The Cobra Charmer: Peter Brock

A fascination with speed came early to Peter Brock, the designer who gave the world the Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe. In the 1950s, while his friends were still wearing “Mickey Mouse watches”, Brock was learning to use a stopwatch in the racing pits of California. “I was not yet old enough for a driver’s license,” he recalls, “but as a timer in the pits I began to realize that races were not always won by speed alone.” That precocious wisdom fed into an obsession with aerodynamics that culminated in the dazzling, streamlined curves of the Coupe. The watch Brock proudly wears every day is the Baume & Mercier Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe that he helped design in 2015—50 years after the blue-and-white wonder won the FIA World Sportscar Championship. It is his favourite watch, but he has one or two significant others, including a 1940s gold Rolex that belonged to his grandfather, E.J. Hall, who co-designed the powerful Liberty aircraft engine that helped the Allies win the First World War. “He was a great automotive engineer, and it’s my only personal tie to him.”—Nicholas Foulkes

Photographed by Patricia von Ah in Henderson, Nevada, on February 27, 2017, wearing a Baume & Mercier Clifton Club Shelby Cobra Limited Edition

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