BAUME & MERCIER
Shelby Cobra® collection
January 23, 2017
Exceptional design has the power to move us at first glance. Yet, its magic is far more intricate than simply capturing the eye. The true measure of a design icon is its ability to contribute to performance and precision. It is a formula known as form follows function: style and engineering in perfect balance to deliver an unparalleled experience to its owner.
Baume & Mercier has followed this philosophy of perfection for 187 years. Each timepiece we create is a handcrafted study of how design can deepen craftsmanship and quality. A masterwork to be cherished and a statement of pride for those forged in the same restless spirit of exploration, passion and confidence.
As the next evolution of the partnership with the Carroll Shelby Company initiated in 2015, we are thrilled to extend our exclusive Shelby Cobra® collection with a focus on its most enduring design achievement. Our inspiration is the legendary Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe*, the most iconic car in American motorsports.
In celebration of its legacy, Peter Brock personally joined with Baume & Mercier’s Design Director Alexandre Peraldi to create a collection that sets a new standard in style and presence. The result is the Clifton Club Shelby® Cobra Limited Editions, pinnacle chronographs launched for the first time within the Clifton collection. Every sweeping line and detail present on the iconic Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe has been interpreted in stunning form.
Always looking for an edge, Carroll Shelby asked peter brock, now recognized as one of the greatest automotive designers of our lifetime, to sketch a new, better body that could be adapted to the existing cobra chassis.
Then he assigned his most important development engineer, Ken Miles, to the project. Even though many were skeptical that it would be successful, Carroll continued to finance and support development of the Cobra Daytona Coupe by his team.
Quietly working in Carroll Shelby’s crowded Venice, Calif., racing garage, Brock, Miles and other team members brought this vision of an aerodynamic GT racer to life against incredible odds. In just 90 days, the Daytona Coupe went from sketch to finished car, proving itself a winner from its first race in 1964.
Shortly before the first race of the 1964 season, the Shelby team took their creation to Riverside for a test drive. After just 20 laps, racing director and champion Shelby driver Ken Miles walked up to Carroll Shelby and delivered his verdict. The Daytona Coupe wasn’t just lightning fast, but beautifully poised and stable. It was ready to compete without a single modification.
Shelby’s tenacity paid off. During a spectacular initial season, Shelby American repeatedly put the Daytona Coupe in the winner’s circle. Dan Gurney and Bob Bondurant drove a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2299) to win its class at Le Mans that year, the first victory at that 24 hour race by an American car. They also set the world alight with a blistering 196 mph (315 km/h) performance on the famous Mulsanne straight (36 mph faster than the acclaimed Cobra small block).
The Daytona Coupe returned to competition in 1965 in dominating fashion. From Sebring and the Nürburgring to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Shelby fielded six Daytona Coupes to give America its first GT class World Sportscar Championship, culminating with glory at Reims on US Independence Day: July 4, 1965.