Bruce Lee’s Old Watch He Gave to Student Sells at Auction for $28,700
By Bryan Ke
May 28, 2019
A Bruce Lee watch memorabilia recently went up for auction and was bought for far more than its asking price of 80,000 to 150,000 Hong Kong dollars ($10,192 to $19,111) to an unnamed buyer.
The watch, Universal Genève Polerouter timepiece (circa 1950s), which was described as a “very rare and historically interesting yellow gold-plated stainless steel wristwatch with sweep center seconds,” was sold for a much higher price of 225,000 Hong Kong dollars ($28,700), according to South China Morning Post.
Lee’s watch, sold as item 860 of 82 lots, was sold to the unidentified buyer during the Phillips & Blackbird: Sports auction event on Monday night held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hong Kong. The moment was considered as the “first watch auction in the world to be curated by an Asian collector and was put together by Blackbird’s founder T.K. Mak.”
The rare and historically interesting memorabilia also came with a letter of provenance from the owner, Herb Jackson, who was Lee’s martial arts student, friend, and confidant in the United States, the report noted.
It was given to him as a gift and was later passed down to Jackson’s son, Mark Ashton-Jackson, before it was sold at the auction. The letter also detailed there that the watch features “a two-tone gold dial with raised gold edge and gold index hour markers, with black crosshair design.”
While the watch has “wear to leather band and some visible toning to face and discolourations of hands,” the letter noted that it is still in good condition. This is all due to the fact that Lee had worn the watch before he gave it to Jackson as a gift in 1968.
“The item was used by Bruce Lee and is documented in many photos and magazines. It was a part of Bruce Lee’s training regime and helped better his physicality,” read the letter, which was accompanied by a photograph showing the martial artist wearing his signature aviator sunglasses. “This time is historical in nature and marks a point in time when Bruce Lee was seeking international fame for his martial arts/film career.”
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