1963 Omega Seamaster "Kleerback" Very Rare Vintage Mens Cal. 560 14K Gold Filled Watch - Salesman's Demo Piece


Item No. 7955

Today's offering showcases this very rare and exceedingly cool Seamaster De Ville "Kleerback" salesman's demonstration watch with uncommon caliber 560 movement. It comes from my personal collection.

The Seamaster De Ville, showcasing both refinement and high function, was the most important Omega line from a sales perspective from the latter part of the 1960's into the 1970's. It has a monocoque - or one piece - case which insured water resistance and slim, elegant profile. The case when new achieved high water resistance ratings by not having a separate case back.

Rather than take the time to re-share the interesting story of these unusual watches, which few know, in my own words, I thought it useful instead to share some excerpts from my friend Desmond Guilfoyle's authoritative article on them. I'll share a few thoughts, and I've provided a link to his full article at the bottom of the page.

"In 1963, Omega monocoque cases were quite the novelty. They were produced to improve the water-resistant qualities of the Seamaster range. The logic was that creating a one-piece case - doing away with a removable case back and accessing the movement from the dial side - would eliminate a significant source of potential moisture incursion and thus provide market differentiation and a unique selling proposition at the retail end.

In order to get at the movement, a special tool was required to remove the pressure-fitted armoured hesalite crystal. This made the salespersons’ normal practice of opening up the case back and showing potential retailers the power plant of the very first Seamaster De Ville monocoque models an extremely difficult proposition. It’s one thing to unscrew a case back, but entirely another to remove crystal, stem and movement from the case.

As mentioned earlier, there were no large national jewellery chains in the 1960s, save a few ‘silvertail’ establishments dotted around the U.S. Most watches were sold by neighborhood and Main Street watchmaker-jewellers, and the word of these specialists was highly valued by customers when it came to seeking advice on purchases. Manufacturers and indeed their agents were acutely aware of the need to satisfy the technical and quality concerns of retail watchmakers because of their combined ability to affect the sales volumes of one watch over another. And so it was important that these watchmaking specialists got to see what was under the bonnet of the new De Ville range. The Norman Morris Corporation came up with what was a highly novel and generally unheard-of solution at the time – a display back case...that revealed the calibre 560 in all its glory!"

For those not familiar, the 560 was a movement Omega made only for the U.S. market to cut down on import tariffs. The caliber 560 was made in a quantity of only 3,000 pieces which were split across nine models, making each model in effect a "limited edition."

"A very small number of display-back cases were made up by the American case maker, Ross, for the Norman Morris Corporation.

Morris had a relatively small sales force and these cases were only given to members of their marketing team. They are clearly ‘premarket’, because while they were used in late 1962 as samples for the marketing of the first full metal monocoque model, KL

6292, the case itself is not stamped with the model number (The only stamping on the case is “(14K) Gold Filled”) The absence of the model number, a standardized Omega means of product identification, indicates that these display back examples were not meant to go to market."

Ross case company made the case by using the body band of a KL 6292 and presumably cutting out the back that would have been normally formed. They made the cutout the same size as the "standard" opening that fits a crystal, and gave a small internal lip for a bezel to accommodate a standard domed acrylic crystal.

John Diethelm of the Omega Museum, Omega's historian, of the Omega Museum stated to Desmond, as he has stated to others, that these models were not for sale, although a few small newspaper advertisements that have surfaced suggest that Omega offered a very few for retail sale. I have wondered if perhaps Omega was selling leftover stock that had been created as demonstration pieces.

No records exist that give a production number for these. Desmond estimated that perhaps 200 were made, though that is just a guess.

This watch comes from my personal collection. In my estimation because so few people know of them they remain underappreciated and undervalued. I'm selling this one because I have a second one.

I was fortunate to find it in all original condition. In my opinion the crystal on the back is the one fitted originally by Ross. It is honest as they come having never been polished.

One of our watchmakers has disassembled the movement down to the last screw and cleaned and oiled it and lightly polished the crystals. That is all that has been done.

For the finishing touch we have equipped it with a brand new Teju lizard strap making it ready for immediate enjoyment.

Included with the purchase is a one-year international warranty on the movement and its function, a custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity, and a new timing certificate attesting to its performance.

Note: For further reading on the Kleerback and the caliber 560 visit our friend Desmond Guilfoyle's excellent site Omega Collector's Blog.

  • Manufacturer: Omega
  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Serial no.: 20,966,384
  • Year built: c. 1963
  • Model: Seamaster De Ville "Kleerback", salesman demonstration model based off of Ref. KL 6292
  • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Automatic, Date, Sweep Seconds
  • Designed for: Men
  • Case material: 14K gold filled
  • Case condition: Honest original condition with fairly mild to moderate scratches and two slivers of gold wear on the left side and gold wear through on the ends of the lugs
  • Dimensions: 34.3mm wide (excluding crown), 40.7mm long lug tip-to-tip
  • Dial: Silver, distinctive applied faceted gold baton indices, luminous hour dots, signed Omega, aperture for the date, original and untouched
  • Hands: Original, gold luminous batons
  • Movement type: Cal. 560, copper colored, 17 jewels, straight line lever escapement, monometallic balance, shock-absorber, self-compensating flat balance-spring. Note that the color tone of the rotor shows up differently in the photo than it does in person.
  • Jewels: 17 rubies
  • Beat frequency: 19,800 BPH
  • Band: Teju lizard, fully stitched, padded, brand new and unworn
  • Width between lugs: 18mm
  • Crystal type: Acrylic, both appear original with logo no longer visible because of polishing, light remnants of wear
  • Serviced: One of our watchmakers has disassembled the movement down to the last screw and cleaned and oiled it.
  • Timing: Timed to precision on a state-of-the-art computerized system. Your watch is important to us, and we will take care of it for its lifetime. We provide the best after sale care in the business with an experienced team of watchmakers both of whom each have over forty years of experience and a large number of parts.
  • Warranty: 1-year international warranty. Please email concierge@cotwatches.com for details.
  • Box/Papers: BOX - Connoisseur of Time watch presentation box; PAPERS - Custom printed Connoisseur of Time Certificate of Authenticity; New timing certificate
  • Returns: 7 days full refund. 100% satisfaction guarantee

We offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee for all of our watches. If you are in any way unsatisfied with the watch we will fully refund the purchase price anytime within 7 days after the watch has been received. Our goal is to exceed our client's expectations throughout the buying experience.

All watches are packaged carefully and mailed double boxed in specially constructed, reinforced shipping boxes designed for high value items. All watches are sent fully insured with signature required. Most of our domestic shipping is done through FedEx. At times we will also use USPS Express Mail, and we can accommodate most requests for your preferred carrier. International shipments are sent USPS International Express Mail or FedEx.

The purchase price will be the declared value of the merchandise on any required customs forms. The payment of all customs duties, tariffs, and taxes are the responsibility of the buyer.

Also note that water resistance of vintage watches can no longer be guaranteed and is not covered under the watch's warranty. We do not recommend getting a vintage watch wet, even one that was originally designed to be waterproof.

To get an idea of how this watch will look on the wrist, please use the Watch Sizing Guide


Recently Viewed Items