This is an entry that definitely falls under our tagline ‘instruments of control’. Normally reserved as a term we apply to the ambiguities of space formed by formal response to policy, in this instance the Casio F91W watch is the instrument of control and is reported by the Guardian newspaper to be the Al-Quaeda electronic timer of choice. Apparently it was the universality and cheap retail price of the watch that made this ubiquitous item the focus of training sessions at camps in Afghanistan. Wikipedia has a list of Guantanamo detainees who were wearing Casio watches purportedly supplied by Casio themselves. In this escalating and slightly hyped narrative Casio were then forced to deny sponsoring terrorism. This isn’t news to Casio, who have actually been involved with the US Department of Homeland Security since 2005.
I had an F91W when I was a runner in my youth, it’s probably still in the drawer in the spare room at my mum’s. There is a healthy number of colourways for the discerning athlete these days and a fashion conscious runner who chooses to accessorise their training shoe highlights with a complimentary timepiece, thus engaging in multiple purchases, may well find themselves on a ‘watch list’.