Burgundy Dial 25720PT Audemars Piguet Star Wheel

There’s no AP catalogue that shows this watch exists. It’s a 25720PT Star Wheel, obviously, but not as you know it. Toward the end of production, 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 this burgundy, either guilloché or freehand engraved. There are just a handful of examples known of each, but almost all known iterations come from ’96 or ’97, the final years of the original.

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’s swan song years. It leaves us guessing, almost like the spinning-top close to Nolan’s Inception. We’re still guessing for certain. I say blue and burgundy, as these are the examples we’ve seen. However, it’s possible that these all started out as blue and aged in unique ways. 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 can oxidize a little and turn more rosy, but that may be an entirely separate phenomena to what is observed here. One example in particular from Phillips at the NYC auction Seven last year makes a strong case, which looks like a 50% paler version of this. 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 pink gold in to to this 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 final three images are examples of the other dials, a blue from Christies ’21, the pale oxidized copper pink surround from Phillips NYC, and Eric’s purple example. The example shown first and offered today was previously sold at Phillips, were the images used here are graciously supplied from. However, a well-regarded French retailer is offering again that precise example to the market today a few years after. Prior, it hammered at 40K USD. Today, it’s being offered at 64K. That price is not without precedent, however, as the pale maroon example from last year mentioned above sold at 63K. For my money, this is a far more impressive dial whether factory or patina. There will likely only ever be one Star Wheel as far as I’m concerned and this is easily one of the top 5 examples I’ve ever seen of the OG.