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There is no time like the present to launch a new business
Written by JJohnson on January 27, 2010 – 11:49 pm

Fans of the tv series Dragon Den, would surely be surprised to know that Duncan Bannatyne, one of the stars, is in touch with his femine side. Of all the dragons, you may have thought he, with his hard Glaswegian exterior and ruthless dismissals of hopefuls in the Den, would be the last to acknowledge this. But inside his smartly understated flat in London’s Covent Garden, something stands out. Between the elegant cream sofas in the living room and the minimalist lines of the kitchen, sits his favourite chair – garish, glaring pink asymmetrical sofa!

Looking closer, he seems quite a dapper sort of man, even chic - the cut of the suit seems better than the tighter Theo Paphitis and the dour Peter Jones. You get the sense also that he knows it too!

Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that his latest venture is into the world of style, with the launch of a snappy line of ladies watches marketed under the name ‘Kurt Zeiss’. The designs are very much contemporary in style, with clear, large faces in designs that combine futuristic sleekness with elegance. With this range of mens watches and designer ladies watches , Bannatyne and new business partner Grant Morgan, clearly aren’t messing around. Or is it not true? There doesn’t seem to be any great urgency to sell the watches, as they only seemed to be sold through eBay and the family boutique in Yarm, North Yorkshire. But since the arrival of Morgan, a new website is in operation exclusively developed to market the products.

The men met through various charity functions and realised that there was a mutual love of watches, and Duncan has admitted that he didn’t see much risk in starting the business.

Following a sluggish start, watch sales have been increasing and the predictions of growth are set to continue. The run in to Christmas should be the busiest time of the year, and at the company are preparing themselves for the extra demand.

If the Kurt Zeiss business is purely vanity, it is certainly a successful one for a person who is used to seeing a good propostion. Bannatyne, with a fortune of £320 milliion is by far the richest of the Dragons, and built the business after buying his first ice cream van twenty years ago.

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