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SIHH 2017: Day 3 – Wednesday, time for sports

Restoring the magic in watchmaking is, according to all, the motto of the year. To achieve this goal, a bit of sports and a positive attitude are crucial. Below, we'll take a look at a few timepieces that are sure to draw even the most dyed-in-the-wool city-dwellers out into the open air.

By Vincent Daveau
Managing Editor France

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby® Cobra CSX2299: Floor it!

The world of cars does inspire many a brand, including Montblanc, which seized the segment with its new TimeWalker line, as we saw yesterday, by way of the TimeWalker chronograph boasting a 1000th of a second.

Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 1000

But this company is by far not the only one around staking a claim on automotive turf. Baume & Mercier, whose booth has a youthful and festive look to it, contains one of only six Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupés ever manufactured. So the brand is also in the race. It makes sense, because this marvel of design equilibrium is the inspiration for the final chapter in the watchmaking saga Baume & Mercier dedicated to the legendary racecar, a model that has struck a very successful chord with the public.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby® Cobra CSX2299

The case of this last opus was conceived and designed by Alexandre Péraldi, director of the Design Department of the brand, and Peter Brock, the designer who succeeded in producing the car in a mere 90 days back in the 1960s. Of the three timepieces in the Clifton collection that pay tribute to the Shelby Cobra, we will take a closer look at the one that was released as a limited edition of 196 pieces. This racy chronograph comes in a 44-millimeter case and is driven by the 8147-2 caliber manufactured by La Joux-Perret. An efficient device, it boasts a bicolor dial inspired by the rear end of the car. But it’s not the only reference to the Shelby Cobra. The pedals served as inspiration for the chrono pushers, the cobra logo graces the edge of the barrel, and the oscillating mass has been cut in such a way as to resemble one of the wheel rims of this special car, which won a great many races in its day.

Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby® Cobra CSX2299

Ulysse Nardin Regatta Chronograph: the final countdown

This tool watch, which is dedicated to sailing at the highest level, was developed with the assistance of Loïck Peyron and Ian Percy, two ambassadors of the brand and members of Artemis Racing, sponsored by Ulysse Nardin.

This company is known for the quality of its marine chronometers and so has now reconnected with the world of sailing by offering a chronograph specifically designed to respond to the needs of sailors wanting to have a timepiece especially built for regattas on their wrist. Obviously, this sophisticated model in steel, with a diameter of 44 millimeters, has nothing in common with watches from the past that were conceived for sailors. 

Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta

This purely mechanical piece is driven by a caliber made of 650 parts. It solves the problem of choosing the duration of the pre-race by letting the wearer select a countdown that can be anywhere between 1 and 10 minutes.But there's more. To facilitate the reading, the Ulysse Nardin engineers developed a mechanism, which, similar to a car’s gearbox. It lets the chrono hand move backwards to give a visual countdown of time. Once the time has been figured out, the hand can be sent back in the other direction to time the regatta. The mechanics are on the whole complex but simple to activate off, since the relaunch is automatic. This unique system allows for the intuitive reading of crucial minutes. As every mariner knows, 80% of regattas are won on the starting line…. This accomplished and esthetically pleasing chronograph radiates just enough masculinity and has all it takes to let an experienced skipper lead the charge across the layline.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 America’s Cup 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 44mm : well done

Coming in a limited edition of 300 pieces, this watch pays tribute to the America Cup, a Panerai partner for this 35th edition. The Italian brand based in Neuchâtel has now introduced the race’s official watch. For an event that is classic in spirit but modern in its expression – especially since the arrival of ultra-fast multihulls – a special design was required, a watch that could resist the tooth of time. The Luminor Marina 1950 America’s Cup 3 Days Automatic Acciaio is the perfect watch for the occasion.A sober product, its main asset is efficiency and sheer robustness in a 44-millimeter case.

Panerai PAM00727

It is reliably legible in all situations, which will appeal to the helmsmen during their night shifts. The screwed-down metal case back features an engraving of the famous silver ewer known as the “Auld Mug,” so coveted by sailors, with stylized catamaran sails. Naturally, this reference, which is bound to thrill fans of sailing, is water-resistant to 30 atmospheres (or 300 meters) to ensure its integrity in the face of ocean spray or even the most powerful breakers.

Panerai PAM00727

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Marine Regatta | Marine Collection | Ulysse Nardin