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Craftsman
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Saw this article on what is being referred to as a True Bruce Lee (TBL) and thought I would share with the group. Some interesting speculation and pictures of Mr Lee wearing his black dial 6139-6010 on Stelux Rally bracelet and later on a modified 6139-8020 Rally bracelet. Interested in folks thoughts on Bruce owning an early production black dial May 69 6139-6010 Proof/Proof. Some speculate it was possibly gifted to him prior to release of the watch to the general public in Fall 1969.

The Seiko True Bruce Lee | DC Vintage Watches, LLC | United States
 

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this is also a good read regarding the "BL" watch.

<* shark >>><
 

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Honestly it looks like most of their "research" consited of reading the excellent thread by Seiko Hoarder et. al cited above. DC vintage has subsequently gone on to make a lot of money selling their exorbitantly priced 6139-6010's. Will Yun Lee, Daniel Dae Kim, and Ronnie Chieng have all purchased these watches from DC Vintage. Needless to say they now have a lot of skin in the game, I doubt you will see an article from them reflecting the new consensus that the watch Bruce Lee actually wore was a brown dial.
 

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^tbh I can see both pictures that convince me it was black or that is was brown. And the more I look at them the more 'black' it seems to me. Given possible reflections, dial material, lighting, etc. I don't think we'll know until a hi-res color pict comes up. It's one of those mysteries that will keep us entertained for a long time :)
 

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There's a lot of good research on this forum about this and other watches, though it can be hard to be conclusive. I think the DCVW link put up by the OP is useful because it distills almost all the salient info from a 7-page thread. And to be fair to DCVW, they reference that thread throughout, and were also significant contributors to it. There is one error in their summary re the earliest 6139 6010 HK day wheel as July 69 - the earliest is March 69 (which is in my drawer!). Also to be fair to DCVW, they sold their watches to those actor types before this thread - and the ones they sold were JDM models, which at the time they believed/laimed were the true Bruce Lee - so fair play to them for revising that opinion publicly as they certainly had some JDM ones for sale at the time.

As for being overpriced, I guess they're not overpriced if that is what people pay for them. And I can see if you spend time and effort building a brand and a website, along with a reputation, then you can charge a premium. For my part, I love all the research that goes into determining what a given watch is, and I love the chase; I can equally see why others don't and pay a premium for someone else to do that for them. If I had a black 6010 with HK day wheel from March 69 and wanted to sell it, if I put it on here or on ebay it would be down to luck whether someone wanted one at that moment and looked for one on these sites in the window mine was available. Or to put it another way, if some actor with a Bruce Lee obsession was looking for a watch as worn by his hero, he wouldn't be trawling ebay or this site. If you build a reputation and a profile, putting time, money and expertise into it, you earn the right to charge a premium, and so you should. If I were to sell such a watch, I'd seriously consider selling via a thrid party with a reputation - which is also what I do with cars: I tell a specialist dealer what I want as my bottom line, and he works out if he can do that deal; if he makes even money on top of that, I don't really care as I don't have access to that buyer.

As to the brown dial, I think it's going to be really hard to get any consensus on that - as posted elsewhere, in some of the photos it looks definitively brown, in others more black - and photos reproduced on a computer screen introduces all sorts of variables in perception (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-31655236); it's also hard to make dates match up - that is until someone finds a brown dial one dated before the current earliest of August 69. There's a good chance something will come up at some point. There's really no such thing as definitive fact in something like this (or anything - what scientists call the half life of facts - even medical students are taught that within 10 years, 10-20% of the facts they have been taught will have changed). Looking at how understanding evolved over the course of the Bruce Lee thread, that's a pretty good example. We can only work on what we think we know at the time. But I'd love it if we could prove he wore a brown 6010
 

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Craftsman
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Looks to be black that one. Nice score.

I'm pretty certain based on a few specific pictures that Lee's was brown.

That said, I wouldn't be selling anything as a true Bruce Lee, however I'd be more inclined to believe a brown is the candidate to be, and not the black that has been touted as such.

Especially given the contrast between the chapter and dial in a few of the photos.

Either way they are cool watches and the brown itself is desirable imo not just because they are bloody hard to find but they are also gorgeous looking.
 

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Yesterday I was watching a watch on eBay. It had black dial and I swear pictures at an angle gave a reflection on the glass that made it look brownish. I swear I am not making this up. Sbdy should try it. I'll post them if I can find it again.

Also I discovered the 7002 with creamy dark blue dial and I starting to like it much more than the brown or the black. I might just buy the smurfe Bruce Lee... I am sure there was one of those... lol

Watch Analog watch White Light Watch accessory
 

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Yesterday I was watching a watch on eBay. It had black dial and I swear pictures at an angle gave a reflection on the glass that made it look brownish. I swear I am not making this up. Sbdy should try it. I'll post them if I can find it again.

Also I discovered the 7002 with creamy dark blue dial and I starting to like it much more than the brown or the black. I might just buy the smurfe Bruce Lee... I am sure there was one of those... lol

View attachment 482645
That's a lovely looking thing - never really looked at 7002 as pretty much focused on early '69 only. But that looks great!
The black/brown of the previous post cuts both ways - I'm inclined to believe that it was brown, but the photos are by no means definitive. The brain plays tricks with colour.
Am going to check with my wife (colour scientist) - but at an opportune moment that doesn't look like I'm spending all my time on watch forums...
 

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Yes, I just got this in and I’m really getting into the 7000 and 8000 series.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'm just not convinced it was brown - there are far too many pictures of it as black. If we are citing as evidence a mere couple of pictures that it's a brown dial, this is an odd assessment to me. The exposures on most of these, probably due to the primitive photography of the day, are all terrible, colour wise.

Also, won't the dial reflect light a different shade when compared to the inner bezel, not to mention both the dial and bezel are made of all together different materials with their own unique properties?

I do love the passion in here, not to mention the detective work!
 

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I also am not convinced Bruce Lee's watch was Brown. In this widely circulated photo the watch dial does appear Brown. Looking closely at the photo you will notice the predominant color is Brown. Brown Sofa, Brown Walls, and even Brown/Tan Clothes. Perhaps the dominant brown background was absorbed into the color of all objects in the photo (including the Watch Dial). The Dial could be Black but appears Brown due to the surrounding objects. Or maybe the photograph has taken on a brown tone over time. Still a Fun Mystery!

 

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Quod Erat Demonstrandum: Bruce Lee wore a brown dial 6139-6010. He may have also had a black one but he definitely had a brown one.


At the risk of crossing the streams...


... there's a thread over on WS also started by DCVW to present his theories about the Bruce Lee - The "True Bruce Lee" - A 1969/70 Seiko 6139-6010 Proof/Proof | Wrist Sushi - A Japanese Watch Forum (proboards.com). A few fairly prominent and experienced members go on to take apart some of the evidence - eg there's nothing that ties Lee wearing his watch to May 1969, so any theories of it being an early release or a prototype etc are only theories. All we know is what we can see - the watch most often photographed was a non-JDM, PROOF dial (since the photos were ~1969/70-73) and most likely coming from Hong Kong given his own travel history.

I posted several photos that look to me to be showing a brown dial watch - (9) The ‘Bruce Lee’ Seiko 6139-6010 | Page 6 | The Watch Site - though it's always possible he had more than one, so maybe he wore a black sometimes and a brown at other times. In some light, the brown can look dark enough to appear black, in my experience.

Anyway, one of the clearest examples in my mind is this:
Photo of actor Bruce Li , second right, in a press conference. With... News Photo - Getty Images

Hairstyle Smile Black Fashion Black-and-white


I am as sure as I can be that the watch dial in that photo is not black... look at the difference between the dial and the chapter ring:
Tableware Drinkware Black-and-white Stemware Barware


A comparison, by the power of Photo editing software to change colour to B&W:

Exhibit A: Black dial JDM:
Watch Analog watch Light Clock Rectangle

Watch Analog watch White Clock Watch accessory


even sitting the same watch at an angle to light up the dial (and make it look a bit brown :p):
Watch Analog watch Light Clock Font

... there isn't much contrast in B&W between the black dial and the chapter ring:
Watch Analog watch Silver Automotive lighting Clock




Exhibit B: Brown Dial, Hong Kong watch:
Watch Analog watch Light Product Font

Watch Analog watch White Clock Font


Watch Brown Analog watch Clock Watch accessory

Automotive tire Watch Silver Rim Clock
 

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Quod Erat Demonstrandum: Bruce Lee wore a brown dial 6139-6010. He may have also had a black one but he definitely had a brown one.


At the risk of crossing the streams...


... there's a thread over on WS also started by DCVW to present his theories about the Bruce Lee - The "True Bruce Lee" - A 1969/70 Seiko 6139-6010 Proof/Proof | Wrist Sushi - A Japanese Watch Forum (proboards.com). A few fairly prominent and experienced members go on to take apart some of the evidence - eg there's nothing that ties Lee wearing his watch to May 1969, so any theories of it being an early release or a prototype etc are only theories. All we know is what we can see - the watch most often photographed was a non-JDM, PROOF dial (since the photos were ~1969/70-73) and most likely coming from Hong Kong given his own travel history.

I posted several photos that look to me to be showing a brown dial watch - (9) The ‘Bruce Lee’ Seiko 6139-6010 | Page 6 | The Watch Site - though it's always possible he had more than one, so maybe he wore a black sometimes and a brown at other times. In some light, the brown can look dark enough to appear black, in my experience.

Anyway, one of the clearest examples in my mind is this:
Photo of actor Bruce Li , second right, in a press conference. With... News Photo - Getty Images

View attachment 483036

I am as sure as I can be that the watch dial in that photo is not black... look at the difference between the dial and the chapter ring:
View attachment 483037

A comparison, by the power of Photo editing software to change colour to B&W:

Exhibit A: Black dial JDM:
View attachment 483038
View attachment 483039

even sitting the same watch at an angle to light up the dial (and make it look a bit brown :p):
View attachment 483044
... there isn't much contrast in B&W between the black dial and the chapter ring:
View attachment 483046



Exhibit B: Brown Dial, Hong Kong watch:
View attachment 483040
View attachment 483041

View attachment 483042
View attachment 483043
Excellent work!
 

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Perhaps an exercise in sheer simplicity and crude un-scientific observation:

Taking a good look at all the known Color photographs (I would completely exclude Black and White photographs as any B/W photo it would not be possible to determine Color) of Bruce Lee and the Seiko Watch (not exactly sure how many color photographs are out there?)

Question # 1 - In how many photographs does the watch appear Black?
Question # 2 - In how many photographs does the watch appear Brown?
 
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