The runaway success of the Baume & Mercier Capeland Shelby Cobra, the first edition of which is now completely sold out in both steel and gold variants, has led to yet another release within the range. But this time, following on from the also limited 1963 and 1963 ‘Competition’ models launched at SIHH – one of which I’m trying out today, at a lavish trip in Marseilles France, centred around the Circuit Paul Ricard race track – the numbers are limited to just 15 (yes, fifteen) pieces of each of the four ‘Legendary Drivers’ that contributed to the myth of the Shelby Cobra.
They are, essentially, a mix and match of the elements in the 1963 models, changing out a yellow tachymeter, yellow leather strap elements – stitching, yellow upside, downside etc – a yellow second hand and the lucky number of each of the four legendary drivers in the seconds subdial of each model. Interestingly, all four models are offered in stainless steel and ADLC and will only be slightly more expensive than the 1963 and original Shelby Cobra model, at $7100. It is rumoured that each territory will receive a full set of four. It is also rumoured that all 60 pieces are already long sold, but don’t let that discourage you from enquiring!
The four models – named for Allen Grant, Dave Macdonald, Dan Gurney and Ken Miles – take the exceedingly sporty motif introduced by the first Shelby Cobra model and experiment further, showing a looseness and a confidence from Baume & Mercier that has come with the unexpected momentum created by the first collection. Baume & Mercier CEO Alain Zimmerman has expressed twice on this trip his surprise and delight at the life breathed into the brand by the Shelby Cobra – “I never expected this when we unveiled the first Shelby Cobra model. Never!” he said on the opening night, and then again today at Paul Ricard.