I’ve written before about martial arts legend Bruce Lee and his wearing of a Seiko 6139 watch (Bruce Lee’s Seiko “Bruce Lee” and Seiko “Bruce Lee” – rare chocolate dial). You might see a term being used in some quarters – “True Bruce Lee”, meaning not just a Seiko “Bruce Lee” (applied to any and all colours and ages of the 601x family), but the same combination as Bruce Lee’s actual watch was. The same trick is found where “Pogue” is generally applied to different colours of the 6139-600x, but some people would say a “True Pogue” is a yellow WATER 70m RESIST 6139-6005, just like the original.

Online dealer DC Vintage Watches has been pushing the “True Bruce Lee” story for some time, concluding that it was a black PROOF/PROOF 6139-6010 paired with a Stelux steel rally bracelet, most likely acquired in Hong Kong and therefore not a JDM version, but rather would have an English/Chinese day wheel. His “research” (mostly reading what other people have put on watch forums then presenting it as expert opinion) coincided with DCVW doing a good trade in finding and selling “True Bruce Lees” to various people. Online watch influencers parrot the same thinking.

In the previous post about Bruce Lee’s watch (the whereabouts of which are unknown, so we’ll probably never be certain), I concluded that it might have been brown rather than black. Since then, I’ve done a bit of digging through photo archives and colluded with other watch nerds to be 99% certain that…

Bruce Lee wearing a brown dial Seiko 6139-6010


It would have been sourced from the Hong Kong and SE Asia dealer, Thong Sia, part of the group which includes the Stelux bracelet company. It’s entirely logical that Bruce, or someone associated with him, walked into a Seiko dealer in Hong Kong in late 1969 and took away a brown dial PROOF/PROOF with English/Chinese day wheel and that funky Stelux rally bracelet fitted in store.

He might have had a black dial watch as well, but I am convinced he had a brown one, and when you start looking for the signs, it’s feasible that every picture of him wearing a 6139-6010 could indeed be his brown watch.

Bruce Lee wearing a brown dial Seiko 6139-6010

Even in black-and-white images, you can see a clear contrast between the dial colour and the inner bezel/chapter ring – in a black dial watch with a black chapter ring, that contrast is generally minimal (though either dial or chapter ring might have faded over time), but with a brown watch/black chapter ring, it’s really clear.

The only colour image I could find of the above press conference proves somewhat inconclusive…

One of the main images DCVW used to assert that it was a black dial was supposedly taken at a press conference in 1972 – zoom in on that watch and see if you think it’s actually brown?

A bit of careful searching and you can find other photos from the same press conference – you could say that lighting, post-processing, or fading of old photos etc could be part of the reason why it looks different…

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By ewand

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