Gold & Pioneer Event 2008

part 6:  Collectors Train through Switzerland

The next morning, nobody knew where the famous G&P Swatch kiosk would take place.  The agenda told us that we would go to St. Margrethen in Switzerland, just behind the border to Austria.  When we left the buses in St. Margrethen at the train station, another surprise was waiting for us:  An "Extrazug" (extra train)....

...but even better, it was a real steam locomotive train!  The kiosk would take place on the train, so we would travel all the way through Switzerland while collectors could purchase old, rare and interesting watches in the kiosk.  A brilliant idea, especially my kids loved the idea!  During the morning, a James Bond quiz with lots of detail questions about the Bond villains was held, fortunately, our group "The Penguins" was well prepared :-)  If you want to play the quiz for yourself, you can go to the website of Swatch The Club and try to "crack the safe"...

Around noon (and after lots of purchases at the Swatch kiosk), the train stopped at Schloss Laufen near the famous Rheinfall (rhine falls) in Schaffhausen.  Time for an extended lunch break and a closer look at the Rheinfall.

The steam locomotive Pacific 01 202 was built in 1936 in Germany, the total weight of the locomotive is close to 200 tons!  Here are a few closeup pictures.

Antonio and Skander from the club and Dan from the US

After lunch, the winners of the James Bond quiz were announced and it turned out that we had won!!!  The first prize was a Meet & Greet with "Jaws" (Richard Kiel).  He was very friendly and told nice stories.  And he is 2.18 m (7' 2") tall!  The conversation with our kids was not too easy as they just started to learn English :-) 

thanks Michael, this will be a nice xmas card!

We also received a nice autographed picture of "Jaws:

The Meet & Greet was over too quickly (maybe 10 minutes) and it was time for the group picture afterwards:

The following hour was reserved for a visit down to the rhine falls.  Picture time!

This time, we were interviewed for TV (I wonder where this footage will turn up :-)

As you can see from the pictures below, the rhine fall is really impressive and it makes you feel small and vulnerable...

Here is a short video from the rhine falls and the steam locomotive:

In the afternoon, the train went back to St. Margrethen via Zurich.  It was another enjoyable and unforgettable day.

The evening and "goodbye" dinner took place atop the roofs of Bregenz, at the Burgrestaurant Gebhardsberg.  Time to say "Farewell"...

"Power off" after three exhausting days :-)

When we left the restaurant, every club member received the Gold & Pioneer special 2008.  This year, it is a unique Chrono Plastic Gold & Pioneer 2008 (SUIZ400) limited to only 222 pcs. 

The watch comes packaged in a numbered suitcase.  It is a special model as it is a variation of the new James Bond watch Dominic Greene (SUIB402).  The differences between the two watches are as follows:  The colour of the dial is changed from white to gold and on the bezel, the letters "G&P 08" can be found. There is also a new loop "007 Villian Event 2008 Gold & Pioneer"on the strap.  As the dial and bezel are different, this is really a super special watch!

The Gold & Pioneer event 2008 was one of the best and one of most spectacular Club events that I have been to since 1996!  (Kiruna will always be #1 :-)  Antonio really had not promised too much in Madrid when he said that the G&P event would be full of surprises.  Where else can you see the Leningrad Cowboys front row in a small club and have a Meet & Greet with "Jaws" on the next day?  And on top of this great programme, the organization was absolutely perfect.  Always on time!  (this is somewhat unusual for Swatch events :-)  I also have never been to an event in the last years where I heard so few complaints during the two days... :-)

So a big thank you to everyone who made this event possible, you could really notice that Swatch had invested a lot into the planning of the event.
Thanks to everyone from Swatch The Club and from Ixxalp!

You can browse more impressions and pictures from the event at and

Andreas Wiethoff, 26-SEP-2008.

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