A wristwatch that once belonged to martial arts superstar Bruce Lee was sold for just under US$29,000 at an auction held in Hong Kong last night.
The watch was one of 82 lots up for sale by auction house Philips, in collaboration with Blackbird Automotive Group.
Lee’s watch was a Universal Geneve Polerouter, with a gold-plated stainless steel face, and a cuff-style leather strap. It was accompanied by a letter of authentication from the former owner, Mark Ashton-Jackson, confirming the watch was given as a gift from Lee to his dad, Herb Jackson, one of Lee’s earliest students and a close friend, in 1968.
The watch was expected to sell for between HK$80,000 and HK$150,000, but blew past expectations with a final hammer price of HK$225,000 (US$28,700).
According to the auction house, Lee owned a number of watches, and he was known to gift some of his timepieces to colleagues and friends.
The catalogue says the watch was featured in a profile piece of Jackson that was published in Jeet Kune Do magazine — named for Lee’s signature fighting style — in 2001.
The profile, titled Herb Jackson’s Fight for Freedom, detailed Jackson’s experience as a student and friend of Lee’s, and makes note of “a watch that Bruce gave to Herb.”