Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

The best conversation I had at SIHH 2017 was with American car legend Peter Brock. Noted as the designer of the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, Peter Brock worked with the great (and sadly, late) Carroll Shelby and the Shelby Cobra race car collection. In the early 1960s, the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe CSX2299 debuted on the race circuit to not only beat out the Europeans who had larger, better-funded race teams - but also went on to set something like two dozen land speed records. For 2017, Baume & Mercier continues their relationship with Shelby and releases a new collection of Shelby-themed watches with the highlight being the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra - these consist of three limited-edition models which are the reference M0A10344, M0A10343, and M0A10342.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Peter Brock was a veritable well of incredibly fascinating stories and history about car racing. I am not exaggerating that I could easily spend the entire day sitting in that back room of the Baume & Mercier booth listening to him share information. I'm no car racing historian so I won't attempt to retell Brock's stories myself, but you can read more about Pete Brock on Wikipedia here. In my hand while we chatted was Baume & Mercier's latest Shelby watch for 2017, which is more than just a cosmetic update of the outgoing models.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Perhaps the most interesting part of the Daytona's story that Mr. Brock told me is just why it is was so fast. The secret was in the design of the rear, which dropped off abruptly without a tapering end. Brock apparently discovered pre-World War II German engineering documents discussing how such designs performed better than the traditional fishtail style ends that many cars at the time had. This was prior to widespread use of wind tunnels or deep understanding of aerodynamics. It was in his discovery of the documents as well as his insistence of implementing the concepts he learned into the design of the Daytona Coupe car which is the real fascinating part of the story, in my opinion.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier now has two types of Shelby Cobra watches. One of the Shelby Corba versions is under the Capeland collection (hands-on review with the cars here), and the new-for-2017 ones are the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra - which has a totally new case design with two movement options in each limited edition set. For 2017, Baume & Mercier actually injects the larger Clifton watch collection with two new sport watch models called the Clifton Club. The model known simply as the "Clifton Club" is a dive-style watch, while the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 10344 is a drive-style racing watch. In fact, there are two limited-edition Clifton Club Shelby Cobra models. One is the more limited and expensive 10344 (with the split blue and white dial to mimic the signature look of the car), and then there are the 10343 (blue dial) and 10342 (silver/white) which come in at a lower price.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Pete Brock and Baume & Mercier designer Alexandre Peraldi reportedly worked together on the clever lines of this more modern-feeling driving-style watch in comparison to the slightly more retro-feeling Capeland models. Both are certainly inspired and good looking, but it is important to make it clear that the watches' cases are totally distinct.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

The Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra is 44mm wide and 15.3mm thick in either steel and titanium or in all steel. The less limited model has just a steel case. The case design and quality are fantastic, but it ain't cheap, especially for the 10344 version. The darker elements of the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 10344's case are titanium, which is rendered in a sandblasted finishing with side detailing meant to evoke the engine as well as the foot pedals. The polished pushers and bezel are in steel. The overall case is elegant and refined even with its overt style cues meant to suggest the famed Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe. That wasn't easy, and it's a testament to the design acumen of Mr. Peraldi. I say this because so many times when watches try to overtly suggest a car or other machine, the results can look really kitschy.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

At the Baume & Mercier booth at SIHH 2017, they had a replica of the original Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe that was built in the 1990s. I was told that it was meant to replicate the original in almost every way, including performance. Only three such cars exist in the world. One thing you'll notice about the car is the "split" blue and silver/white paint job. This split color is mimicked on the dial of this particular Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 10344 limited-edition model. The "two-face" look isn't for everyone, but I found it cool and felt as though it added a welcome bold character to the watch which matched the personality it was going for as something proud but not aiming to be on everyone's wrist. For the versions of the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra watches in all steel with the more traditional dials, you can choose between a mostly blue or mostly silver/white dial.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Dial details here include a combination of those from previous Shelby Cobra watches in the larger Clifton collection (such as the style of the Arabic numeral hour markers). A red colored "196 mph" in the tachymeter scale is meant to recall a speed record of the Daytona Coupe race car. Over on the rear of the case, there is a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback window. You can see the thick automatic rotor which doesn't allow for too much of a view into the movement but is meant to suggest an element of the car - this time, the wheels.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Inside the Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 10344 is the Swiss La Joux-Perret caliber 8147-2 automatic flyback chronograph movement. Operating at 4Hz, the movement has a power reserve of 42 hours. The movement offers the time and 30-minute chronograph along with a date indicator window. Not all collectors will appreciate the presence of the date window (located diagonally between 4 and 5 o'clock), but it doesn't bother me. Though I would have liked for it to employ a matching blue-colored disc to match that section of the metallic blue dial color. The less limited Baume & Mercier Shelby Cobra 10343 and 10342 models in the all-steel cases contain base Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movements and similar "wheel-style" automatic rotors. The cases on all models are water resistant to 50 meters.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe Watches For 2017 Hands-On Hands-On

Without knowing the backstory of Peter Brock and the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe car, the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 10344 watch is still nice, but it would be a shame to own this timepiece without knowing the larger tale of why it exists. It will also be relatively limited, with this reference 10344 steel and titanium version being produced as just 196 pieces. The other Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 10343 and 10342 watches with the 7750 movements are each limited to 1,964 pieces. Each piece comes on a carbon fiber-style embossed calfskin strap, and with a small 1:43 scale model of the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe car. Price for the reference M0A10344 Clifton Club Shelby Cobra is $7,950 USD while the M0A10343 and M0A10342 watches are priced at $4,450. Availability is to set in April of 2017, but according to the brand, all the 196 limited-edition pieces are already spoken for by retailers. baume-et-mercier.com

What do you think?
  • I love it! (35)
  • Thumbs up (8)
  • Interesting (7)
  • I want it! (6)
  • Classy (5)
  • Word Merchant

    I am no car expert, so I looked up a picture of the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, and, my God, it’s beautiful. Every line is perfect, every curve … perfect, the dimensions and stature … well, you get the idea. So Peter Brock clearly had an eye, a tremendous talent, and luckily for the rest of us a willing outlet for his creativity.

    Then I look at the watch. It’s a bloody mess. Everything is horrible about it, everything that could be wrong is wrong. The lines are clumsy, the design lumpen, the execution is tired and basic.

    Dreadful. Baume and Mercier should be ashamed, and more fool the idiot retailers that have snapped this up. In a fair world, bankruptcy wou,d beckon for all involved.

    • IanE

      Well I agree with most of that – but the retailers are probably not that idiotic since, as you say, there are probably plenty of buyers to help the retailers’ retirement funds!

      • Word Merchant

        I actually held back on my initial comment. My disgust was great.

  • I knew Pete from his days running Ultralite Products. In fact my big hang gliding crash was while strapped into a UP Comet (no fault to the glider). My roommate’s ex-girlfriend (also a friend of mine) was Mrs. Brock and a lot of people in the hang gliding world knew each other back in the early 80s. Pete was cool and obviously very accomplished. I had heard of him years before I met his as BRE made high performance after market car parts. So I thought he was a big deal even without being the owner of one of the top 3 hang glider makers at the time.

    I think the story of the need for the Daytona was that the aerodynamics of the AC based Cobra body prevented the top speed from going where they needed to be competitive on the tracks where high speed was the key. Drag being what it is, they would had to find phenomenal HP increases to achieve their target speed. So they had young designer Peter Brock sketch up a new body for the powerful and light, but high drag Cobra. the slick body did the trick and the rest is history. Nowdays the half dozen or so originals are so rare (expensive) that even Pete Brock drives a replica, not an original.

    • IG

      Hang on a minute you are a hang glider? Is there any relation between the strange “lugs” on your watch designs and hang gliding?

      • I was a hang glider pilot but the lug rings on my watches are unrelated to that.

  • Titus

    Not being much of a car guy, this watch reminds me of the GI Joe villains. They used to be called Cobras and had a logo that resembles the seconds hand. That being said, the watches don’t do much for me and the version with the “split” dial I do not like at all.

  • A_watches

    I predict this will be 70% off for black Friday and cyber monday Jomas 2017 sale! But it will struggle to find buyers, roll on to xmas, ny and 2018 valentine day’s sale. Eventually it will find home in some unhappy watch collections for many years before this turd progresses to random watch auctions where it will struggle at the lower reserve of $750

    • Marius

      You predict that they will be had for 70% off? What is wrong with you, man? Didn’t you read to article? The article clearly & eloquently states that “…according to the brand, all the 196 limited-edition pieces are already spoken for by retailers.” Therefore, it’s quite obvious that these watches will sell at way over MSRP. If the retailers didn’t expect these watches to obtain stellar results, then they wouldn’t have order them already, would they?

      I would like to advise you to write more positive comments. The comments posted on this discussion board should be inclusive, not exclusive. In other words, if you don’t have anything nice & positive to say, please refrain from posting a comment. How can you argue that this watch is a “turd?” Such negative comments undermine the relationships that ABTW has forged with the watch industry throughout all these years!

      • abbacabba

        Marius, please. If you’re not going to be civil I’m going to have to ask you to GTFO and to also, as some say around here, die in a fire!

  • “…it would be a shame to own this timepiece without knowing the larger tale of why it exists.”

    There’s no conditional qualifier needed on that statement. It would simply be a shame to own this watch. The car, on the other hand, is “sell your firstborn” worthy.

  • gw01

    Oh boy! I would hate it if my job was to make this sale. It’s a sloppy design work. No design, aesthetic, nor horological merit. It’s comparable to Chris Ward’s Ashton Martin proposition, in the sense that it doesn’t reflect the ground-breaking, bold, dynamic lines of the car they’re supposed to be drawing inspiration from.

    I can imagine ya oung Peter Brock, sitting at his desk, sketching instrument in hand, etching bold lines, intrepidly trying to defy everything that is known and established in the racing world… then I look at this watch and I don’t see neither the attitude I imagine on Mr. Brock when he sketched his first concepts, nor do I see the final product: the iconic beast.

    I’d wager no Shelby Cobra owner would buy/wear this piece, unless said owner is somehow invested in this unholy venture.

    Braume et Mercier have been in the game for awhile. I can’t believe they’re still selling re-cased 7750s… and at what a whopping asking price!

    If they are of those struggling brands, it’d come as no surprised with such low value offerings like this. If they do eventually fold, while re-casing half heartedly designed watches, I predict they’ll make good on “What doesn’t evolve, disappears”.

    • wallydog2

      Aston.

  • IG

    The half blue / half white dial is horrible, the others at least subdue the subdial at 9 on the dreaded 7750 layout.

  • Marius

    In my opinion, these Baume&Mercier Shelby Cobra watches will be much hotter than the new Rolex Ceramic Daytona!

    These Baume&Mercier timepieces are simply mega watches: they are extremely rare (only 1964 + 169 will ever be produced); they have a stunning design (just look at them!!!); they are historically important (Shelby Cobra! Do I need to say more?); and they are equipped with a monster movement (the 7750 is the wet dream of any watch enthusiast).

    If you want one of these puppies you better act fast. You better order one RIGHT NOW! I just went to my local authorised dealer and he told me that there were 500 people on the waiting list already. You could get one immediately from an independent watch dealer, but they are selling for around $10,000. As I said, they’re hotter than the Ceramic Daytona. Just go to your local AD and put your name on the waiting list. If you can, you should order 3, 4, or even 5, because their value will only go up and up like Enron. You simply cannot loose with these watches.

    • Breathe, Marius, breathe! Here’s some water…

    • abbacabba

      Top of the pile for you?

    • Gokart Mozart

      Okay, i am on my way! Thanks for the heads up.

      “much hotter than the new Rolex Ceramic Daytona! Much hotter indeed!” I agree with you on this line at the very least.

    • Chaz

      Thanks a LOT, A-hole for exposing the SECRET!!!!

      Now I probably won’t be able to get one…. 🙁

  • Jerry Davis

    Not fond of the blue and white but both of the solid color dials are striking… in a good way.

  • Larry Holmack

    My love of all things to do with racing is well known in our household, as I also collect NASCAR and other racing related memorabilia ( including my prized possession, a picture of Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Richard Childress that they both autographed for me in 2000 at the last race he completed, the season ending race at Homestead. I was lucky enough to have obtained a Pit Pass, and they signed it for me just outside the garage area! ) The Shelby Cobra is a legendary car, one I would love to actually see in person, just to say I have seen it!!

    I would count it an honor to own the blue dialed version!! It would definitely be displayed proudly in my man cave!!!

    • TrevorXM

      A few years back it would have been easy to see original Cobras and get close to them and sit in them. Maybe even drive them. I’ve sat in 289’s and even a 427 in classic car auctions. But that was before they all became million dollar cars.

      • Larry Holmack

        Yeah…I wish I could go to the auctions over in Houston every year. Would love to walk around and see all the cars, but walking that much isn’t possible for me anymore, unfortunately.

        • I feel your pain. Having one or both of my knees replaced on Thursday.

          • Larry Holmack

            I hope all goes well Mark!!

            Oh, and last Thursday, an MRI revealed my shoulder now needs to be replaced, since it is now bone-on-bone. It’s really painful because I have a torn rotator cuff, labrum and several tears in the muscles in the area. And with my genetic blood disease, no one wants to attempt the surgery. So I am just having to deal with the pain. Loads of fun getting old!!!

          • Sorry to hear about your shoulder and that they can’t do much about it. My knees are bone on bone too, so I know the exact feeling. Yep, getting old sucks – but the alternative is…

            Are you still able to paint? And pet the bichon 🙂

          • Larry Holmack

            Yeah, I can still paint, I can paint with either hand. I paint a lot of the detailed stuff in my paintings with my left hand, it’s bit steadier than my right hand anyway.
            And of course my little dog still gets lot of petting!!

  • seoulseeker

    Holy cow that is ugly

  • FlyingMoose

    I hate cars, and I especially hate watches based on cars.

    • Chaz

      INSPIRED…gotta be relevant and use “INSPIRED by….”

  • BNABOD

    I owned a B&M flyback chrono and yes it retailed for 7600 clams but bought it for 2k. The LJP movement was nicely decorated, the case was too big at 44 and too thick, same problem w this cobra version. Hope this looks better in real life but this will be a tough sell.

  • wallydog2

    Will I burn in hell for wondering if cars of the Shelby Cobra ilk and era were “all muscle, no brains”?
    When I was in High School, back in a previous century, it would have been the ee-pitto-mee of cool; but now – forgive me – a relic from when gas was 65 cents a gallon.
    To conclude my crankiness, I have to say I find “commemorative” watches trying to testosteronally link with an entirely other, unrelated product bordering on Mickey Mouse/BatMan/StarWarish. Baume & Mercier, in my mind have always been associated with understated refinement and class. This watch reminds me of people my age who attend Elvis Impersonator concerts wearing their jeans with the cuffs rolled up.

  • TrevorXM

    A life-long fan of Shelby Cobras, I hereby pronounce the half white/half blue version of this watch a design disaster.

  • gw01

    Beneath the image gallery there are reaction buttons. I noticed there are only positive reactions. I can see how sometimes criticism can go overboard, but at the same time, all good remarks on a “reaction-poll” (?) isn’t constructive at all; it feels like the participation trophy of the online blog. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/21629eb8927f5c3de7ac3349660b2cfd7b4f0485835f6a5a800c8e05de189af9.png

    • abbacabba

      It doesn’t have to be “I hate this crappy watch”. Maybe something like “not my style”. But that’s not ABTW’s style. The mission statement here is “No rain. Only rainbows.”

      • SuperStrapper

        Bill, give it up.

        • abbacabba

          Not Bill. Now you can either address gw01’s point or get back to your yummy Kool-Aid.

          • SuperStrapper

            Suuuuure.

            If you really weren’t Bill you’d have flagged me for suggesting it.

          • abbacabba

            Flagging’s not really my style anymore.

          • SuperStrapper

            That’s quite the change. You were a real flaggot for your first few days.

      • gw01

        Im with you. The comment wasn’t meant to be rude, but rather meant as a constructive crit. I do believe full feedback (good and bad) makes things better… only good feedback retrains growth.

        A simple “:(” would cut it.

        • abbacabba

          sounds good to me

  • SuperStrapper
  • abbacabba

    Cobra Kai shows no Mercier

  • Chaz

    Trying to figure out how B&M still exists…

  • Shinytoys

    That’s a beautiful watch, but I miss the Riviera 8 sided case…I’d own it either way….

  • Word Merchant

    Hours have passed and I wondered, have I been too hash? Should I reconsider? Maybe my continued journey through life will have opened my eyes to see beauty in more places than before?

    So I looked at the car again. Still beautiful, an object of genius. And the watch? Still an ugly turd on a strap. What a mess.

  • Sevenmack

    The blue-and-white flyback is a nice watch. Especially like the cobra design on the second hand. Of course, as I see, the snobs have already expressed their scorn. The good news for them and for all of us is we don’t have to buy watches we don’t want.

  • Neil Farrell

    gentwatches.com always keep an eye out for any high quality and cool men watches that will save your money.

  • Yanko

    What a mess!

  • meganekaneko

    I love Shelby Cobras, however, I hate these watches.

  • thecouchguy

    I like the white. Too pricy for me however, and if I had the money I’d get something else more to my taste. I’d still like to see it in the flesh to make that final judgement however.

  • IVA the LT

    The split dial is a really cool nod to the car, but I gotta ask, why stop at the tachymeter scale?

    I think it would have looked a lot more coherent to have a white scale on the blue side.

  • Ulysses31

    While there are several things to dislike about this Braveheart-dialled watch, what really kills it for me is the logo on the second hand. It looks like the underneath of a woodlouse to me, with all the little legs and the segmented body. Ick.