Limited Edition – Baume & Mercier Capeland Shelby Cobra1:29 pm
Cars and Watches have a lot in common: fine-tuned mechanism, exceptionally designed leather and metal elements and a complete package which also substitutes as a status symbol. America, known for its passion for motor racing and cars and Switzerland with its winding complications, have come together for the first time; though this isn’t really the first time we’re witnessing a marriage between a Swiss watchmaker and a car company (Breitling & Bentley, IWC & Mercedes, JLC & Aston Martin, TAG Heuer & McLaren). But this time on we witness a new, unheard of partnership between Baume & Mercier and Carroll Shelby Company of the United States, who’ve come together to give us the Shelby Cobra Limited Edition. The watch pays tribute to the man, Carroll Shelby, the cars he built and celebrates the 50th anniversary of his momentous 1965 FIA season.
A Story to remember
Picture this: it’s the summer of 1965, the most dominant force in the world of motorsport for countless years – Ferrari, is expected to cruise through yet another consecutive FIA world championship. But, something else happened that summer. One car stunned everyone, for not just a one off race but for years to follow. A car that was born from an idea of an American racer and engineer that left the Scuderia’s in the dust. David had just beaten Goliath in his own backyard.
Carroll Hall Shelby’s vision gave birth to the “Cobra”, a car that had broken all records back in the States, and the thought behind his vehicle was simple: to develop a car that was lighter, nimble and that could accommodate a fairly powerful engine. But while he was breaking records back in his own country, his aim had always been to outperform European competitors, which wouldn’t have been possible without his association with Ford. Just one year of the Cobra was enough to turn tables and upset the world’s leader in motorsport. After defeating and silencing every known heavyweight in the motorsport world for consecutive years, Shelby achieved his goal despite being called the ‘underdog’. Motorsport, as we knew it, would never be the same again (who doesn’t like the ultimate triumph of an underdog?)
To honour this unprecedented milestone, Baume & Mercier created the Capeland Shelby Cobra Limited Edition, a stunning blue dial watch in a reasonably sized steel case that to a great extent resembles the original Shelby Cobra.
Driven to lead
As you go up close you’ll notice the dial is heavily inspired by the Cobra. Rendered in Shelby’s iconic blue colour with a sunburst finish, you’ll notice familiarity right from the index numbers, done in an antique font resembling the speedometer, to the chronograph sub-counters, which are designed like dashboard gauges in a striking silver colour. Only the small seconds counter at 9 has been left in blue. The hour and minute hands are reminiscent of the spokes of a vintage steering wheel and the seconds hand has a laser cut logo of Shelby (the cobra). The indexes have SuperLuminova blue, keeping up with the theme, and all of this is housed in a 44mm stainless steel case.
The watch comes with an alligator strap with contrasting red inside and a folding buckle that is more durable than we thought it would be, and gives the wearer an option to adjust it as per their wrist size.
To mark this limited edition watch as a true original, the sapphire crystal back is engraved with unique numbers (to let you know which one you happen to own out of 1965), and Carroll Shelby’s personal signature.
Destined For Victory
Powered by the most celebrated chronograph movement: the Valjoux 7750, which also happens to be the most successful chronograph movement ever produced, the fly back chronograph has an impressive power reserve of 42 hours and beats at a frequency of 4 Hz / 28800 Vph.
The movement is protected by a solid 44mm steel case with polished and brushed surfaces. Domed Sapphire crystal glass on the top and a see through sapphire crystal case back allows you to admire the technical prowess of the movement, done in typical Baume style.
In recognition of Shelby’s FIA World Championship 50th anniversary, the steel chronograph is limited to only 1,965 pieces for the world. The fabulous timepiece is available now at Ethos Watch Boutiques.
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(Image Courtesy: Baume & Mercier)
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
Rahul is a watch and sports lover currently living in New Delhi. Having worked as a journalist and a copywriter previously, he is now thrilled to be a part of a team that loves, lives and breathes wristwatches. After joining Ethos and The Watch Guide team, his interest for the world of horology grew and is now completely and hopelessly hooked on watches.