Baume & Mercier organized the first European
“Shelby Only” car meeting last April 26, 2016. The event brought together authentic Shelby American cars at the famous Le Castellet racetrack in the south of France. The Maison took this opportunity to present their newest collection, the “Legendary Drivers Edition” watches, from the Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963 line.
The idea behind setting up the event is to invite Cobra collectors to come together for a day of racing on the legendary racetrack, to relive the high-spirited heyday of car racing, and to experience the adrenaline rush that Cobra drivers feel when racing behind the wheel of a Cobra.
This unique event gave the participants a full experience of what the Cobra’s “spirit of competition” is like. It also gave them a chance to meet legendary drivers such as Allen Grant, as well as other Cobra collectors. Around 30 authentic Shelby cars roared off along the famous Mistral straight line, including iconic models such as the Cobra 427, 289, GT40, and GT350. And the man responsible for these iconic cars is none other than Carroll Shelby.
Capeland Shelby® Cobra Limited Edition
In January of this year, 2016, Baume & Mercier released the Capeland Shelby® Cobra Limited Edition timepiece, presented at SIHH in Geneva. The design of the watch took its cues from the car itself. The watch has a generous 44 mm round case with a black dial inspired by the famous Shelby® Cobra car body complimented by yellow and green highlights. The iconic Shelby® Cobra insignia is forged into the seconds hand of the chronograph. The chrono counter design is similar to the cockpit gauges of the car, and the hour and minute hands are created in the shape of the Cobra’s steering wheel. A soft touch black vulcanized rubber strap is attached to represent the tires of the racecar.
In honor of the man who built the Cobra, Baume & Mercier organized an event where owners and car collectors of this iconic car can meet up, share stories, and race around a controlled environment in their own Cobra. Dubbed as “Shelby Only”, the event was held at the Le Castellet racetrack. It proved to be the perfect venue, as it provided a fascinating insight into a world that inspired the new Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963 chronograph collection. The event was also the perfect setting to reveal four new original timepieces that honor the drivers that took part in the victories in the 1960s.
“Baume & Mercier presents the Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963 Dave MacDonald timepiece in honor of the racecar driver. It carries the same mechanical self-winding movement and case specifications with the Dan Gurney version.”
Baume & Mercier presents the Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963 Allen Grant timepiece, with the same Valjoux 7753 engine powering the piece. The 44 mm case is polished and satin finished in steel. The sun satin finished, two horizontal stripes decorate the black dial. Allen Grant’s car number 96 appears in the counter at 9 o’clock. For the strap, Baume & Mercier pays tribute to his car’s color by adorning it with a yellow alligator strap with black rubber-like calfskin lining.
All watches are limited to 15 pieces, with the production number engraved on the case back.
There are many parallelisms between watchmaking and car racing. Baume & Mercier recognizes this. There’s the power of a mechanical engine, the speed that’s measured and gauged by a chronograph, the beauty of movement, and the quest for performance. Baume & Mercier’s slogan is: “Life is about moments.” Their watches have been faithful companions on these occasions. And the Maison helps us celebrate these moments by doing what they do best: create timepieces that allow us to experience the moment at a glance of a watch.
Dan Gurney began his driving career in 1955. He became a top road racing star as well as one of the most popular F1 drivers of the era. As part of the Shelby American team, Gurney raced Cobras, Daytona Coupes, and the Ford GT. He drove the CSX2128 at Sebring, adding the famous yellow stripe with a can of paint to differentiate the car. He co-piloted a Daytona Coupe to win its class at Le Mans in 1964 and was part of the 1965 FIA World Championship team. He co- drove a Shelby American Ford GT at the 1967 Le Mans to the overall victory.
For Dan Gurney, Baume & Mercier created the Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963 Dan Gurney. It is equipped with a mechanical self-winding movement (Valjoux 7753). The bridges and plates have circular-grained finishes. The black PVD oscillating weight is adorned with Cotes de Geneve, snailed decors, and Phi logo. It beats at a frequency of 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 48 hours. The movement has chronograph, tachymeter, and date functions.
The round case measures 44 mm and has a thickness of 14.65 mm, polished and satin-finished steel ADLC. It has an antiglare, scratch resistant domed sapphire crystal on top and a sapphire case back fixed with 6 screws. The back is engraved with Dan Gurney’s name and the production number piece.
The black dial has a sun satin finish with two horizontal stripes, Gurney’s car number at the 9 o’clock counter, and a yellow tachymeter scale. Rhodium plated and yellow hands have Superluminova® that emits a green glow. A black alligator strap with yellow rubber-like calfskin lining attaches the watch to the wrist.
Dave MacDonald was one of the most dynamic and versatile racers in the 1960s. Carroll Shelby himself called Dave as one of the best drivers he’s ever seen. At the start of the 1963 race season, Carroll Shelby hired MacDonald to drive the Cobra roadster. In his first outing for Shelby American, MacDonald drove a Cobra to back-to-back victories at Riverside International Raceway. These, by the way, were the Cobra’s first wins.
MacDonald drove at Daytona and gave the Cobra its first top-five finish in international competition. In the following race, he won the SCCA sanctioned races at Dodger Stadium. He drove the Shelby King Cobra at the Los Angeles Times Grand Prix and the Monterey Pacific Grand Prix, taking the top podium in both races. He came in second place in the next three races at the Hawaiian Grand Prix, NASCAR’s Golden State 400, and NASCAR’s Augusta 510. In March of 1964, MacDonald and his co-driver ran a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe to the GT Class win in the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race. This was the first win for the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupes while also breaking Ferrari’s 6-year winning streak in the Grand Touring Division.
Baume & Mercier presents the Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963 Dave MacDonald timepiece in honor of the racecar driver. It carries the same mechanical self-winding movement and case specifications with the Dan Gurney version. The dial is black with a sun satin finish and two horizontal strips. Dave MacDonald’s car number 97 appears at the 9 o’clock counter. The strap is made of black vulcanized rubber with 2 black vulcanized rubber loops. It has an adjustable folding buckle with security push pieces.
Ken Miles was one of the greatest drivers to compete on a race course. He was valued for his engineering acumen as well as for his skills behind the wheel. He drove for Carroll Shelby before going to work for him full time at Shelby American. As a competition manager, he drove and developed the Cobra roadsters, Daytona Coupes, and Ford GTs. He was a critical member of the 1965 FIA World Championship team. He garnered victories at the Daytona 24-hour and Sebring 12-hour races.
For Ken Miles, Baume & Mercier presents the Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963 Ken Miles. It, too, houses the Valjoux 7753 movement and the same case dimensions with polished and satin finished ADLC steel. Ken Miles’ car number 50 is emblazoned at the 9 o’clock counter. Black vulcanized rubber straps with 2 black vulcanized rubber loops complete the design of this watch.
One of Shelby American’s original employees and team driver on the 1965 World Championship team, Allen Grant was a lifelong friend and confidant of Carroll Shelby. He was relentless behind the wheel, and was a key contributor to the success of the Shelby American racing program. Grant’s driving talents surfaced when he won the West Coast Championship and “Rookie of the Year” award in 1962, after winning 12 of 14 races. The following year, he offered his services as a driver to Carroll Shelby. Unfortunately, Shelby didn’t need a driver at that time. He was offered a welder’s position in the production shop instead. Grant took the job. In 1963, he served as a member of the Sebring Cobra race team as a mechanic and alternate driver.
Shortly thereafter, a Shelby dealer wanted to buy a Cobra racecar. Grant said that the only way they could buy one was if he drove it. The company agreed and purchased the CSX2128 car raced by Dan Gurney at Sebring. Grant wanted to make the car “stand out” so he painted the car with the brightest yellow paint available and put two black racing stripes. Grant won his first race at Santa Barbara besting a field of well-prepared Corvettes driven by the best Corvette drivers on the West Coast.
Full of confidence, Grant told Shelby that he was going to beat the team of Cobra drivers in the GT race. He would’ve done so, if his car weren’t “tapped” on the first lap of the race. But he did come in second place. He rejoined Shelby American in 1965, playing a vital role in taking away Ferrari’s dominance in the 1965 World Manufacturer’s Championship.