Baume & Mercier, which began a partnership with Carroll Shelby, Inc. in 2015, expands its collection of limited-edition chronograph watches inspired by the famed Shelby Cobra race cars this year. The newest models, introduced at SIHH 2016, take their distinctive design codes from the Shelby Cobra CSX2128, the 289-series roadster that won the 12 Hours of Sebring race in 1963 to become one of the most successful Cobras in history.
The Baume & Mercier Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 Limited Edition comes in two versions, each with a 44-mm-diameter case. One is in stainless steel with satin-brushed and polished finishing, attached to a black alligator strap with white contrast stitching and yellow, rubberized calfskin lining (pictured at top); the other “Competition” edition (below) has black ADLC coating on the steel case and comes on a strap made of black, vulcanized rubber, the same material used in the wheels of a Cobra race car.
Other design features inspired by the Shelby Cobra CSX2128 roadster include the dial layout, with asymmetrical chronograph subdials modeled after the look of the car’s dashboard; the two subtle racing stripes horizontally crossing the black, sunburst-finish dial; the hour and minute hands that call to mind the Cobra’s steering wheel; and perhaps most noticeably, the Cobra-head logo used as the counterweight of the central chronograph seconds hand. On the caseback, the collection’s name and limited edition number are engraved on the periphery, while the CSX2128’s legendary “15” racing number is applied to the sapphire caseback window.
The tachymeter scale along the outer edge of the dial, used in conjunction with the chronograph to determine speeds, marks this watch as an authentic racetrack timekeeper. The chronograph minutes are tallied on the subdial at 3 o’clock, the chronograph hours in the subdial at 6 o’clock. Running seconds are displayed in the subdial at 9 o’clock, and the date appears in a window at 4:30. The chronograph hands are yellow (yellow-tipped in the case of the central seconds counter), while the timekeeping hands are rhodium-plated and coated with green-light-emitting Super-LumiNova. The crystal is treated with anti-glare coating on one side.
The movement in the Baume & Mercier Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 is the self-winding ETA Valjoux 7753, with 25 jewels, a 48-hour power reserve, and a frequency of 4 Hz. It features circular graining on the bridges and plate and cotes de Geneve decoration on the snailed, black-PVD-coated winding rotor. Both versions of the watch are equipped with triple-folding steel buckles with safety catches. The all-steel Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 is priced at $4,450, while the ADLC-coated Capeland Shelby Cobra Competition goes for $100 more. Both are limited to 1,963 pieces, honoring the year of the Cobra CSX2128’s historic victory at Sebring.