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David Weiner

David Weiner

Posted January 25, 2009 | 11:29 PM (EST)

The Bin Laden Pilot's Watch? This'll Take Some Marketing...


There's something to be said for giving the bin Laden family a break. After all, Osama is just one leaf on a giant sequoia of a family tree. Who's to say the other members of the family aren't allowed to go about their lives as regular people? We all have at least one black sheep in the family.

In the years since 9/11, the bin Laden family has popped up in some interesting places. There was Wafah bin La-- er, Dufour, the aspiring pop star/model who briefly made a blip on our "Seriously?" radars a few years ago. Then there's Omar Osama bin Laden, who recently made the news for his planned "horse race for peace." Great, more power to him.

It's the newest bin Laden family endeavor that may raise some eyebrows, though. Yeslam bin Laden, Osama's half-brother, has just come out with a new luxury watch for pilots called the "Aviator." Yes, there is now a bin Laden watch aimed at pilots. I can just see the tagline now: "I don't know about you, but nothing makes me feel safer than a bin Laden in the cockpit."

Welcome back to our "Seriously?" radar, bin Laden family.

2009-01-25-aviator.JPG

The watch itself is actually pretty interesting -- it tells the exact airspeed the pilot is traveling and estimates the flight duration in case the plane's instruments fail. And, superficially, it looks pretty cool too.

Considering Yeslam's father was killed in a plane crash, creating an aviator watch doesn't seem so absurd. And of course the man is entitled to do whatever he pleases and make whatever products he desires. But, on a purely business level, you've got to wonder about the wisdom of marketing a watch for pilots with the bin Laden name. It's a bit like selling Pol Pot designer glasses or an Amherst line of blankets.

The funny thing is, it may not even be the origins of the watch that could keep it from doing well. Bin Laden or no bin Laden, in this troubled economy, I don't see too many people dropping $10,000 to $25,000 dollars for a watch with features unnecessary for 99.99% of the population.