Baume & Mercier unveiled the new Clifton Club collection — a sporty offshoot of its Clifton line of men’s dress watches — at SIHH 2017. The undisputed showpiece of the new collection is the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra CSX2299 Limited Edition — the latest timepiece borne of the brand’s partnership with the Carroll Shelby Company and the first to debut within the Clifton family.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Limited Edition draws its inspiration from the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe (CSX2299), one of the most iconic cars in the history of American motorsports. The Daytona Coupe (pictured below, at SIHH) was the first American car to win, in 1964, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and brought America its first GT class World Sportscar Championship in 1965. After subsequently setting 25 USAC/FIA world speed records at the Bonneville salt flats, the Daytona Coupe was retired from racing; the original six models are now worth several million dollars each, and their curved, streamlined bodies, flat roofs and chopped tails have influenced automobile design ever since.
Fifty years after developing the Daytona Coupe with Carroll Shelby, legendary automotive designer Peter Brock collaborated with Baume & Mercier’s watch design team to create the look of the new timepiece, even returning to his original sketches for inspiration. The result is this distinctive chronograph bearing the half-black, half-silver color scheme of the traditional Shelby livery used for the car’s tail, limited to 196 pieces (in honor of the 196-mph land speed record achieved by the Daytona Coupe at Le Mans in 1964).
The watch contains an automatic mechanical movement, La Joux-Perret Caliber 8147-2, which is equipped with a flyback chronograph function. The 44-mm case combines titanium with polished stainless steel and features sweeping lines echoing the revolutionary, aerodynamic lines of the Daytona Coupe. The two-tone dial is ringed by Arabic hour numerals and a tachymeter scale (with red text used to highlight the record-setting 196-mph position). Chronograph minutes and running seconds are tallied on two snailed subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock, and the central red chronograph hand is topped by the Shelby Cobra logo (also created by Brock). The hour and minute hands are treated with Super-LumiNova C1 blue emission for nighttime legibility.
Other details that evoke the look and spirit of the classic Daytona Coupe include the foot-pedal-shaped chronograph pushers; a Cobra insignia forged into the caseband, a tribute to the powerful Cobra 289 engine that powered the Daytona; and the movement’s winding rotor, which echoes the shape of the Daytona’s wheel rims. Visible through a sapphire caseback, the movement has a 28,800-vph frequency and a 42-hour power reserve, and is decorated with circular graining on the bridges and plates. The watch comes on a blue “automotive carbon-like” calfskin strap with rubberized soft-touch lining and red contrast stitching.
The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra CSX2299 is packaged in a special black and silver box, accompanied by a collectible 1:43 scale model of the original car, a card signed by Brock, and a custom brochure detailing the history of the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. The price is $7,950.
We got our hands on the watch at SIHH 2017 last week. Scroll down to see some live photos.