In 2015, with the introduction of its “Chamber of Wonders” collection, Girard-Perregaux provided its first glimpse into the field of miniature creation with the artistic tradition known as cabinets of curiosities. This art form made popular during the Renaissance was imbued with magic and fantasy, held the unmistakable charm of adventure.
An infinitely small object becomes a canvas for the creativity of artisans specializing in rare handcrafts, which Swiss fine watchmaking has renamed artistic crafts. In 2016, Girard-Perregaux is continuing to celebrate this meticulous skill and patience in an original manner with the second installment of the “Chamber of Wonders”.
Here, the values of aestheticism and fine workmanship, on which the Manufacture has specialized since 1791, has found a new view even in the confined space of a watch dial. Against a backdrop of poetry, the beckoning sea, and fantasy, the pieces are invaded by a winning combination of exceptional materials and techniques that are becoming increasingly scarce.
In 2016, the brand is expanding its Girard-Perregaux 1966 pink gold collection with a trio of numbered pieces powered by a self-winding Manufacture caliber with dials that either celebrate the Earth as seen from space, or space as viewed from Earth. These interplanetary journeys are opening up the “Chamber of Wonders” to even more colorful interpretations of the past, and to new understandings of objects that are references in world history. They are the original combination of the manufacture-based arts of a mountainous area dedicated to excellent watchmaking and the multidisciplinary knowledge representing the openess to the world.
More than simple demonstrations of manual skills, the map representations reproduced and reinterpreted on the dials of the three 2016 “Chamber of Wonders” models celebrate the visions of scholars and famous figures in the history of humanity. They tell a tale of perceptions, which demonstrates the extent of knowledge at the time when their illustrious creators first expressed them. Their connection to the passing of time and its creation of certainties is undeniable.
The Chamber of Wonders – Center of the Universe Earth
Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy, one of the founding fathers of geography, the creation of which dates back to less than one hundred years AD, was fascinated by the interactions of the Earth and Sun, and the Earth and Moon, as well as their influence on climates.
The Chamber of Wonders – Center of the Universe Sun
Contrary to geocentricism, which places the Earth at the center of the universe, heliocentricism makes the Sun a fixed point in the universe around which celestial bodies revolve, including the Earth. This groundbreaking theory revolutionized scientific and philosophical thinking in the mid 16th century. It was introduced by astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), a Polish doctor and physician, whose book “On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres” was printed for the first time in Nuremberg in 1543, while he was still alive. History later revealed that the scholar had already shared disruptive theories thirty years prior, which the world came to call the Copernican Revolution. Ever since, the Moon has revolved around the Earth, which in turn rotates on its axis and revolves around the Sun, much to the annoyance of Ptolemy and the certitudes of the past.
The Chamber of Wonders – Celestial Globe
Vincenzo Maria Coronelli (1650-1718) was a cartographer, cosmographer and a producer of globes. World history is indebted to this Franciscan monk – a doctor of theology and encyclopedist for the two giant globes he created in Paris in homage to the Sun King, Louis XIV. Each globe measure 382 centimeters in diameter and weigh around 2 tons. One is terrestrial, the other celestial, depicting the sky as it was seen at the time of the monarch’s birth, on September 5, 1638. On the 1,880 celestial bodies that it depicts, 72 constellations adopt the forms of whimsical animals and mythological figures. The completely blue-toned work, comprised of twelve equal areas symbolizing the seasons when the Sun crosses the zodiac constellations, was painted and illuminated by Jean-Baptiste Corneille.
Collection: The Chamber of Wonders
Material: pink gold
Diameter: 40.00 mm
Height: 9.94 mm
Glass: sapphire anti-reflective
Case-back: sapphire crystal.
Water resistance: 30 metres (3 ATM)
Center of the Universe Earth: aventurine, lapis, mother-of-pearl and hand-painting
Center of the Universe Sun: grey jade, cornelian, orange aventurine and pale orange jasper and hand-painting
Celestial globe: sapphire crystal dome and hand-painting
Reference: GP03300-0060, mechanical with automatic winding
Diameter: 25.60 mm (111/2’’’)
Height: 4.20 mm
Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h – (4 Hz)
Number of components: 205
Power reserve: min. 46 hours
Functions: hour, minute
Material: stitched black alligator
Buckle: pink gold pin buckle
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