The new Chamber of Wonders Collection from Girard-Perregaux consists of three models each representing different perspectives and different eras. After the Pearl of Wonders timepiece, it is time for us to take a look at the next model in line named the Terrestrial Map.
For this watch, Girard-Perregaux selected the work of Italian Jesuit, Matteo Ricci, who has been inspired by the old Chinese map. This priest took part in his congregation’s missions in Asia. After he arrived in Macao in 1582, this Italian theologian, philosopher, astronomer and cosmologist spent the rest of his life in China where he shared his knowledge with Chinese scholars and officials.
Ricci was the first Westerner allowed within the walls of the Forbidden City. Although his objective was to spread the Christian faith in the Middle Kingdom, his admission into the Forbidden City in 1601 was not due to his religious beliefs, but because of his scientific knowledge. Under the Chinese Ming dynasty, the Italian missionary translated the state of global geographical knowledge for his hosts by repositioning China as the starting point.
This globe already mapped out the five continents. Admittedly, Libya summed up Africa, while the Austral Earth assumed the presence of Australia. This map shows incredible geographical and astronomical precision. The four oceans were featured, and the Nile River is the largest river in the map. Furthermore, the Earth is round, while variations in length of day and night are listed and explained, and the distances between the Earth and some planets are also listed in a form of chart.
The dial of the Terrestrial Map is crafted from white jade, with translucent veins which give the perception of depth. Each dial has been made from a block of this stone. A thin sculpted disk needs to be extracted which, after manual polishing, reaches its ideal thickness of 0.70 mm. After that, it is time for an experienced miniature painter and his meticulous craftsmanship. It took 17 hours for this process which includes the using of natural India ink mixed with a special binder.
The watch is housed in an 18-karat pink gold case measuring 40mm in diameter. The watch is water resistant up to 30 meters (100 feet) and equipped with Girard-Perregaux mechanical movement GP03300 that offers 46 hours of power reserve.
The Terrestrial Map (ref. 49534-52-R05-BB60) is produced in the limited quantity of only 18 pieces and it comes with an elegant black alligator leather strap with stitches, fitted with a pink gold pin buckle.