich.

Joël A. Grandjean, JSH Magazine & Swiss-Watch-Passport.ch editor in chief
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Collector and world expert, Dr. Helmut Crott has a collection of old JSH. Here with the June 2019 edition

Collector, ex-CEO of a legendary brand, world expert

After having sold Dr. Crott Auctioneers, his auction company founded in Munich in 1975, Dr. Crott became by a stroke of luck and passion the owner of Urban Jürgensen, a legendary historical brand named after a famous Danish master watchmaker who worked in Le Locle. Connoisseurs estimate that his database contains some 60,000 watches. He keeps track of their quotations and achievements over the last 40 years. He is often consulted by the major auction houses, some of which owe him the opening of their department dedicated to vintage watches. He remains the trusted advisor of a few private collectors who owe him their fortune or their square meters in the Port Franc de Genève.

Still in the move, the one who has entered watchmaking through the flea market, remains closely observed by the players of supply and demand, by all those who bet on the value of a model, a brand or a watch style. Who better to use as a trend indicator?

Dr. Helmut Crott, the founding father of watch auctions. Before him, the prestigious auction houses offered timepieces along with furniture, paintings, or rare tableware....

“Le Cadran”, a collector’s book, already sold out

Sold out only a few days after its release, the book Le Cadran du Dr. Helmut Crott is already a collector. It traces the history of the dial in the 20th century.

While he would deserve some quiet retirement at the bottom of a library or a watchmaking museum, this passionate man has just devoted three years of his life to the production of a reference volume, the achievement of a lifetime. It is called ” Le Cadran “, and, as the author, he entrusted the French writing to the independent journalist Joël A. Grandjean. With only 300 copies printed, the book was sold out in a few weeks and can already be found at crazy prices on some online auction platforms. When asked if he will make an English translation or a new edition, the man smiles and suggests that he will surprise us soon. Again?

De langue maternelle allemande, le Dr. Helmut Crot confie la rédaction en français de son livre Le Cadran au journaliste Joël A. Grandjean
L'ouvrage Le Cadran du Dr. Helmut Crott est certainement le livre le plus complet sur le cadran de la montre, ses métiers, ses techniques, son histoire. Un livre référence puisque, lors d'une vente aux enchères, l'authenticité d'un cadran peut faire prendre au modèle 50% de sa valeur, voire plus.

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Book “Le Cadran”, by Dr. Helmut Crott

The work of a lifetime, the book "Le Cadran" by Dr. Helmut Crott (edited by Joël A. Grandjean), the history of the dial in the 20th century, the prestigious history of the Stern dials and of a family that took over the Patek Philippe brand



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