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The Shelby Baume & Mercier Timepiece: It’s About Time

Retouche Pilote-Final-RVB

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The Shelby Baume & Mercier Timepiece: It’s About Time

Retouche Pilote-Final-RVB

Since my teens I’ve been at least a casual observer of most – if not all – things Carroll Shelby. Landing in Dallas roughly fifteen years after Shelby left (or – more correctly – essentially left) for his driving school and sports car project in Southern California, I was roughly two hours west of his one-time chicken operation. And while I had briefly met Carroll on a couple of occasions, I enjoyed most of my Shelby news and perspective from his close friend and chili partner, automotive artist Bill Neale.

With that as my background, and raising chickens as Shelby’s background, I always saw Carroll as more of a Bulova man than, say, Baume & Mercier. Sure, as the winner of LeMans (co-driving with Roy Salvadori in an Aston) Shelby would have certainly gotten more than a handful of watches, either in what served then as a swag bag, or via an endorsement deal. But I could never imagine him actually walking into an upscale jeweler for anything beyond the perceived needs of a new girlfriend.

But that was then, and this is now. And in partnership with Carroll Shelby Licensing, Baume & Mercier is – as they put it – ‘honoring the Shelby spirit of endurance’ (they must have spoken with an old girlfriend) with a limited edition chronograph recalling one of the most successful Cobras in history, CSX2128. As we probably read – but won’t remember – that is the 289 roadster built for the 12 Hours of Sebring in ’63. Finished in black with a yellow stripe, and most often seen wearing number 15, this is the Cobra with which Shelby American first began to get a whiff of success.

With a Swiss-made self-winding movement, the Capeland Shelby Cobra chronograph is engraved with the name of the collection, as well as ‘one out of 1963’, which reflects both #15’s debut and the number of watches produced. The timepiece is fronted by a layout inspired by the Cobra’s iconic dash, with a deep black dial and transparent twin racing stripes. It’s a beautiful device, and we can’t wait to do a long-term review.

Somewhere, Carroll is smiling – while searching for the damn Bulova.

David Boldt

Boldt, a contributor to outlets such as AutoTrader.com, Kelley Blue Book and Autoblog, brings to his laptop some forty years of experience in automotive retail, journalism and public relations. He is a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, Chicago's Midwest Automotive Media Association and L.A.'s Motor Press Guild. David is the Managing Editor of txGarage and the automotive contributor to Dallas' Katy Trail Weekly.

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