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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This topic came to mind on a separate thread, and concerns the Brown-dialled - not faded or tropical or patinated black, but actual chocolatey brown :poop: - "Bruce Lee", aka 6139-6010. Seldom seen.



... and I figured the best way to try to document what is known about this other rare reference is to ask people to share what they have. We might as well share conjecture and theory, even if there's no proof - but hey, that's what the internet's for, right?


Here's an example, plucked from eBay - this one Oct 69 - it was listed as sold as of Oct 2020, having been offered at $1,700 (ouch).

455822



What we know - and if you disagree, please tell me and I'll correct it:
  • Dates:
    • Are they all from September / October / November 69 or are there other dates? Most of the ones I've seen are Oct 69.
  • All are WATER 70M PROOF marked at 9 o'clock
  • They should be 6139A movements and 2-piece chrono hands like the above pic, though quite a few have 1-pc hands - replacements or originals?
  • They will all have English/Chinese day wheel (日 - Sunday. 一 - Monday, 二 - Tuesday, 三 - Wednesday, 四 - Thursday, 五 - Friday, 六 - Saturday)
  • There's no history of a brown dial 6139-6010 being shown in any Seiko catalog
Speculation and conjecture
  • Bracelets
    The blue and Black 6010s came on typically the 3-loop bracelet like the top photo, or a 2-line railroad bracelet like:
    455824

  • bigbluekyle opined on the Silver 600x thread (here) that all the silver PROOF 6139-6000s (which, like the Brown 6010 was never featured in a catalog and is also rare), that Hong Kong distributor Thong Sia may have made a special order from the factory and had the watches delivered head-only, then matched to Seiko-branded Stelux bracelets ... especially the chiclet
Some examples in the wild:

 

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Nice write-up Ewand ! Will be interesting to see what case back and/or dial date codes come out of this polling. Great idea.

Definitely a quite rare watch to find in good condition.

Being a 1969 6139A I am 100% sure it would have always come on a 2 piece seconds hand. Replacement during the course of its lifetime is normal and mostly all were single piece replacements because this OCD attention to detail didn't exist yet !
 

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Hey @ewand, thanks for the mention.

Mine was a September 1969 6139-6010. Regretfully, I no longer own it. It did not come on a bracelet, so I just use another railroad style one from a previously-owned -601x.

It had the English/Chinese day wheel, but a one-piece sweep hand, so can't tell if that was replaced or not as it was a Proof dial. I believe it may have originally been sold by Hub City Vintage, but I purchased it from someone else.



 

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An interesting read, thanks.

Does the brown dial 6139-6020 'Pulsations' also fall within this window? It's the only other chronograph model from the period that I've seen with that colour dial.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I scored a brown 6139-6010 at an auction recently, and it arrived today.

Here's the pic from the auctioneer -

456457


Looking through that scuffed up crystal, I think there may be a nice dial.

Here it is in hand:
456458


I have a Sternkreuz crystal that will fit it so figured I'd decase the movement, give the case a good clean and put a new crystal on.
456459


winner winner, chicken dinner :cool:

456460


It could use a service and the stem is a bit bent, and the pushers are a bit sticky so off to @Sir Alan it shall go. I've got a NOS bracelet on its way to me so hopefully I'll have it all up and running before too long. For the record, it's a November 1969 watch...
456461
 

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It’s a winner Ewan!


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Well, I scored a brown 6139-6010 at an auction recently, and it arrived today.

Here's the pic from the auctioneer -

View attachment 456457

Looking through that scuffed up crystal, I think there may be a nice dial.

Here it is in hand:
View attachment 456458

I have a Sternkreuz crystal that will fit it so figured I'd decase the movement, give the case a good clean and put a new crystal on.
View attachment 456459

winner winner, chicken dinner :cool:

View attachment 456460

It could use a service and the stem is a bit bent, and the pushers are a bit sticky so off to @Sir Alan it shall go. I've got a NOS bracelet on its way to me so hopefully I'll have it all up and running before too long. For the record, it's a November 1969 watch...
View attachment 456461
That's an amazing watch! Fantastic catch!!

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Another excellent find my friend
Never knew there was a brown
Thank you for sharing it with us
Sir Alan will treat you very well
Please post pics once it arrives
Stay safe out there
God Bless,John

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Another excellent find my friend
Never knew there was a brown
Thank you for sharing it with us
Sir Alan will treat you very well
Please post pics once it arrives
Stay safe out there
God Bless,John

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I agree, Sir Alan will perform his usual wizardry on this beauty

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Hi all, I have one since 1969, was a gift, serviced by a Seiko Dealer the last year, original crystal, was polished several years ago because in the 70´s I used it and abuse it every day, was a must then, I loved that watch. Brown, Bilingual English-Spanish, interesting one since I am reading there were not too much around
I know my picture sucks, did not reflect the deep brown, I´ll try another one
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi all, I have one since 1969, was a gift, serviced by a Seiko Dealer the last year, original crystal, was polished several years ago because in the 70´s I used it and abuse it every day, was a must then, I loved that watch. Brown, Bilingual English-Spanish, interesting one since I am reading there were not too much around
I know my picture sucks, did not reflect the deep brown, I´ll try another one
Interesting - my theory about them all having a Chinese day wheel might well be under threat here, unless the day wheel was changed when you had it serviced or maybe previously when the hands were painted?
 

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Interesting - my theory about them all having a Chinese day wheel might well be under threat here, unless the day wheel was changed when you had it serviced or maybe previously when the hands were painted?
Many Thanks for your reply, a small history, after a year and a half of use I scratched the crystal and the rest of the watch, even the bracelet was broken when helping my father in a small metalurgical factory that he owned, the watch was a gift from him, then I never used the watch again. Once the crystal was polished and the rest of the watch, the watch was left safe at home. My first intent to fix it was so bad, I did it myself and really ruined the original finishing, then another session of polishing (years later) helped a bit, as seen actually. The crystal and the hands still original, no painted hands, probably are darker because of the heavy contrast that I used on the picture, I will send another pic taken minutes ago with my cellphone. Regarding the day wheel I am dubious now as I never used the watch again, still without bracelet or stripes, the only thing that I remember is that was bought in Argentina, probably the date were on both languages. I´ve found in the net another 6139 Spanish-English, here is the link: Reloj de pulsera cronógrafo para hombre Seiko 6139-6010. Década de 1970. and If you see carefully in the next link there is another 6139 with Spanish-English date, even came from this pages: The ‘Bruce Lee’ Seiko 6139-6010, you will see the word (DOM) in red that means DOMINGO (Sunday), but still dubious now about mine
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Many Thanks for your reply, a small history, after a year and a half of use I scratched the crystal and the rest of the watch, even the bracelet was broken when helping my father in a small metalurgical factory that he owned, the watch was a gift from him, then I never used the watch again. Once the crystal was polished and the rest of the watch, the watch was left safe at home. My first intent to fix it was so bad, I did it myself and really ruined the original finishing, then another session of polishing (years later) helped a bit, as seen actually. The crystal and the hands still original, no painted hands, probably are darker because of the heavy contrast that I used on the picture, I will send another pic taken minutes ago with my cellphone. Regarding the day wheel I am dubious now as I never used the watch again, still without bracelet or stripes, the only thing that I remember is that was bought in Argentina, probably the date were on both languages. I´ve found in the net another 6139 Spanish-English, here is the link: Reloj de pulsera cronógrafo para hombre Seiko 6139-6010. Década de 1970. and If you see carefully in the next link there is another 6139 with Spanish-English date, even came from this pages: The ‘Bruce Lee’ Seiko 6139-6010, you will see the word (DOM) in red that means DOMINGO (Sunday), but still dubious now about mine
Yes, there were Spanish day wheel watches in various markets, but I believed that the brown dial ones were limited to Hong Kong markets - and they all had Chinese / English day wheels. If you're saying that you bought the watch new in Argentina, and it always had an Spanish / English day wheel, then there must be another explanation. Maybe they were sold in other markets, or maybe some Argentinian dealer bought some from HK and swapped the day wheel over (that seems really unlikely).
 

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Yes, there were Spanish day wheel watches in various markets, but I believed that the brown dial ones were limited to Hong Kong markets - and they all had Chinese / English day wheels. If you're saying that you bought the watch new in Argentina, and it always had an Spanish / English day wheel, then there must be another explanation. Maybe they were sold in other markets, or maybe some Argentinian dealer bought some from HK and swapped the day wheel over (that seems really unlikely).
Yes, it is true, I wrote that I am dubious now, happens that suddenly the chinese date became familiar watching others 6139´s, and something fired an alarm in my mind when I saw the spanish data. I asked today to my friend, the ex Seiko watchmaker who did the last service, and does not remember to have changed the wheel. Really a concern for me, the last time that I used the watch was in 1974
 
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