The third member of the impressive Chamber of Wonders collection is The New World “Novus Orbis” which represents the world drawn in the 16th century by a German cartographer, cosmographer, Latin translator, historian, astronomer, mathematician and a Christian Hebraist scholar Sebastian Münster.
This newcomer joins The Pearl of Wonders and The Terrestrial Map which depict the world drawn by Matteo Ricci and Ibn al-Wardi respectively representing European, Chinese, and Arabic world perspectives respectively.
The Swiss luxury watchmaking brand has chosen to honor Sebastian Münster considered to be one of the major references of modern cartography. Sebastian Münster’s work, Novus Orbis, which resembled an encouragement to exploratory voyages, was included in his major work, Cosmographia Universalis from 1544. This richly illustrated and detailed cartographic collection was the earliest German description of the world.
The German cartographer was supported by over 120 employees to create his masterpiece as he relied on the contribution of state-of-the-art artisan processes, which is very similar to fine watchmaking today. It is like wood engravings of artists of the time: Hans Holbein the younger, Urs Graf, Hans Rudolph Manuel Deutsch, and David Kandel. Münster’s style is full of para-geographic information which can be useful to understand the lifestyles of that period. Furthermore, it provides a serious basis on which is possible to compare the urban evolution of certain large cities.
The most colorful of the maps contained in La Chambre des Merveilles shows creative fields populated with fragments which are organized into a mosaic. Here, the tones of blue and pink aventurine, calcite and Canadian nephrite blend. For a single dial of the New World “Novus Orbis” it took approximately 95 hours to be finished.
The finely selected stones are carved into mini-disks. At the end of a manual polishing operation, each disk reaches 0.50 mm. As you can imagine, the cutting and assembly of micro-stones require exceptional meticulousness and artistry. The final result is that the land on the map seems like it floats, reinforced by the artist’s micro-painting in 6 various tones.
The New World “Novus Orbis” (ref. 49534-52-R06-BB60) is housed in an 18-karat pink gold case measuring 40mm in diameter. The watch is powered with the same movement as two other members of this collection – the in-house manufactured caliber GP03300. Each of three timepieces from the Chamber of Wonders collection is issued in the limited series of 18 specimens.