As an antidote to the previous post, here’s the story of a watch very much not acquired for its bracelet, however one that worked out pretty well.

A friend once told me of some advice his father gave him – that if you come across something rare for sale which you like, and you are in a position to acquire it, then you should. Even if you already have one…

So this appeared on eBay early this year, described as “vintage seiko automatic chronograph”. I took my friend’s advice and took a punt; it was by no means cheap and the seller was – I presume – surprised by the outcome. He told me that the watch had belonged to his late stepfather, who had acquired it in the early 1970s while on naval duty in the Far East. The vendor described it as wearing its original bracelet, which I very much doubted, but you never know…


Seiko fans may recall that Bruce Lee was seen wearing a Seiko 6139-6010, and despite what online dealers have to say, I think Bruce Lee’s watch had a brown dial. This one is very nice indeed; dated to November 1969 (as per most of the brown dial 6010s – they seem to range from October 69 to mid 1970). It has the expected 70M PROOF marking on the dial, and a 2-piece chrono hand. The vendor said it had never been serviced and it was not running very well at all when it arrived with me, so went straight to the brilliant Guy Jeffery – also an evangelist to the view that Bruce’s watch was brown.

The dial and hands on this one are cracking – here’s how it looked back from Guy’s service with a new crystal installed:IMG_20230516_122214

IMG_20230212_164943As to the supposedly original bracelet? Well, it came on a mesh bracelet, commonly known as “Milanese” (despite having been created by German manufacturers in the the early 20th century) – and this one has a clasp that is used to fasten the bracelet at anywhere along its length. It’s branded “Expandro” – a brand normally associated with expanding watches suitable for divers etc – and marked as IMG_20230212_163938made in West Germany, so it’s quite possibly an early 1970s band.

Who knows, it might even have been fitted to the Seiko at or shortly after its original purchase.

Nice enough though it is, I don’t think it suits the Bruce Lee so well, and it is a bit of a palaver to put on the wrist  (as the long tail of the bracelet feeds through the clasp and sits closest to the wrist… it’s a 2-handed job to fasten it properly).

The Bruce Lee is now wearing an aftermarket Uncle Seiko Railroad bracelet (which is now no longer available). Below is a photo comparing it with a June 1970 Bell-Matic 4006-6020 showing a slightly different colour of brown dial, and itself on a Seiko/Stelux “President” bracelet)…


… and the Expandro is currently in use on another watch that would ordinarily have a rubber strap but can carry off the Milanese mesh look quite well…IMG_20230212_165030

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By ewand

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