The Seiko 5 Sports Bruce Lee Limited Edition SRPK39 is a badass tribute to “The Little Dragon” The Seiko 5 Sports Bruce Lee Limited Edition SRPK39 is a badass tribute to “The Little Dragon”

The Seiko 5 Sports Bruce Lee Limited Edition SRPK39 is a badass tribute to “The Little Dragon”

Borna Bošnjak

Certain watches become icons because of the people who wear them, and the case of Bruce Lee was no different. The actor and martial artist is to the world of vintage Seiko what Paul Newman is to die-hard Daytona enthusiasts. In fact, there is still debate going on today as to which exact variant of the 6139-powered Seiko chronograph the star actually wore. To honour Bruce Lee and the choice of Seiko as his wristwear, Seiko is introducing a brand new addition to their 5 Sports line-up, with numerous touches that pay tribute to Lee’s life and work – the Seiko 5 Sports Bruce Lee SRPK39.

The dial

seiko 5 sports srpk39 bruce lee 2

The SRPK39 draws a lot of inspiration from dragon insignia, relating to Bruce Lee’s nickname, “The Little Dragon”, given to him for his birth on the hour of the Dragon, day of the Dragon, in the year of the Dragon. The clearest representation of this is on the dial, with a black-on-black colour scheme and a dragon relief taken from one of Lee’s drawings. The rose gold surrounds of the hands and indices, as well as the white-on-black day and date wheels, aid the Bruce Lee’s legibility.

The case

seiko 5 sports srpk39 bruce lee wrist

Just like the dial, the case is blacked out, though still incorporating elements from Bruce Lee’s life. The most obvious one is in the bezel insert, containing a phrase that represents Bruce Lee’s martial arts school, Jeet Kune Do, translating to: “Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation.”

seiko 5 sports srpk39 bruce lee case profile

Fully black-coated, the case dimensions will be familiar to any SKX or 5KX fan – 42.5mm in diameter, with a height of 13.4mm and a super-compact lug-to-lug of 46mm. With a push-pull crown, the water resistance is limited to 100 metres.

The strap

seiko 5 sports srpk39 bruce lee pocket wrist

The Bruce Lee SRPK39 is paired with two straps – a black leather number, and the yellow NATO-style you see above. Once again evoking the dragon, the black leather strap sports a white lining with a golden embossed dragon. The yellow nylon strap needs little explanation, clearly being a nod to Bruce Lee’s iconic jumpsuit.

The movement

seiko 5 sports srpk39 bruce lee caseback movement

Just like all the other members of the 5KX collection, the SRPK39 Bruce Lee Limited Edition is powered by Seiko’s in-house, automatic 4R36 movement. With a 3Hz beat rate and 41-hour power reserve, it’s unlikely to turn heads, especially in its undecorated glory, but it’s far and away the superior movement compared to the 7s26 of its predecessor. The interesting part movement-side is the smoked display caseback, with a silk-screened Jeet Kune Do core symbol. This is also where you’ll find your unique number in a limited run of 15,000.

The verdict

Many vintage fans, myself included, would’ve loved to see a re-imagination of the Seiko 6139 chronograph as a true tribute to Bruce Lee, and perhaps even a confirmation of the exact model he wore. Having said that, it makes perfect sense that Seiko chose its 5 Sports line to pay homage to celebrated aspects of Lee’s life. With its much-loved case shape and funky bright colours, the collection is often used as grounds for new, somewhat limited, editions.

Seiko 5 Sports Bruce Lee Limited Edition SRPK39 pricing and availability

The Seiko 5 Sports Bruce Lee Limited Edition SRKP39 is a limited edition of 15,000 pieces, available starting October 2023. Price: A$750

Brand Seiko
Model 5 Sports SKX Sense Style Bruce Lee Limited Edition
Reference Number SRPK39
Case Dimensions 42.5mm (D) x 13.4mm (T) x 46mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel with hard coating
Water Resistance 10 bar
Crystal(s) Hardlex
Dial Black with dragon relief
Lug Width 22mm
Strap Black calfskin with embossed lining with black-coated steel hardware
Yellow nylon NATO-style
Movement 4R36, in-house, automatic
Power Reserve 41 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, day, date
Availability October 2023, limited to 15,000 pieces
Price A$750