Wrist Watching: Larry King Wore 4 Watches As Classic As His Suspenders
Americans of a certain age grew up hearing the sound of Larry King’s voice coming over the radio and television waves. His voice was in my background, too – as much as those of Walter Cronkite, Jackie Stewart, and Barbara Walters. These were the personalities that made up American broadcast television in the 1970s and 1980s; they still seem like they have accompanied me forever.
King (1933-2021) worked his way to fame with his hallmark rolled-up shirtsleeves and suspenders through half a century’s worth of interviews – the New York Times estimates he interviewed 50,000 different people from every walk of life – becoming most famous for the 25 years he spent on his CNN show “Larry King Live” as of 1985. His style is well described by the Times as, “the folksy personality of a Bensonhurst schmoozer.”
It would not be understated to say that at the height of his career, King, who called his own shows “infotainment,” was one of the most famous people in the United States of America.
Larry King’s watches
With the news of King’s sad passing on January 23, 2021 at the age of 87, and with our resident spotter Nick Gould’s help, here we list four times King showed that his watch taste was at least as good as his skill in drawing people out on air to say interesting things.
We spotted King wearing a pink gold Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso during his 70th birthday party in CNN’s Los Angeles studio in 2004. With his rolled-up shirtsleeves, the rectangular Art Deco-style timepiece was fairly easy to recognize.
We also recognized King wearing a gold Ulysse Nardin GMT+/- Big Date Dual Time in 2005 as he accompanied his wife and two sons to the premiere of Herbie: Fully Loaded. This watch housed in a conspicuous yet understated pink gold case was the first to allow its second time zone to be adjusted both forward and backward using pushers on the case.
Despite not wearing his shirtsleeves in his characteristic rolled-up fashion at Howard Stern’s Birthday Bash presented by SiriusXM in 2014 in New York City, King was captured sporting another classic watch in a pink gold case: a three-handed IWC Portofino – most likely one from the collection presented at SIHH 2011.
King also wore the IWC Portugieser Chronograph Reference 3714 back in the day, a timepiece fully in line with his classic taste despite its more complicated functionality. IWC released the revamped Portugieser Chronographs in 2020 with in-house automatic movements, so King’s was from the previous generation.
All four watches display somewhat understated good taste and a penchant for classicism. Perhaps that also explains King’s ever-present suspenders?