How to justify your watch purchases to your partner, a new series, starting with ‘The Heirloom Defence’Andrew McUtchen
MEET THE ENABLER: Defending the indefensible is a tiresome but necessary business. Obviously, we understand that you’ve found a new must-have watch to add to your collection (congratulations!). But the next step, making it happen, may not always fly with non-believers whose reactions will likely range from horror to derision to divorce. That’s where The Enabler comes in … Use his advanced levels of sophistry to validate your latest, or next, acquisition.
The problem is that, to your wife, it’s yet another ludicrous act of self-indulgence. As far as she’s concerned, this watch is a totally unnecessary purchase. You’ve just shelled out on another pointless extravagance, siphoning funds from your joint bank account that could be spent on dozens of more useful things (repaving the patio, paying the school fees, buying her mother a less startling set of false teeth …). As a result, your wife isn’t happy. In fact, she’s appalled by your inherent shallowness and brazen disregard for your family’s welfare.
It’s at this point that you take your partner’s head in both hands and gaze into her eyes with a patient smile. “You poor, sweet thing,” you say gently. “I don’t think you quite understand. This watch isn’t for me, it’s for the children. You see, I’m actually thinking about their future.” (Then gaze wistfully into the distance and shut your eyes as if blinking back the tears.)
Sure, we’re trowelling it on thick here. But that’s because you have to change the narrative, pronto. You need to flip her perception of your act from selfish whim to grand gesture. And when it comes to justifying a reckless splurge, we must turn, of course, to Patek Philippe.
This venerable watch brand’s famous series of ads cast the humble wristwatch in a whole new light, transforming it from basic timekeeper to irreplaceable family heirloom. “You never actually own a Patek Philippe,” it pronounces simply, alongside a heavily photoshopped picture of domestic bliss. “You merely look after it for the next generation.”
It’s a masterclass in emotional manipulation and, given your current predicament, you need to channel this sentiment. Viewed through this lens, it would frankly be irresponsible for you not to buy the watch. It’s basically your parental duty. After all, who are you to deny your children of their natural birthright?
Think about it for a second. Many years from now, when you’re dead and gone, your child will feel the reassuring heft of your watch on their wrist, a ticking reminder of your eternal love. It’s the closest you can get to holding hands with them from beyond the grave. Refusing them this lifelong comfort is not only short-sighted, it’s downright cruel.
As for the fact that you’ll also get to wear this watch for the next 30-odd years? Well, that’s just a happy side-effect, really. Make no mistake, this heartwarming act of altruism is all about the kids.