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To force my husband to sell his beloved watch?

273 replies

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 09:57

My husband and I have been together 12 years, all is good, we are happy. We got together 6 months after he broke up with his ex. During their relationship she had gifted him an incredible watch which she got engraved with both their initials and the date and time they met. The watch is worth more than our car: literally tens of thousands of pounds. When she left him she let him keep the watch.

Fast forward 13 years and my husband still wears this watch every day. He adores it. We got it valued recently and if he sold it we could afford to extend our house with an extra bedroom so that all our children can have their own room. I would also quite like him to get rid of it as it’s a gift from an ex with an engraving about their love. Will he consider a sale? NO.

AIBU to think he is out of order? And if I am not BU how do I get him to see the light?

OP posts:
CatMilkMan · 04/09/2015 12:47


Kewcumber · 04/09/2015 13:03

I have a ring left to me that was valued at £12,000 (for insurance), the jeweler told me that I would be unlikely to net more than £4,000 if I sold it so you really (bearing in mind the engraving too) wouldn't be likely to make anywhere near enough to pay for an extension.

I like my ring and promised my grandmother than I would sell it if ever I needed to to but until then I'll hang onto it - even though its wildly out of line with my actual income and needs.

Sometimes it's nice to hang on to some special things (especially as he wears it - it's not gathering dust in a box). If you can afford the extension some other way then I'd do that personally.

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou · 04/09/2015 13:34

Moving is usually cheaper.

Balderdash!! Unless you're having an entire wing added to your house, an extension is most likely to be the cheaper option.

Our extension cost £21k last year, it added a downstairs loo, hallway and upgraded the boxroom from something you couldn't get a bed in, to one that can fit a double.

By the time you add all the fees from moving, the costs of actually shifting, the disruption - the hanging around etc. it's not a particularly cheap or convenient option unless you really want to do it.

Have a look at other buildings in your street that have had extensions, speak to the builders that built those extensions & they'll be able to give you a ball park figure for similar work. Then you can worry about getting the architect, surveyors etc. involved....

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou · 04/09/2015 13:35

And you can still do it without selling something your husband loves & treasures.....

redstrawberry10 · 04/09/2015 13:47

maybe I am just weird, but it seems crass to sell it. you either give it back or do what your husband is doing: appreciate a very nice and generous gift.

Pedallleur · 04/09/2015 13:59

It's his and its up to him to do what he wants with it. Watches are strange things. The engaving devalues it unless he is famous and it was a gift from a famous person eg M.Thatcher or The Pope where a collector may be looking for provenance. You may get the engraving polished out but that would also devalue the watch. Unless it's a specific watch then he should keep it. A friend of mine recently sold a watch from his collection for ?200k but it completed the buyers collection. After having delivered the watch my friend received an email a couple of weeks later from Hong Kong and a collector who offered ?240k. My friend now has a splendid new Ferrari!!

Jux · 19/09/2015 11:30

Keep the watch as you'll need to sell it when the children go to Uni.

ChickenTikkaMassala · 19/09/2015 11:53

He won't have to sell it if the kids go to uni, the kids can get loans like the rest of us did.

MonicaBilongame · 19/09/2015 11:55

Summer your kids will only be there a few years; they'll grow up and leave home, and then you will sell the house (possibly) and downsize. It's far more difficult to hand on the house than it is the watch (or any other jewellry). The house will be 'ours' but the watch is actually 'his'. Different story entirely. If HE wants to sell the watch for the extension fine, but YABU to want to make him. In time you will probably sell the house - so you will have lots of lovely money - but the watch will be gone forever, and a replacement watch for him would cost far more then.

Suggest remortgaging to cover the cost and then just work hard to pay it off. Keep the watch for that rainy day disaster when you REALLY NEED the money.

RandomSocks · 19/09/2015 13:35

ChickenTikkaMassala, the loans don't cover everything. Jux makes a good point, especially if they have to pay for student accommodation in London.

ChickenTikkaMassala · 19/09/2015 13:38

So? They can get a part time job like thousands of other students if need be. Who says the kids will go to uni? The watch belongs to the husband, not the wife or the kids.

RandomSocks · 19/09/2015 13:42

Yes, I agree. My much earlier post at Thu 03-Sep-15 11:58:24 advocates keep the watch.

ChickenTikkaMassala · 19/09/2015 13:46
Jux · 19/09/2015 14:03

Sorry, the Uni thing was meant to be lighthearted really. I am abashed!

Grapejuicerocks · 19/09/2015 14:04

I understand you completely op.

I have an expensive watch bought by an ex that I treasure purely because it is expensive and I know I won't get another like that one again. I would have resisted strongly if a new partner had tried to make me get rid of it because an ex bought it. It is a status symbol that reminds me of good times but I have no emotional connection to that ex anymore.

However, this isn't the case for you. You didn't mind him having it when you didn't need the money.

I would sell my watch without a second thought if I thought it could benefit my family. YANBU to want him to do so at all.

What I think the problem is, is that you value this extension highly. He would like one, but not enough to get rid of his watch. Neither of you are being unreasonable.

Perhaps your light hearted suggestion to make him do all the night and early wakings is really a good one and should seriously be considered. After all the reason the extension is valued so highly by you is because it will have a big impact on the quality of your life. It won't actually impact on him at all - it would just be nice to have. You need to get him to see this and get it to have a big impact on the quality of his life. He just doesn't see it as important as you. Help him to see that it is important.

Neither of you are being unreasonable though. It's just a question of priorities.

tigermoth · 19/09/2015 14:08

Would your dh be prepared to compromise? He sells the watch but buys something he really wants from part of the proceeds and the rest goes towards the extension?

I don't think you are being that unreasonable in hoping he will sell the watch. You are being pragmatic.

And has he kept the watch because of the sentimental attachment/ family heirloom type reasons or because he likes to wear it as a status symbol/ sees it as his very own emergency stash of money?If it's the latter two reasons then YANBU to hope he will sell it.

Remember also he may feel embarrassed If he wears the watch every day, as some people will notice if he no longer has it and he may feel bad telling people he sold it. If he says to people he is buying something else with part of the cash raised, it might soften the blow - perhaps you can work on this and try and get him enthused about buying something else with part of the money he gets?

Ultimately though, it is his watch and if he won't part with it to pay for the extension, there is nothing you can do.

RandomSocks · 19/09/2015 14:13

My response was also intended in a lighthearted way - there will always be something that the watch-money could be spent on. So better to keep the watch as it is worn every day.

I think it is perfectly possible to enjoy a beautiful piece of jewelery without necessarily having an emotional connection to it.

OneBreathAfterAnother · 19/09/2015 14:15

I'm not big on watches, but I move in circles that are, and unless he's upgrading to a more expensive watch, he'd be crazy to sell his if he gets enjoyment out of it. It's a Patek Phillippe.

For about four years, I had a beautiful car that I couldn't drive for medical reasons. DP did drive it, daily, but would have preferred to trade it in for a more practical car. I loved my coupé. I would have supported him getting a more practical car, and we have one now, but I didn't want to get rid of my coupé and it wasn't bought with "family" money, it was mine, so while I listened to his opinion, it was my decision.

We have traded the car in now, partly because the engine went, and partly because we compromised and now have a better car that we both love. I got to choose the bits I loved too, and whilst I miss my coupé, the new car is newer and better and more suited to us. It's more practical, too.

In your DP's case, you are suggesting getting rid of watch that he will be attached to, that he wears every day, to build an extension. It's just not comparable. And if you can't fund an extension in any other way, you're unlikely to be able to buy him a better Patek Philippe.

I'd try my best to stop seeing it as potential money, and leave it.

Cabrinha · 19/09/2015 16:43

OP, you haven't been through Geneva airport recently or you would know "you never actually own a Patek Philippe, only look after it for the next generation" Grin

I think you're being vaguely reasonable that sometimes an individual's expensive item might be better sold and used for group benefit.

But you're utterly U being even slightly Hmm about it being from an ex.

RandomSocks · 19/09/2015 16:59

Exactly, Cabrinha!

That ad also appears in The Economist.

Cabrinha · 19/09/2015 17:02

That same ad has been there for about 10 years. The ad will outlive the flipping kid who is baking with his dad Hmm

Racundra · 19/09/2015 17:11

YABU purely for using the word 'gifted'.

It's completely unreasonable of you to expect him to sell a treasured possession too. A watch is a big deal to some people. Some of them cost hundreds of thousands.

HortonWho · 19/09/2015 17:35

You gotta love MN. Ask advice on which £1,000 handbag to buy and you get abuse about why you're not purchasing a £20 and buying wells in Africa with the rest.

Complain that you discovered your engagement ring (already getting manky after 6 months) cost £40 when your fiancé could afford more, and you get competitive posts about who paid less for theirs and reverse snobbery about diamond rings.

But £20k watch that could pay for an extension?

That's all right.

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