In 1965 ‒ the same year Singapore became an independent nation ‒ a small automobile company, Shelby presented itself as a competitor at the FIA International Championship for GT Manufacturers and blew the competition away with a handful of cars. There’s a certain amount of nostalgia and pride at the Shelby Cobra’s performance that year and its subsequent popularity in culture as well as on American roads. Today, however, American muscle cars have all but disappeared.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Shelby’s success, Baume & Mercier partnered the company to create a limited edition piece with much vaunted success. Now it has decided to continue in the collaboration with a second edition, available in two versions and inspired by a 1963 car model. The new Capeland Shelby Cobra is based on the sporty Baume & Mercier line, which itself stems from the same era as the automobile firm. A sportier edition comes in an ADLC-coated stainless steel case, with the case middle coated in the hardy, diamond-like material to protect it from damage. The tachymeter-equipped watch bears a three-counter chronograph with a small seconds hand at nine o’clock and totalisers at three and six respectively. A small date counter is fitted in between four and five o’clock.
Instead of completely re-designing the Capeland’s memorable dial, Baume & Mercier have integrated little details into the two watches that make them reminiscent of the Shelby. The 30-minute totaliser has a green speedometer-like display printed on the dial, and text indicating the minutes and hour subcounters are in the Shelby’s font. Ample use of yellow and black as well as the shape of the hands, all point to the partnership. The most evident is the counterweight on the seconds hand, with a cobra logo.
The Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 Competition comes in a rubber strap, while the more classic Capeland Shelby Cobra 1963 has a full steel case and alligator strap in black with a yellow back as well as yellow stitching. Definitely stylish and echoing Mad Men cool.
A great bet and buy, however would be the Clifton Chronograph Complete Calendar, a powerful instrument that contains plenty of information in a very legible manner. A standard three counter chronograph with a day and month aperture display is combined with a date hand on the main dial, while a moonphase and 24-hour indicator will reveal if it’s day or night. Two-tone and steel editions are available, with bracelet or straps to match.
Baume & Mercier Capeland Shelby® Cobra 1963