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30 June 2003

Hercule Poirot saves the day at the OMEGA Railmaster launch on board the Orient-Express

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Numerous VIP guests, including OMEGA's star ambassadors Anna Kournikova, Chinese supermodel Qi Qi and her husband and actor Simon Yam, had booked their places on board the unique Orient-Express train from Vienna to Prague for the launch of the new OMEGA Railmaster watch yesterday. Little did they know that their journey would turn into a mystery to baffle even the mind of Agatha Christie's famous sleuth Hercule Poirot. <br/> <br/>

Among the special guests boarding the OMEGA-chartered Orient-Express were Swiss actor Christian Kohlund (winner of Switzerland's Prix Walo 1999), French model Estelle Lefébure, Russian writer Renata Litvinova and former Miss Czech Republic, Katerina Stocesova. Before the train departed from Vienna station yesterday, the original and highly valuable OMEGA Railmaster watch was delivered to the train by a high-security convoy. The precautions were only natural, since this watch – usually safely protected in the glass showcases of the OMEGA Museum in Switzerland – was to be one of the main stars of the evening, so its safekeeping was important.



As the guests assembled at the country town of Pöchlarn for a special presentation of OMEGA's new Railmaster model, the sound of breaking glass and shouting was heard from within the Orient-Express. Before the VIPs had time to make their entrance, the train manager apologetically interrupted OMEGA President Stephen Urquhart's presentation to inform him that the original Railmaster watch had been stolen. Having been reassured that the police would soon be on the scene, Urquhart went on to introduce the VIP guests as they disembarked from the train. Within 15 minutes, none other than supersleuth Hercule Poirot himself arrived to offer his assistance and was duly tasked by Urquhart with conducting an investigation into the disappearance of the watch. Before the guests boarded the train to continue their journey over dinner, Poirot was already on to his first interviews.



Over dinner, guests were transported back to a bygone era, enjoying the epitome of premium-class rail travel and 1920s Art Déco style, with a real-life Hercule Poirot adding even more realism to the illusion. As everyone retired to the bar carriage or their sleeping compartments towards the end of the evening, there was only one question on their lips: Who stole the original Railmaster?



As the Orient-Express arrived at Prague station this morning, rumours abounded. There was talk of low-flying aircraft and muffled noises from within the train during the night. In typical Christie fashion, Hercule Poirot called all the "suspects" together in order to give his final report. Then, he revealed that he had only solved the case with the help of Swatch Group CEO G. N. Hayek, who he had called for help during the night, since he believed all the VIPs were suspects. Hayek then revealed he had expected such a robbery from the outset, due to the popularity of the watch, and had therefore installed a fake watch in the showcase on the train. He then produced the real original Railmaster watch, stressing that the most important thing was that the watch was safe and that he would therefore save the VIP guests the embarrassment of Hercule Poirot's final accusation. The Swatch Group then concluded by presenting each of the VIPs with a brand new OMEGA Railmaster.





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