Hello everybody! This is a work in progress, and I would like to thank everyone who participated to this thread with pictures, reference numbers and production dates, and also The Omega Enthusiast who provides the world with such good quality pictures of all these amazing watches. I spent the last year chasing an Omega Seamaster with an unusual dial and looking back I figure that this quest of mine made me realize there are way more dial variations out there that I suspected. So, special dial thread, here we go. The early 60s saw the flourishing of many dial variations in the Seamaster line, especially on Seamaster DeVilles and more precisely on American references, but some of these dial variations can also be found on Constellation watches from that era or on Swiss cased watches, although it is more unusual. As for the reason behind this, I would say that special dials were introduced in order to conquer a new market of young Americans in the early sixties. The introduction of these was probably induced by the necessity to seduce potential new customers that wanted to own their own style and didn't recognize themselves in older designs from the 50s. A generation that felt like they were special, and deserved something special. It seems that these were called "special dials" by Omega itself: The great veriety of dials available throughout the Seamaster line isn't a new concept from the sixties, as this stunning example from the fifties shows: However, the beginning of the sixties saw the introduction of new variations like the ribbon, the clamshell and the concentric rings that used new techniques and are characteristic of that particular era. Even if the aim was probably to offer something new to young American customers, some of these truly find their origin in earlier models, just as the seventies saw the arrival of new ones directly inspired by the ones from the sixties. I have read Desmond saying that the Seamaster de Ville was a cheaper version of the Seamaster aimed for blue collar workers. No offense intended towards Desmond here, who I think is one of the greatest specialists out there, but I want to re-establish the truth about this matter: the Seamaster de Ville was actually a higher-end model compared to the regular Seamaster, as all price catalogs from the era show. Below are prices in GBP from a catalog for the early sixties for no-date, stainless steel watches on leather bands: - Seamaster ref ST 135005: 27,10 - Seamaster ref ST 165009: 33,10 - Seamaster de Ville ref ST 165020: 36 - Constellation ref ST 167005: 47,10 The Seamaster de Ville was a product aimed for new potential customers with higher exigences, and was therefore more expensive. It's no surprise that this model shows the highest prevalence of special dials during this era. APPLIED ARABIC NUMERALS I think that applied Arabic numerals were a later special dial variation than others like the clamshell and the ribbon, as most examples I have seen were not from the very early sixties but from a little later, around 1963-1966. Absolutely stunning and most often seen on Seamaster DeVille and Seamaster 600 watches, as well as a few Constellation pie-pan examples. Different models show numerals of different styles, and I suspect the flatter ones to be from the earlier period (around 1963) and the more facetted ones from a little later, around 1966. Here, a 166.020 reference from 1963 powered by the rare Omega cal. 560: And here, a ref. 165.003: I have sometimes seen it mixed with another special dial variation such as here, with a Seamaster DeVille and a Seamaster 600 showing applied Arabic numerals on a golf ball dial: CLAMSHELL / SEASHELL This is as art deco as it gets: Here on ref. 14915 with a cal. 600 manual wound movement and a replacement crystal: CONCENTRIC RINGS Found on reference 135.020 Seamaster DeVille, which is a Swiss case. I'd say this variation is pretty rare, I have ever seen it only twice and one of them was a redial. Below are pictures of the original one: The crosshair makes it look like a sonar, which is pretty cool for a Seamaster. DIAMOND Although more an index variation than a dial variation, I felt it belonged here. The name tells it all: diamonds on the dial (yes, they exist). I might stand corrected but I think this was only available on white and yellow solid gold and only on American references, at least in the early 60s (some of these special dials carried on through the 70s). DON DRAPER The "Don Draper" is the name given to black crosshair dialed Seamaster de Ville watches with a steel case after Don Draper, the main character of Mad Men, wore this watch in season 5 of the series. This combination is so rare that even the watch featured in the show is a redial. Due to the high demand for such an easily restorable dial, sellers tend to buy silver dialed Seamaster de Ville watches and then repaint the dial in black to make profit. These refinished watches are often sold through purposely deceiving adverts mentioning an "original factory dial" that was "immaculately restored", when the restoration is even mentioned. One must be very careful when buying a Don Draper watch due to the overwhelming presence of deceiving redials. A Don Draper watch should never feature white inscriptions on the dial. "AUTOMATIC", "Seamaster" and "SWISS MADE" inscriptions should be gilt, silver colored and reflect light like metal. The backside (or underside) of the dial should always be black, and can be seen around the edges of the movement on movement shots. GOLF BALL There are two versions of the golf ball dial from the sixties that I know of. The first one is sometimes called the "cloudy dial" or "fish scale dial". Here on reference KL 6590, 14kt solid gold American case: And here on a Swiss reference 165.020: The second version of the golf ball dial has a more regular pattern on the center of the dial and a mirror finish on the seconds track, here on reference LL 6590-1 Amercian case: And here on reference 14765: And I couldn't not mention the golf ball dial from the fifties. Ref 2577: LINEN One of the more common variations, available on many references in the Seamaster line. There is also another variation sometimes called "linen dial", with diagonal lines: Here, a linen texture on a later bullseye variation of the Seamaster DeVille from 1972: LOGO AT TWELVE Some dials have the Omega logo at 12 o'clock: MATTRESS This variation is sometimes called "diamond dial", which can create some confusion with the other diamond dial. I have mostly seen this special dial on American Seamaster DeVille references. But it can also be found on at least one Constellation. Ref. 14777 here on a gold cap case: A mattress dial on an old Omega catalog from the early sixties: QUADRANT Another of the most common of uncommon dial variations, although I think it only exists on American references. RADIAL Probably one of the rarest ones as I only ever saw it twice. I know for a fact that there is a "swirl" version but I have never seen it. RIBBON Also known as the curtain dial, tapestry dial or côtes de Genève dial, this is probably the most sought after special dial as it is common enough to be known and desired but uncommon enough to represent a little challenge to find. To me, the ribbon is the king of special dials from that era. This particular variation can be namely found on Seamaster references 14384, 14761, 14762, 14763, 14905, 166.010, 2846-4 and LL 6590-1, as well as at least one Constellation reference (ref. 14777). The examples I found are all from 1961 or 1962, which makes me wonder if this variation was ever produced before or after that. My own 14kt solid gold Seamaster DeVille ref. LL 6590-1 with a ribbon dial: PINSTRIPE / SLIMLINE RIBBON A close variation often called by the same name (although it was originally called a "shadow striped dial) shows shallower vertical stripes with a slightly different effect: Here on a Constellation: ROMAN NUMERALS Like the technical dial, the Roman numerals imprint is more characteristic of the end of the sixties, and somewhat transitional. "Seamaster DeVille" can be read on the dial, although the DeVille line parted from the Seamaster line in 1967. The same oddity appears on later examples from the seventies. Reference KM6292 from 1968: SPARKLE Who doesn't enjoy a little bit of glitter in their life? TECHNICAL Although not exactly a rarity, the technical dial from the end of the 60s adds some singularity to a dial. Note the vertical brush finish on this reference LL 6590 from 1969: TWO TONE This one might be very rare as I had never seen it on a Seamaster DeVille before. Many thanks to @X350 XJR for his contribution. Reference 14735 from 1960: VERTICAL BRUSH This one is a bit more common and can be found on Swiss references. UPSIDE DOWN Here, the model name is on the top of the dial and the Omega logo is on the bottom. Some people have it all. Radial, clamshell, quadrant and ribbon: THE SEVENTIES Omega revisited this concept in the early 70s with some new special dials, with designs more characteristic of that era. In some cases, one can tell them apart from their early 60s counterparts by comparing the date window on date models. Watches from the 70s usually have a simpler date window. Reference KM6339 from 1972: Reference KM6610 from 1971: There are dial variations that I forgot to put on the list, and others which I don't know the name although I know what they look like. I'll try to update the list with new examples and a more exhaustive list of references for each one. And I didn't even get to talk about weird custom stuff like this masonic dial for the American market: So, that's the little journey I went on while chasing my own special dial Seamaster. These watches are a proof of Omega's creative capabilities to reinvent itself in order to reach new territories and new generations. Although the ribbon dial enjoys a new popularity, there are many other special dial variations out there that deserve to be known. The clamshell and the concentric rings are two personal favorites of mine (alongside the ribbon of course). I hope that there is at least one of them that you didn't know, and I hope that we will find out some more in the future. Thanks for reading, and good luck to you if you are chasing one for yourself!