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The London Olympics countdown clock has clapped out after less than a day, the BBC reports.

The precision timepiece was triumphantly unveiled in Trafalgar Square yesterday, but failed to clear the first 24-hour hurdle and is now stuck on 500 days and 7:06:56.

A red-faced spokesman for the Swatch Group said: "We are obviously very disappointed that the clock has suffered this technical issue."

Explaining just what a high-tech digital chronometer we're dealing with here, he added: "The OMEGA London 2012 countdown clock was developed by our experts and fully tested ahead of the launch. We are currently looking into why this happened and expect to have the clock functioning as normal as soon as possible."

The failure of the magnificent timepiece caught the El Reg Bootnotes department completely off guard this afternoon, since we've spent all day keeping a close eye on the newly-opened Olympic ticket website in the expectation that it would go spectacularly titsup.

The site has so far dismally failed to fall over, suggesting it is powered by something more than cheap AA batteries Seb Coe bought down the market. It's still early days, though... ®

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