Automotive royalty and famed Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe designer Peter Brock joined Baume & Mercier Design Director Alexandre Peraldi recently to create Baume & Mercier’s newest Shelby Cobra collection. The three Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Limited Editions, which debuted at SIHH this year, capture the Daytona’s aerodynamic shape while also conveying the spirit of the Shelby livery.
International Watch spoke recently with Brock about his work on the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra watches.
What personal meaning does this project with Baume & Mercier hold for you?
Anytime you receive a request to design something for a company as prestigious and well known as Baume & Mercier, it’s an honor you cannot refuse! It creates an opportunity to design something completely different than what you are known for, which presents a challenge that is both fun and interesting. It is also invaluable to collaborate with top professionals like Alexandre Peraldi.
What were the particular challenges involved in the design of the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Limited Editions?
Scale is the challenge. I’m used to working with large automobiles so reducing my vision to something as small and elegant as a wristwatch was the main difficulty. In this case, I concentrated on the graphics that are so identified with the Daytona Cobra. But the subtlety of the forms involved in the Clifton case easily met the smooth forms of the Daytona Cobra Coupe.
What are the similarities in watch/car design and ergonomics?
Racing cars especially have no room for excessive design flourishes that are a production car’s cheap way to demand attention. Simplicity and function have always been my main goals in any type of design. I think we’ve met that criteria in the new Clifton Club Shelby Cobra watch. It’s comfortable, well built and readily identified by its bold style.
What goals did you keep in mind during this project?
I wanted to design a watch that had a strong identity with my Daytona Coupe, something that a person would clearly recognize from across a room, but still had simple elegance. As the great architect Mies van der Rohe once said, “Less is more.”
What do you consider the pinnacle of your career?
That’s yet to come! While others can point to different parts of my career and identify them as high points, there are projects I’d still love to do when the time comes.
The Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Limited Editions are available as a 1,964-piece chronograph limited edition ($4,450) in tribute to the first official race of the Daytona Coupe or 196-piece flyback chronograph numbered limited edition ($7,950) to celebrate the CSX2299’s speed record of 196 MPH in 1964. An automatic La Joux-Perret 8147-2 movement with flyback chronograph function powers the latter while the wider release utilizes an ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. All timepieces in the Clifton Club Shelby Cobra collection arrive to its owner with a 1:43 scale model of the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe and a printed history of the racecar.