Wrist of Fury: Auction to feature watch once owned by Bruce Lee

The master at work. Sgreengrab via YouTube.
The master at work. Sgreengrab via YouTube.

A wristwatch that once belonged to martial arts superstar Bruce Lee is expected to fetch as much as US$20,000 when it goes under the hammer in Hong Kong on Monday.

The watch is one of 82 lots that will be up for auction on Monday, May 27.

According to the auction house, Phillips — which is holding a sports watch sale in collaboration with Blackbird Automotive Group — Lee’s erstwhile wristwatch is a Universal Geneve Polerouter, with a gold-plated stainless steel face, and a cuff-style leather strap.

The lot is 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.

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As we wave goodbye to Geneva and start packing our bags for Hong Kong, we would like to introduce one of the most interesting watches from our #phillipsblackbird auction (May 27). Considered one of the greatest and most influential martial artists ever, Bruce Lee was also an actor and director who found stardom in both the East and West. He was, in short, a cultural icon of the 20th century. Lee was known to have owned an array of watches, including this very Universal Geneve Polerouter, which he later gifted to Herb Jackson, one of Lee's earliest students. The present watch was featured in a profile of Jackson published in Jeet June Do magazine in 2001 titled “Herb Jackson’s Fight for Freedom,” which details Herb Jackson’s experience as Bruce Lee’s student. For more information on this and other watches included in our sale, please browse the full catalogue, now online. Link in bio.

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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.”

The estimated value of the watch is US$10,000 to US$20,000, but it could end up going for much more.

Lee’s watch — and the others up for auction — will be on display at the Ferrari showroom at Repulse Bay until auction day.

The auction will take place on Monday at the JW Marriott Hotel in Admiralty at 6:30pm.

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