Burgundy Dial 25720PT Audemars Piguet Star Wheel
This is a 25720PT Star Wheel, obviously, but not as you know it. A handful of very rare, very unusual iterations were created. There are fewer than five known with gem set bezels. In yellow gold, a couple ‘tiger eye’ dials were made. But in platinum, two colored dials were created in blue and burgundy, either guilloché or freehand engraved. There are just a handful of examples known of each. Even more confusingly, they might be the same thing. Patina or lacquer? That’s the question. Whatever the answer, rare and lovely.
It’s possible that these all started out as blue and aged in unique ways, one of the more notable collectors in this space seems to believe many started blue, then went purple, and finally burgundy. Watches like this are what make collecting interesting and in the 90s AP showed a lot of wisdom to get very creative in tiny numbers in the Star Wheel. It leaves us guessing, almost like the spinning-top close to Nolan’s Inception. We’re still guessing for certain. This is supported by an example owned by @ericpengcheng that’s dead in the middle: a bright purple.
This is further complicated by the fact that some platinum Star Wheels with the coppery/pink gold-tone surrounds, such as this example, can oxidize a little and turn more rosy. That may be an entirely separate phenomena to what is observed usually, or may be these started out more copper. One example in particular from Phillips at NYC Seven last year makes a strong case, just like this, which looks like a 50% paler version of most burgundy. To this day, the waters are murky. Audemars Piguet have not commented on precisely what was produced and are not likely to. What is original and what is ageing? We can only observe and record, and there are examples ranging from this pink copper to deep burgundy, red, blue, purplish, and various stops on the path between. More may come to light in future but for now let’s just all be glad oddities, even with a little mystery, like this exist.
The market is similarly opaque and changing. Pires-Lauboussin offered one recently at 64K, bright burgundy. A purple example hit Anitquorum last may at 94K, believed to be bought by the AP Museum (thanks Logan Baker of Phillips for that). A pale maroon example from last year mentioned above sold at 63K. There will likely only ever be one Star Wheel as far as I’m concerned and this is easily one of the top 10 examples I’ve ever seen of the OG.