Note: This image is copyright and is my own photography & Photoshop work. If you want a copy for any reason, please ask.
I always did love watches. At age 12 my uncle bought me my first Swiss wristwatch. By 1992 I had about 5 watches, a Rado La Coupole Ceramique, a Laurent Dodane, a Maurice LaCroix, a and a couple of Seikos if I remember right. None of them especially precious, but just in styles that appeared to me.
In 2005 a lucky purchase I made on Trademe prompted me to investigate resellers of Seiko and Citizen ECO Drive watches. The watch I bought at auction was at a crazy low price and was 100% the real thing. I got me to wondering how the product was being landed and sold and whether this was something I could do too. Opportunity had poked me square in the eye, and I couldn’t resist looking into it further (despite the sore eye).
In the following years I had established a number of supply lines from the USA for Seiko and Citizen ECO Drive watches that allowed me to sell at a bargain price and still manage to make some money on the deal. The products were mostly Asian or USA market models not available in New Zealand, but none-the-less I backed a warranty that I issued here at my own cost. The watches proved to be excellent quality and highly reliable so mostly there where no issues with the product.
At one stage I was receiving new product shipped in every day and a regular supply contract with the US dealer even meant I could customise orders for clients who wanted specific models and just add them to daily shipments.
Having been a professional photographer and being fairly handy with Adobe Photoshop, I took the photographs of the products myself and produced my own marketing material, including all the images. The image above and hundreds more like it had allegedly been stolen from manufacturer websites, according to lawyers for Seiko & Citizen, but this photo and all images I used were ones I preduced myself in my own mini-studio. After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing of emails and requests for more info, the legal representative for these companies fell silent and presumably withdrew the claim, as I never heard from them again.
Yes, these are my own photography work in case anyone would like to sue me for stealing their images.
In 2011, New Zealand retail products started appearing on Trademe via licensed retail outlets and were sold at or below what would have been their wholesale buy-in price in direct competition against me. Aside from that, New Zealand, and especially Christchurch city were reeling after a devastating earthquake struck, causing consumers to cut back on discretionary spending. By June of that year I had been appointed as the official licensed importer of Traser wristwatches to New Zealand, but due to waning sales I discovered it was time to find a replacement career and I wound up the company in the following month.