My First Pair of Corthay Shoes

Pierre Corthay is to shoes what Thomas Keller is to food – sheer genius.  In shoes like in cooking quality and ingredients matter.  Pierre Corthay began his training at Les Compagnons du Tour de France (a French organization of craftsmen and artisans dating from the Middle Ages but still active today.)   He also worked for John Lobb in Paris and then went on as atelier head at Berluti. In 1990, he began producing bespoke shoes, that take a few months to make. In 1992, the sultan of Brunei ordered 150 pairs in 1992 that I imagine must have taken a few years to make!  In 2001, Corthay began producing ready-made shoes.  I just acquired my first pair the Belphegor in Burgundy.  They have a great open lacing structure and a beautiful patina.

Watches For The Classic CEO

Pieces that stand the test of time, reflect your personality and style, an investment in the future or an heirloom that can be handed down from generation to generation …  Whatever your reason or sentiment, here are a few pieces worth acquiring.

1.) For the Global CEO on the road.

If you think the swiss make the best watches you are partially correct.  Most watch enthusiasts overlook the German company A. Lange & Sohne that can compete with the finest swiss makers.  The A. Lange & Sohne Lange 1 Time Zone features a mechanical manual winding movement with a 72-hour power reserve; separate day/night indicators for local and home times; gray dial with Lange’s patented large date display; sapphire-crystal, transparent case back; and 41.9mm, 18k rose gold case on a hand-stitched, brown crocodile strap with an 18k rose gold ardillon buckle.

The Patek Philippe World Time features a mechanical automatic movement; 24 time zone indication; and 39.5mm, platinum case on a dark blue alligator strap with a platinum deployant clasp.  The 5130P is a throwback to an earlier era. The unique ring shaped hour hand is drawn from the original Patek World Time watches from the 1930’s and gives the piece a wonderful vintage feel. A larger case size (now 39.5mm, as opposed to 37mm on the older model) adds improved legibility, and the elegant, tinted blue guilloché work makes this model a horological work of art.

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox International watch (ref. 1412471) features a mechanical automatic movement; alarm function; central alarm disc with world time zone indications; and 40mm, 18k rose gold case on a black alligator strap with an 18k rose gold deployant clasp.  Released as a tribute to the historic 1958 model, the Memovox Worldtimer includes a unique feature: its central alarm disc also shows the world time zones.

2.) For the CEO that has tried the rest, now wants the best.

With its elegant “tonneau” case, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5013 is the first minute repeater that features a self-winding movement as well as a calendar mechanism with a retrograde date hand.

What’s special about a minute repeater?  Watch the engineering marvel in action below …

Enough said.  This Patek is a timeless classic!

In the IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater, depressing the slide causes a delicate strike train to sound the time out audibly in hours, quarters and minutes: the full hours on a lower tuned gong, the quarters with a double strike on both gongs, and the number of min-utes that have elapsed since the last quarter on the higher of the two gongs. The repeating mechanism consists of over 200 individual parts working together as if they were in a mechanical orchestra. An all-or-nothing piece ensures that the chimes are only struck if the repeating slide is fully depressed. The watch is equipped with the 98950-calibre hunter pocket watch movement, which comes with stylistic elements from the early Jones calibres. Some of these, such as the elongated index, the balance with its high-precision adjustment cam and the distinctively decorated plate and bridge made of nickel-silver with gold-plated engravings, can be seen through the transparent sapphire-glass back. This model is limited to 500 watches.

Listen in.

3.) For the CEO that wants to add add to his unique collection.

The Vacheron Constantin, Patrimony Traditionnelle openworked perpetual calendar Reference: 1120 QP SQ
Energy: automatic
Number of jewels: 36
Frequency: 2.75 Hz (19’800 v.p.h.)
Power-reserve (hours): 40 approx.
Indication: hours, minutes, perpetual calendar (hand-type calendar, day of the week, month, leap year, moon phases)


With its all-mechanical numeric display for hours and minutes, the LANGE ZEITWERK By A. Lange & Sohne symbolises a leap into a new era – after all, both indications leap forth instantaneously. Contrary to continuously running (creeping) displays, it always tells the time dependably and unambiguously. Moreover, its innovative configuration of discs results
in numerals of probably unmatched size.  Brilliant!

Get a Pair of Carmina Lace Ups

What started as a small workshop in Inca, Majorca started by Mateo Pujadas in 1866, Carmina shoes has since cultivated a rich legacy of hand crafted shoes.  The shoemaker has established eight shops across Europe (in Paris, Barcelona, Bilbao, Valladolid, Palma de Mallorca, and three in Madrid) and competes head to head with the world’s most distinguished shoemakers. Carmina’s shoes are Goodyear-stitched with the same techniques, consistency and perfection as their famed English counterparts.  I lucked into a pair of suede and leather lace ups a few years ago.  They are well worn, comfortable, and versatile providing a  great look with suits or casual wear.

Get a pair from their shop in Madrid … it’s a beautiful store.  Unfortunately there is no US distributor to the best of my knowledge.

June 16: A Short Take On Double Breasted Suits

6 Button Double Breasted Suit by Banana Republic, Bespoke Shirt by W.W. Chan, Watch by Patek, Shoes by Canali

No suit makes a man look better, no matter what his physique, than a double-breasted one.  “It’s powerful because being constantly buttoned, it always looks put together–the pronounced shoulder expression and peak lapels aid in this, too,” says Stephen Kempson, a private tailor in New York City.  “Double-breasted suits complement and further the illusion of height,” says former Saks Fifth Avenue CEO Philip Miller, who is 6’1”. “They create a great V shape for the wearer, which in turn makes him look much slimmer and statuesque,” says Bill Downs, head sales associate at Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco.

The double-breasted suit is marked by two rows of vertical buttons. The optimal number is a six-button jacket with two rows of three buttons on the outside and one additional closure button on the inside.  Do not get a double breasted jacket with 4 buttons!

Business sloppy is out!

The term “Business Casual” that started as an initiative to lose the suit and tie and promote informality in the workplace has gotten out of hand.  While common sense should be the prevailing guideline when it comes to workplace dressing, it often isn’t.  Business casual has translated to “Business Sloppy” across corporate America. As an executive at a company, one should dress the part.  Those who aspire to leadership have to think hard about what to wear.  Executives are in the business of influencing.  Clothes can help or hinder those goals.

Dressing the part:

Suits, separates:

Every executive should own a few well tailored suits.  A solid navy, charcoal, brown, a blue or grey with pin stripes.  An outstanding example of an executive who knows how to dress is Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle.  In a classic blue suit below, Mr. Ellison has the executive look down to the dimpled knot on his silk tie and cuff links.  Power dressing at it’s best!

In the next image, Mr. Ellison is dressed in a classic grey suit … a staple item that should be included in every executive wardrobe.

Ties not common place in the workplace?  That’s okay – the suit look without the tie is still polished.

Achieving the tailored look:

Far too many executives think that just putting on a suit and tie automatically means you are dressed up.  Not true in most cases.  Mr. Ellison’s look above is one you can rarely acquire off the rack in a department store.  The right fit is key.  In general, off the rack clothing rarely fits most men as seen below.

The problem with this look?  The jacket is too wide in the shoulders.  The trousers are too long in addition to projecting a baggy silhouette.  The look is essentially boxy and sloppy.  Another commonly overlooked problem is sleeve length.  The rule of thumb is for a quarter inch of your shirt cuff to be exposed under the sleeve length of the jacket.  Executives should eschew three-button suits; a ’90s trend that is not flattering.  

Prince Charles is arguably one of the world’s best dressed man.  His look is not accidental.  It is steeped in classic Savile Row tradition with a rich heritage of crafting finely tailored clothing.  Made to measure or bespoke tailoring may cost more but it’s quality worth paying for!

Completing the look:

Got the suit, jacket, pants part right?  Great!  It doesn’t stop there.  The look of a well tailored suit can be marred by not getting the rest of your ensemble right.  The shirt, the tie, belt, cuff links, and shoes and your watch are equally important in achieving the complete look.


I will use the the shirt manufacturing company Ledbury’s take on shirts because they say it perfectly … “Typical brands use excess fabric in the waist and torso, which creates a formless and baggy look. We think our slim fit collection solves that problem with the ideal fit. And slim fit is not just for the slim; it’s a tailored cut that is flattering on most men.”
Please watch this video:


It’s pretty simple with neck wear.  Quality silk ties can project beauty, power, and elegance, and enhances the overall look of any suit.  French or Italian makes are best.  Look for the classic clothiers – Hermes, Ferragamo, Burberry and you can’t go wrong.

Image by Mr. Kent Wang


When it comes to belts, you should buy one size bigger than your pants. A 34″ waist means a 36″ belt.  The buckle’s notch should fit into the center hole of the belt (usually hole number three; most belts have five holes).  The tail of the belt should end just past the first loop on your pants.  The edge of the belt buckle, the row of buttons on your shirt and your fly should all line up vertically.  It is important to match the color of your belt to the color of your shoes.  Black with black, brown with brown.  Belts below by Ralph Lauren Purple Label.

And the ubiquitous silver tipped golf belt?  Definitely does not belong in the board room or anywhere outside the golf course.

Cuff links:

Cuff links for the executive represent a very attractive, dressed-up look.  They frame a suit quite nicely.  Quality is important so choose and invest in a few pieces that are well constructed.  Stick with the specialists like John Hardy, Konstantino and David Yurman.  All cuff link images below courtesy of Paul Stuart.


A watch is an accessory that speak volumes about an executive.  iPads, cell phones and your laptops all tell time but a watch isn’t just about telling the time. Watches are about history, style, engineering marvel and objects that heirlooms are made of.  Classic luxury Swiss and German horlogerie houses like Patek Philippe, A Lange & Sohne,  and IWC invest countless hours of research and development into high-grade watch movements, employing the finest mechanical engineers in the world.  Their watches are about craftsmanship and style, not just about telling time. Before you say that a Timex can keep time as well as a Patek, remember that if life was that simple, none of us would own anything of quality be it clothing, transportation or housing.


They say the shoes make the man, and with good reason … they’re among the first things people notice.  Invest in classic styles and be prepared to spend.  Like a good suit, you get what you pay for.  Items below courtesy Mr. Porter

Wing tip Brogues by Gucci

Light brown Brogues by John Lobb

Ralph Lauren Purple Label Monk Straps

Gucci Horsebit Loafers

John Lobb Oxfords

Boots at work also work well – with laces or the Chelsea variety … courtesy Leffot.

Chelsea Boots

CEO’s … does your executive team look like this?

Or more like this …?