The Very Unusual C6865 Tiffany & Co Signed Seamaster De Ville - It’s Real

The C6865 Seamaster De Ville With Tiffany Dial is an original Omega model commonly mistaken for a re-dial due to the unusual combination of fonts. The reality is this Norman Morris creation of the 70's is an underrated gem, and one of the last great De Ville's of the era.

These Are NOT Re-Dials, Really, Even Though They Look Weird

Every time I see a nice example of a C6865 Tiffany De Ville going on eBay, I hesitate to post it in the recommended thread for a moment because I know people will worry it’s a redial. It’s happened about 8 times now that someone questions it and I have to gather a bunch of photos of identical dials to post in order to prove it original.

Omega Seamaster De Ville C6865 Tiffany & Co Dial In 14K Solid Gold - Image by @knappo1307

I don’t blame those questioning it either, this dial looks objectively wrong! It looks refinished! It has multiple different fonts on the dial, often there is a slight difference in alignment between the Tiffany & Co text and the rest of the dial text. Then the font itself for the words Seamaster and De Ville are undeniably weird, the kerning (spacing between the lettering) is completely inconsistent with other Seamaster De Ville models. Everything about the dial is a red flag, yet when you look at other C6865 examples, and there are many out there, they are all identical.

The icing on the cake comes on page 414 of Omega’s book A Journey Through Time, where the C6865 is featured with an identically weird dial.

A Norman Morris Creation

The final text in the image above “A Norman Morris creation”, gives us a great deal of insight into this watch and how it ended up looking the way that it does.

Norman Morris was Omega’s exclusive US importer, and an extremely effective one at that, however Norman Morris went far further than simply importing watches. Norman Morris contracted with local American suppliers, who produced cases for Omega watches sold in the US, and also had local American produced dials made for many watches.

Omega Seamaster De Ville C6865 Tiffany & Co Dial In 14K Solid Gold With Box & Papers - Image by @knappo1307

For many Norman Morris US market watches, the only part produced by Omega in Switzerland is actually the movement, typically in 17-jewel form rather than 24-jewel in order to avoid the massive tariffs applied to watches imported to the US with more than 17 jewels.

With this freedom, Norman Morris created many unusual models which were never sold in any other part of the world, everything from the Seamaster De Ville “Kleerback”, to the De Luxe and Grand Luxe models, to a vast array of special dial variants. Even the De Ville line itself was a Norman Morris creation, filling a market segment they identified and agreed to by Omega.

The vintage Seamaster De Villes we most commonly think of, looking roughly like a 166.020 became extremely popular throughout the 1960’s offering high quality movements, great water resistance for the era and sharp looks at an affordable price point, but this family of Seamaster De Ville’s had largely ended with the Cal 55x / 56x movements around 1970.

At this point, the name De Ville was separated from the Seamaster line, with some Cal 101x and 102x powered models simply featuring the name De Ville along with many ultra-thins and even some of the last Calibre 552 and 565 movements. In the US though, that wasn’t quite the end for the Seamaster De Ville.

Only relatively small batches continued to be made, often in the form of presentation watches for long serving employees, or in watches with customized dials for brands such as US Steel. These Seamaster De Villes continued to be made with an odd mixture of differing movements and cases until around 1980, with some even being found with engravings in the early 80’s.

The Vertically Brushed Dial Of A Omega Seamaster De Ville C6865 Tiffany & Co Dial In 14K Solid Gold

This is the era C6865 Tiffany & Co Seamaster De Ville comes from. These watches would have been ordered in around 1973 by Tiffany & Co from Norman Morris, based on the Cal 1020 movement in a 14K solid gold case. Norman Morris likely had to source a decent supply of Cal 1020 dials that meet Tiffany & Co’s requirements from a US contractor as there had been no Cal 1020 Seamaster De Ville dials made previously, leading to the variation in text. After these dials were produced, the Tiffany & Co stamp would have been applied after the fact as a secondary stamping, resulting in some slight variations in alignment between the Tiffany & Co text and the rest of the dial text in some examples.

When considering that these dials were made nearly half a decade after the earlier dials they are often compared to, possibly by an entirely different supplier, and for a new movement type never previously used for a Seamaster De Ville, the significant variation in font and kerning is simply not unusual.

The Less Common Non-Tiffany & Co Presentation C6865 Version

The Tiffany & Co C6865 tends to be the most common version, however there are also different dials without the Tiffany branding reserved for presentation watches.

The Alternate Non-Tiffany Dial C6865 In 14K Gold With Different Fonts - Image by

These were also produced in low numbers throughout the 1970’s and early 1980’s and while they share the same case design, reference, and movement, they have two dial variants. One is identical to the Tiffany dial with the strange font but no Tiffany branding, while the second is similar but with a far more traditional Seamaster De Ville font.

Case & Bracelet

The C6865 case is a US domestic production case made exclusively from solid 14K yellow gold. There are no other metal colors or options, and as with most US-made cases of this era, there is a marking between the lugs which says "14K Gold" rather than a hallmark on one of the lugs.

The case itself is a regular sized 34.5 mm Seamaster De Ville case with thin, straight, faceted lugs fitted to a front-loading monocoque case for enhanced water resistance. As the watch is opened by removing the plexiglass crystal at the front, this is best left to a professional watchmaker who can do so without leaving marks or damage.

The C6865 features an easily gripped, coarsely knurled crown with no crown-guards and originally had a water resistance of 30 meters. Due to the case construction, these watches are among the best watches of their era for water resistance which has resulted in a high survival rate for original dials.

The case-back of the C6865 differs from many other Seamaster De Ville models in that there is no hippocampus on emblem at all, but rather a flat brushed surface. This was deliberately left for engraving, and as many C6865s were presentation watches, especially the non-Tiffany variants, it is extremely common to see them with customised case-backs.

An Example Of The Flat Presentation Case-back On The Seamaster De Ville C6865 - Image By

The lugs are the standard 18 mm with found on all other Seamaster De Villes and the 7-row beads of rice bracelet is an ideal match, however they appear to have rarely come on anything but a leather strap and tang buckle.


Powering the C6865 Tiffany & Co Seamaster De Ville is the Omega Calibre 1020 day-date non-chronometer movement.  This movement oscillates at 28,800 vph, features hacking, quick-set date, a day window, and is the non-chronometer, US market version of the Calibre 1022 with only 17 jewels.

As mentioned in previous articles, the general fear and misunderstanding about "The Calibre 1000 series" haunts these watches and turns people off them when the Calibre 1022 and its family is fundamentally different from the early Calibre 1000, 1001 & 1002.  These movements are the result of a major redesign of the early 1000 series and contain mostly new parts to correct the problems of its predecessor.

The Calibre 1020 Automatic Day-Date Movement Powering The C6865 Seamaster De Ville

If serviced by a qualified watchmaker with an Omega parts account, you can expect very good accuracy, reliability, and durability long into the future from your Calibre 1020 movement.

It is also worth mentioning worth again that although these are not chronometers, a properly serviced and well-adjusted Calibre 1020 movement will perform very well for a vintage watch and serve you with great accuracy.

Dial & Variants

C6865 Tiffany & Co Signed Irregular Font Variant

This is the most common variant of the C6865. It features the weird font and kerning for the words Seamaster De Ville and Tiffany & Co signed in a very different serif font at the top of the dial.

The Infamous Irregular Font Tiffany & Co Dial C6865 Seamaster De Ville - Image By

C6865 Unsigned Irregular Font Variant

These are the second most common, mainly used for presentation watches and typically found with engraved case-backs. These are identical to the above variant, but without Tiffany & Co stamped on the dial.

The Non-Tiffany Irregular Font Dial Variant

C6865 Unsigned Regular Font Variant

These are the final and least common variant, once again they are mainly used for presentation watches, but they do not feature the strange font, instead resembling a more traditional Seamaster De Ville dial in the text appearance.

The Seamaster De Ville C6865 With Regular Fonts & No Tiffany Signing - Image by


The C6865 is a relatively easy to find watch for something this unusual. There always tend to be a few for sale between eBay and forums, with many more on offer from dealers.

When selling at auction the variants with the irregular font often go for less than other 14K Seamaster De Ville models mostly due to people being confused about the originality of the dial. There have even been eBay authenticators incorrectly reject these watches as undisclosed redials due to the wonky typeface and kerning but as long as they match the other examples in this article you are looking at the real deal.

That doubt induced undervaluing of these models means they can go quite low, with some Tiffany & Co dial examples in excellent condition going for $1,200-1,500 in no reserve auctions.

With how common nice examples of these watches are, I would not consider buying any with dial damage, refinishing, or an excessively polished case. The Cal 1020 movement is reliable and accurate once serviced, which it definitely should be before use in order to prevent any damage from metal-on-metal wear.

The Irregular Font Tiffany & Co Dial C6865 Seamaster De Ville - Image By

These watches are a great choice for a daily wearable vintage piece thanks to their durability, water resistance, and sturdy construction for the era. At their price point they represent excellent value for a 14K solid gold dress watch, and as something a bit different, a bit unusual, and a bit special, they're a piece well worth owning.