A timely question about letting go of "things"

jdbruewer's picture

It's just a watch, right?
My wife gave me an L.L. Bean field about 20 years ago, before we were married.
It's been my everyday watch, well, every day, since then. It's waterproof and has an indestructible cloth band.
A few years back it started running slow. I took it to the jeweler who made our wedding rings to be cleaned.
It's worked great since then. Until Saturday.
Last week while swimming it got some condensation inside. That's happened before. Each time that happened, I opened the back, placed it in sealed container of uncooked rice to dry it out and made sure the O-ring on the back was still good. That's what I did this time. Then went swimming again. The condensation returned and I did the rice/O-ring thing again. It dried out, but then on Saturday it stopped running. I opened it to find rust around the battery.
I'm not sure if it's worth getting it cleaned again. L.L. Bean has said they will replace it at no charge. So the choice should be a no-brainer.
I can get a brand new watch, just like the old one.
But it's not the old one, the one my wife-to-be gave me. The one I've worn nearly every day of our marriage.
Should that matter? I still have the memories. The watch is just a thing.
I've been going through the house trying to get rid of clutter lately. My high school graduation cap? Gone. Various coffee mugs from various trips? Gone.
My wife suggests keeping the watch and getting a new one. But that makes no sense. Although I could put it in the paper bag in my sock drawer filled with old Swatch parts.
Logic tells me to replace the watch. My wife doesn't care if I still have the same watch she gave me. But I feel bad getting rid of it.
Does any of this make sense? What would you do?

I decided not to get it replaced by L.L. Bean. Their policy said If I believe it should have lasted longer, they will replace it. I can't honestly say I expected it to last longer than 20 years of everyday use when a bad O-ring led to the problem.

I've decided to have the local jeweler replace the movement, 0-ring and crystal, for about $20 more than the cost of a new one. I decided I like that option better than throwing it away or keeping a(nother) watch that doesn't work.