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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:
Backforthis · 03/09/2015 10:39

Didn't see your post. I'd feel the same at £20k. Five figure jewellery from an ex would go when it would benefit my DC.

MephistophelesApprentice · 03/09/2015 10:40

Why should someone sell something that might represent precious times in their life?

I have plenty of gifts from exes, large and small, which still give me bittersweet memories of people who I treasured and continue to regard as special. This does not in anyway detract from the overwhelming love and primacy my present partner has in my life.

Any partner insecure enough to resent this wouldn't be my partner for long.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable · 03/09/2015 10:40

Does he actually want to build the extension?

AuntyMag10 · 03/09/2015 10:41

Backforthis why should she want the ex to pay for an extension when she has a problem with him wearing her watch?

Bottlecap · 03/09/2015 10:43

If you needed money to feed your children, then I'd say you're not being unreasonable.

Short of this, you're just being controlling.

It's hardly a family heirloom.

It's the start of one, anyway.

Pneumometer · 03/09/2015 10:43

over £20k for the watch.

With an inscription on the back? I'd be very, very surprised. There's a vast array of Patek Philippe watches on the market second-hand, in as-new condition, for ten or fifteen grand, which means that the seller would have been lucky to get five to eight (the margins that watch dealers take are huge, because they're holding a lot of stock at risk). If you're willing to sell on consignment you'd get a bigger portion of the price, but might have to wait a long time. When there are plenty of watches around that aren't engraved, why would you buy one that is? Unless it's an engraving that's of itself valuable (famous people, perhaps, with provenance) it's just knocking value and desirability off.

People who buy ten grand watches aren't stuck for ten grand, and aren't scuffling around for bargains in the second-hand (ho ho) market. The reason you buy a second-hand watch is that it's a classic of some sort, that's no longer made. And even then, it's a congested market, and the prices of second-hand watches are surprisingly low compared to the cost of similar things new unless it's very rare.

If he's willing, take it to a real dealer and say "what would you give me, in cash, for this watch, right now". If it's the tens of thousands you think, then you have food for thought. But I suspect you'll find that as a cash sale, it's worth a fraction of what you think.

antimatter · 03/09/2015 10:43

Maybe he thinks of it as his retirement money.
How badly do you need that extension? (20K won't get you much knowing prices nowadays TBH)

Ignorethenaysayers · 03/09/2015 10:44

If the sale of the watch would provide much needed extra space which simply couldn't be afforded otherwise then he is being unreasonable. I don't understand why somebody would insist on hanging on to something where the is financial need. It is very selfish. I'm sure he does love the watch, so what of it! Time to grow up. The children would love more space I'm sure.

Obviously you can't force him, but you shouldn't have to really...

SurlyValentine · 03/09/2015 10:45

Sallyhas the OP hasn't said the watch was an "engagement watch", so that's a different kettle of fish. If it was an engagement present from his ex, then HIBU not to consider the OP's feelings more.

An engagement ring does signify the intention to marry, which puts a different slant on it. FWIW, if I had any engagement rings from exes, I would think it was in very poor taste to wear them once in a new relationship, let alone engaged or married to someone else. I'm not saying they should be given back to the ex (that depends on the circumstances of the break-up) but they would be stashed away for a rainy day, sold, or made into a new piece of jewellery.

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 10:45

I think I struggle to understand this because I just don't get tied to possessions. There is nothing I own that I would feel is more important than our home and our kids and our experiences. However, I do accept that others get very tied to possessions and I guess that is what has happened to DH and his watch.

Ketchup - yes he likes the idea of the kids all having their own rooms and he keeps saying it would be great because it might solve our youngest's sleep issues but then he just says its a shame we cannot afford it...

OP posts:
MonkeyPJs · 03/09/2015 10:45

He shouldn't have to sell it.

I've had my watch for 15 years and would hate to have to sell it not that it's worth anything as regardless of where it came from in the first place, it's been worn by me ever since so is of massive sentimental value. I imagine it's the same for your DH.

Maybe I'm odd, but jewelry I wear all of the time (ring, watch, a couple of necklaces) does feel like an extension on my own body in a way

IKnowIAmButWhatAreYou · 03/09/2015 10:46

I'm sorry but I think YABU.

It's his possession, he had it before he met you & he loves it - the watch not the old relationship.

If it's worth £20k now, it'll be worth more by the time it's passed down to one of the kids & they may choose to use it for something important or they may choose to keep it for their kids.

Or there may come a time when you really need the money in an emergency & have no other way to get it. Extensions are 2 a penny - I'm sure you can manage to finance one without selling this investment, everyone else does...

Backforthis · 03/09/2015 10:47

My response is based on what I would feel if I had £20k of jewellery from an ex on my wrist and my DC in a cramped house. I'm not commenting on how she feels about it being from an ex and trying to make him sell. I see it as selfish to keep something decorative that's worth so much when your DC could benefit so much from the cash.

Whathaveilost · 03/09/2015 10:47

(20K won't get you much knowing prices nowadays TBH)
It depends where she lives. In some parts of my county you could buy a 3 bedroom house for just double that!!

MonkeyPJs · 03/09/2015 10:47

But even though you say you don't get attached to things you own, aren't you advocating selling the watch to enhance something you possess, your house?

lorelei9 · 03/09/2015 10:47


you can't ask someone to sell something they love that much unless they are in dire straits financially

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 10:49

20k would pay for the extension. When we moved in we extended our downstairs and got foundations put in that would bear the weight of another bedroom on top of that extension. So we just need to build the bedroom on top of the ground floor extension which is already strong enough to take the weight.

OP posts:
Backforthis · 03/09/2015 10:49

I was surprised the watch was £20k as I thought the price for even a basic extension would be closer to £40k.

AuntyMag10 · 03/09/2015 10:50

If you don't get tied to possessions then that's you. And it doesn't in any way Make you a better parent because you would do it for your kids. If it was from a family member would you expect that from him. It really doesn't matter though, it's about how he feels with regards to his possession. He's had it for 15 years so it must be very sentimental to him now. It doesn't make him selfish at all, your kids will manage. It's not a necessity to each have their own rooms.

OneBreathAfterAnother · 03/09/2015 10:50

Summer I did try to word that, but I couldn't find a way to nicely suggest it.

I get really attached to some belongings. Especially things I wear every day, or most days. It's an odd thing to explain, but it feels like part of me is missing if I don't have my special necklace on, or my watch, or whatever.

I'd find it impossible to sell something I'd worn every day for 12 years. Just impossible. I'd always feel like it was missing. The watch is probably pretty much a part of him now, as my jewellery is to me.

Backforthis · 03/09/2015 10:50

Good call on the foundations.

SummerMonths · 03/09/2015 10:51

Yes Monkey I am advocating enhancing our house. A home shapes your everyday experiences, the shape of a home impacts on how your family interacts and how you sleep and how the kids play etc. To me that is more than a possession.

OP posts:
Oxfordblue · 03/09/2015 10:51

For all those that say he loves the watch, how about 'he loves the watch more than giving the family a bigger home' ?

However, I suspect there wouldn't be much money out of a re-sale to achieve an's all theory really.

Notasinglefuckwasgiven · 03/09/2015 10:51

Just Googled the watch and saw the prices. Am I the only person thinking " jesus Christ it's a fucking WATCH?" My work issue watch does the same jobGrin
( misses the point of the whole thread )

Epilepsyhelp · 03/09/2015 10:52

If it's as ugly as some of the Pateks I've seen than YANBU!!!

Seriously though, you just know YABU. Just because you don't care about having nice things doesn't mean he shouldn't, he obviously loves his watch and it is his.

Could you maybe move area to get a bigger house?

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