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16 December 2004

Swimming legend Alexander Popov gifts autographed Omega watches to charity

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On a visit to the new Omega flagship store in Bern today, Omega ambassador Alexander Popov presented a set of the brand's watches signed by himself, Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek and Omega President Stephen Urquhart to the Swiss Paralympic athlete Hans Burn for a charity auction in aid of the Swiss Paralympic Committee.

The Omega flagship store located at Spitalgasse 4 in Switzerland's capital, just around the corner from the imposing Parliament building and the bustling Baerenplatz, opened for business at the beginning of December. Today, double Olympic swimming champion Alexander Popov, a brand ambassador for Omega who took up permanent residence in the nearby Swiss town of Solothurn prior to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, paid a visit to the store for a short autograph session.

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<br/>During his visit to the store, Popov, along with Omega President Stephen Urquhart, took time out to sign the white leather presentation boxes of a set of Omega Olympic Collection watches. The fact that the same boxes had already been signed by Swatch Group CEO Nick Hayek gives them a unique appeal to watch collectors. The Olympic Collection also has its own angle of historical interest, since it consists of four chronographs with dials that recall the original pocket chronographs used when Omega was first appointed official timekeeper of the Olympic Games at Los Angeles in 1932.

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<br/>Alexander Popov presented the Olympic Collection watches to the Swiss Paralympic athlete Hans Burn. Burn, a veteran of 5 Winter Olympics, with a total of 14 medals (including 6 gold), accepted the watches on behalf of the Swiss Paralympic Committee, which will later auction them, with all proceeds going directly to their charitable activities.

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