K. Cooper Ray is first and foremost a gentleman. In a world of lions he is the lion tamer carrying his whip through example and his excellent site Social Primer. Though a mainstay on the New York and Los Angeles social scene, he never allows the spotlight to go to his head, as this would count as bad behavior.
As K. Cooper demonstrates, manners aren’t just in the way one acts but also how one dresses. Showing up to any function but a house cleaning party in a torn shirt and flip flops is verboten. After all, a well-turned out man (not classy, as K. Cooper abhors this word) stands himself in good stead and is ready to handle any situation. So what’s a man to do if he’s lost in the forest of clothing choices? Well, K. Cooper will lead him out with advice and even offer up some clothing. He has a reversible bow tie collection at Brooks Brothers. Yes, bow ties are cool. K. Cooper brings a new and modern pizazz to the neck gear with his contrasting patterns and colors.
Certainly when it comes to habiliments and impeccable comportment, K. Cooper is the go-to man. However, the dear fellow is in dire need of a watch makeover. He gallivants around in a Timex with interchangeable bands. When I spoke to him, he said he also has a stainless steel Datejust from 1959 that belonged to his grandfather, which he rarely wears. A delightful heirloom; I love old Rolexes. But, the Timex has to go and fast.
After careful consideration of K. Cooper’s overall look and personality—he’s a lovely phone companion, by the way, very polite but yet bubbly fun—I would recommend an IWC Portofino Hand-Wound 8 Days, Ref. IW510103, which comes with a Santoni strap. Bonus! The watch is produced in stainless steel and rose gold, but both for presentation and price I choose the stainless steel version with a silver-plated dial and rhodium indices for K. Cooper. The color combination goes with all clothing options yet is discreet.
In a manly 45mm case that wears well on all wrist sizes and a 12mm height that will slip under a cuff, the Portofino has a well-balanced dial that shows the date and power reserve. If K. Cooper is anything like me, he will forget the date and have to fumble around for his SmartPhone or else ask around. This is not every elegant. With the Portofino, a simple glance at the wrist reveals the proper time of the month. And, while the movement will last for a full 8 days (nine really, but 8 days keeps the mainspring within the right range) without winding, which is very convenient!), the power reserve reminds when a simple turn of the crown is needed. And having a hand wind to enjoy the process of interacting with your watch is quite dignified.
Inside the Portofino is a real movement, one that watch enthusiasts respect. It’s the IWC-manufactured 59210 calibre, a large and accurate movement following in the 5000-calibre tradition. It features an indexless balance wheel beating at 28,800 per hour, a Breguet overcoil and hacking seconds, which allows for setting the watch to an exact moment.
Here’s where the Portofino 8 Days completely jives with K. Cooper’s sensibilities. It hugs the wrist with a Santoni strap with a color of your choosing, you know, the company that makes those luscious handmade shoes and boots in Italy. If you want hand-sewn seams and the anticatura finish, cultivated through a process of applying multiple coats of leather dye, then Santoni is your company.
How can K. Cooper resist all this? And it doesn’t come at a wallet-busting price either. This specific model clocks in at $10,800.