Then, there are the more unusual gem-set examples. You could have the Star Wheel with a diamond-set bezel, although based on information we can find, no more than five were ever made. Last December, an iteration understood to be a piece unique went on auction in Hong Kong. It had a slightly bigger platinum case (38mm across), with 36 baguette-cut emeralds on the bezel. The minute track was printed on mother-of-pearl, while pavé diamonds adorned the rest of the dial. Unlike serially produced versions, the plate visible under the central rotor was also richly decorated with wave-pattern guilloche. The piece, which was expected to go for HKD 800,000, exceeded expectations and went to its new owner for HKD 1.375 million (£134,500). The same day, the auction house sold another piece unique with a similar stone bezel, this one with rubies, HKD 1 million (£97,860).
Other equally unusual, if not verifiably unique pieces, have also periodically come up for auction. Even serially produced examples of the reference 25720 have steadily appreciated in recent years. While the same auction house sold a yellow-gold example for around £6,200 in 2018, a comparable example sold for £20,000 in 2020. “If market performance can be considered a form of perception, the Star Wheel’s market price growth has also seemed to outperform some of its comparable neo-vintage cousin references. The original pieces have grown in price by over 500 percent from just three years ago,” says Chng.