A couple of weeks ago, WorldTempus presented The Pearl of Wonders, the first of the three pieces in the Chamber of Wonders collection. We present today the second model which features an old Chinese map: The Terrestrial Map.
Constrained within a circle, the old Chinese map is inspired by the work of Italian Jesuit, Matteo Ricci. A theologian, philosopher, mathematician, cosmologist and astronomer, this priest took part in his congregation's missions in Asia. Landing in Macao in 1582, he spent the rest of his life in China, sharing his knowledge with scholars and officials. Under the Ming dynasty, he 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 and the Austral Earth assumed the presence of Australia. Nevertheless, the four oceans were featured, the Nile River is the largest river in the world, the Earth is round, variations in length of day and night are listed and explained, and the distances between the Earth and some planets are also listed there in chart form.
The dial of The Terrestrial Map is made of white jade, with translucent veins giving the perception of depth. For each dial, 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. This is followed by 17 hours of meticulous craftsmanship of an experienced miniature painter, using natural India ink mixed with a special binder. Little by little, right down to the accuracy of the gray shades and to the tiny coastal and territorial curves, the famous globe and its historical reliefs emerge.
The 40mm pink gold case is equipped on both faces with sapphire crystals. It houses the automatic movement Girard-Perregaux GP03300-0060, offering a 46-hour power reserve. The pink gold oscillating weight bears a Côtes de Genève decoration.
The watch, which comes in a limited edition of only 18 pieces, is fitted with a black alligator leather strap with stitches, and a pink gold pin buckle.
Click on the large image at the top of the page to see more photos.