Chrono Hunter's Must-Have Panda Dial Chronographs
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Chrono Hunter's Must-Have Panda Dial Chronographs

Chrono Hunter's Must-Have Panda Dial Chronographs



The word ‘Panda’ evokes images of slow moving behemoths of fur, not even the possibility of you buying a watch. The very mention of the word incites a yawn and images of these beasts slowly chewing on bamboo. 

Lucky for us, watch fiends, the panda in our world represents a variety of things such as good looks, effortless chic and timelessness. No truer words spoken to those looking to buy a watch, right? From Rolex to Vacheron Constantin, Girard-Perregaux to Breitling, the concept is clear.

The dial is white, the subdials are black and the markers are white. Like an old Hitchcock film, black and white is the classic colour scheme to win over timekeeping hearts. 

Panda designs were first found in the 1960s by who else but Rolex with their Daytona Cosmograph. The panda design can be changed, reversing the colours and creating new aesthetics such as one of our top picks, The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Reverse Panda.

Without further ado, let's get into what is so special about panda dial watches.


What Is A Panda Dial?


Panda dial watches are of major interest to watch enthusiasts worth their salt.

Audemars Piguet Selfwinding Chronograph - Source - Fratello 

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Based on some of the most iconic chronographs of all time, the design tends to follow a classic black on white dial. First appearing in the 1960s, they brought in increased legibility and attracted buyers from then to nowadays.  

As a quick summary, the panda dial essentially finds a chronograph watch that has three sub dials at 3, 6 and at 9 o'clock. The colour of the dial face must be very light, namely white, cream or silver to properly attain a panda look. 

The name ‘panda’ relates to the black sub dials mimicking the eyes and nose of a panda at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Once that image is ingrained in your mind, it's hard to imagine watches such as the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph being named anything but the ‘Rolex Panda’.


What Is A Reverse Panda Watch?


There are the alternative versions of a panda dial, known as the ‘Reverse Panda’. This is where the dial is black and the sub dials are white, a strong contrast to the white dial face and black sub dials the standard panda dial watches are famed for. Now what do they say about opposites attracting?

For example, how about the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak which clearly shows the 3 white subdials and black dial face. If you are looking to buy a watch with a reverse panda here are our top picks of the best reverse panda dial watches;

Reverse panda dial watches have become just as notarized as your standard panda dial timepiece In fact, it could be argued that due to their rarity, they are more desired than their counterparts.

Who needs yellow gold watches or lab-grown diamonds to get their horological kicks? We’re very much happy with our panda dials, thank you!


Why Are Panda Dials So Popular?


Panda dials are incredibly popular for a number of reasons:

  • Historical Interest - The Panda dial style runs as far back as 1960 when it was first seen on chronographs. Popularised by the Rolex Daytona, the style has become a key part of chronograph timepieces. 
  • Legendary Nickname - The Panda styling, characterised by a white dial and black subdials, closely mirrors an actual “Panda’s” face. Made up of three black subdials, they total 3, 6 and 9 o’clock for the eyes and nose. How can you possibly forget such an aesthetic!
  • Maximum Legibility - The Panda dial style has become an important staple of chronograph watches due to its instantly recognizable design and high level of legibility. This is due to the opposing black subdials on the white face. 

Now, let’s take a little time out to discover some of our best panda dial watches (and reverse panda dials) chronographs.


Rolex Daytona Cosmograph


The panda craze can be traced back to 1963 with the release of the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 6239. 

Created for the racing world, the contrasting dial separated the time telling functions with the time measuring tools.

At first, you could buy a Rolex Daytona for very cheap as it wasnt popular due to it being a manual wind movement in the dawn of an automatic era.


Rolex Daytona Cosmograph - Source - Ablogtowatch

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Once it was updated to house Zenith's El Primero movement, a movement which was revolutionary in the 1960s alongside Paul Newman’s influence.

Paul Newman received the watch as a gift from his wife. 

Considered one of the best panda dials to this very day, it would become a staple of his appearance and would feature in magazines and films. The watch blew up, creating a strong demand of people looking to buy a Rolex like the Daytona.

It must be noted that this was also due to the panda design which was very uncommon in that era. 

It has since evolved to the Panda 116500LN which reduces the black element of the sub dial down to just the periphery, making the colour scheme more seamless with the sub dials now blending together with the white dial. 

The sub-dials are a 30 minute counter on the right dial, a 12 hour counter on the left dial and a small seconds counter at 6 o'clock.

The edges are shaded in black and the white dial face finishes the panda design. Due to the dial being so uncommon, the watches nowadays are highly collectible and demonstrates why Panda dials are so special.

Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona sold for around £14m at auction showing just how popular panda dial Rolex watches are. You can buy a Rolex Daytona Cosmograph for retail at £13,200 as of February 2024.


Girard-Perregaux Laureato 


Girard-Perreagaux’s Laureato looks an awful lot like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak…

Admittedly, Gerald Genta’s handprints are all over this watch. The octagonal bezel surrounds the classic panda dial.

In this case, the dial has a Clous de Paris hobnail pattern motif which creates a beautifully stamped design which is a nice effect for those looking to buy a watch which focuses on design rather than function.

The sub dials are of course black and patterned like a ripple of water emanating from the centre towards the edge. In the same positioning as the Rolex Daytona Cosmograph, there is an added date aperture between 4 and 5 o'clock. 


Girard-Perregaux Laureato - Source - Monochrome

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While this could be construed as making the dial as cluttered as an antiques shop, the background of the date aperture is white, allowing it to blend superbly with the white dial. Similarly, the indices are white with black edging, in keeping with the colour scheme. 

Made from 904L steel and at 42mm in diameter, the watch excels in protecting the GP03300-0137 calibre.

Offering 46 hours of power reserve, this number ticks along nicely at 28,800 Vph. Perfect numbers for powering the chronograph, date and small seconds sub dials. 

You can buy a Girard-Perregaux at retail for £15,800 as of February 2024


Vacheron Constantin Panda Dial Overseas Chronograph 


As a “holy trinity” member along with Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin tends to hit home runs with every release they’ve made.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Panda - Source - Monochrome

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These watches follow on from their predecessors the reverse panda for the Overseas Chronograph that was released in 2018. The case does remain the same however.

Crafted out of satin brushed stainless steel, the bezel is also shaped like a Maltese cross through its six sides, giving a nod to Vacherons Constantins brand logo. 

The dial here is silver toned instead of the usual cream or purely white colour but never mind, we still say this fits panda dial criteria.

As long as the contrast between the dial's face and the subdials are significant and show the ‘eyes’ and ‘nose’ of the panda, there’s no real need to fret if you are looking to buy a Vacheron Constantin with classic panda effects!

Suitable for that black tie affair or dressed down, the panda dials face has a sunburst finish which elicits a fantastic lifting effect, allowing the black flange and subdials to sink in.

Similar to the Laureato from Girard-Perregaux, there’s a date aperture between 4 and 5 o'clock with a white background, blending in with the cream second indices and the white gold hour markers. 

The Calibre 5200 is self winding and beats at a frequency of 28,800 VpH. Certified by the Hallmark of Geneva, the watch is more than capable of running the chronograph, 12-hour counter and 30 minute counter sub dials. Not too shabby.

You can buy a Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph when you request a price as of February 2024.


Breitling Superocean Heritage B01


Although Rolex is said to have won the crown of the first Panda dial released, the Breitling Superocean Chronograph 807 may have pipped them to the post. 


​Breitling Superocean Heritage B01 - Source - Breitling

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Released in 1957, The Superocean Heritage 807 has since been modernised and is powered by the in-house B01 chronograph movement. Locked in a 44mm steel case, the movement allows for a 70-hour power reserve.

If you buy a Breitling Superocean, you know you’ve got a strong swimmer on your side. 

Yes, my friends. This modernised bad boy brings in a silver dial face, black sub dials for the chronograph counters and small-seconds at three, six and nine o'clock. It presents a very clean aesthetic, even more so as the sub dials are slightly sunk in, allowing for the silver dial face to be projected.

The black unidirectional bezel with a ratcheted edge provides a perfect outline for the silver dial. Furthermore, the stainless steel mesh bracelet matches the steel lugs and ratched edge of the bezel, creating epic panda dial watches.

Through a scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass, a date aperture can be found between 4 and 5 o'clock. 

The Breitling Superocean Heritage B01 is ultimately a classic combination of elegance, comfort and durability. It links one of the best panda dials with a watch made for the maritime due to its 200m of water resistance.

Perfect for life at sea!

You can buy a Breitling Superocean Heritage for £6,700 as of February 2024


A.Lange & Söhne Ref. 405.035


Also known as the Datograph up/down, this watch is crafted from 950 platinum, a fantastic material known for its durability and lightness in comparison to competitors like stainless steel. 

The Datograph up/down has a very clear dial layout, pronounced further by the panda dial colour scheme of the black dial face and white sub dials. This edition comes in platinum and features a black dial crafted from solid silver.

Utilising 18k white gold for the main hands and hour markers, the sub dial hands are in blued steel offering a great contrast to the panda dial.


A.Lange & Sohne Datograph - Source - A.Lange & Sohne 

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Secured in a 41mm case, this manual wind movement has a 60 hour power reserve and the complications consist of an outsize date, chronograph and a power-reserve indicator. Specifically, the movements are made from a material named ‘German Silver’. 

The phenomenal sapphire case back offers an exhibition view which gives a direct look into the innards of this impressive panda dial watch. The ‘German Silver’ material has the ability to garner a gold patina after a period of time, giving the watch a lovely aesthetic over time. 

You can buy an A. Lange & Sohne Datograph at retail when you request a price as of February 2024.


Omega Anniversary Series Speedmaster “CK2998” Limited Edition


The original OMEGA CK 2998 was released in 1959 and has since been lauded as one of the most iconic Speedmasters of all time. These watches have since been updated to the Anniversary series we have today. 

At 39.7mm in diameter and crafted out of stainless steel, this panda style dial is sandblasted, resulting in a silvery shade, contrasting perfectly with the black minute track and a red chronograph seconds hand which has been varnished.

The indexes, hour and minute hands are tinted black and are coated in Super-LumiNova. This means that the dial is extremely eligible for those looking to glance a quick look at the time while running to a big business meeting.


Omega Speedmaster CK2998 - Source - Monochrome

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The three black sub dials are black, creating the panda contrast with the silvery dial face. The hands on the sub dials are sandblasted rhodium plated hands, giving a slightly grainy edge to the design. 

The bezel is crafted from the very durable ceramic and it features a white enamel pulsometer scale. The variance of materials in this watch shows the level of craftsmanship and thought that has gone into these watches.

This ingenuity has passed to the leather strap too, as it's black and micro-perforated with a rubber white interior. It perfectly blends in with the panda design!

The calibre Omega 1861 is a very well known manual wind chronograph movement due to it being a descendant of the calibre worn on the moon. As with the sub dials hands, the calibre has a rhodium plate finish, giving a nice shine to the movement.

Unfortunately, the caseback isn't an exhibition, but it does feature a nice Seahorse Medallion as an ode to Omega’s predecessors. 

Limited to just 2,998 watches, this watch is one of the best panda dials for your collection.

However, you can no longer buy an Omega Speedmaster CK2998 at retail at the time of writing, but it sells on the secondary market for upwards of £5,600 as of February 2024.


Tudor Black Bay Chronograph Panda


This model has been related to the early Rolex Daytona. Not a bad comparison to have!

Tudor Black Bay Chronograph - Source - Tudor

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The Tudor Black Bay Chronograph Panda comes in at 41mm in a steel case which has a polished and satin finish. These add a nice allure to the watch, and take it away from just being a standard sports watch, into a more fashionable setting.

The dial is opaline, setting the perfect background for the very prominent black sub dials to protrude through. This is further enhanced through the domed sapphire crystal which allows an unfiltered view into the detail of the dial.

The dial face has a granular texture which capabley holds its matte finish, continuing the theme that this is a solid sports watch which is ready for action. 

The bezel is very sturdy. Crafted out of 316L steel, they go further and add a black anodised aluminium disc with a sporty tachymetric scale along with silver markings. The tachymetre reminds us that this is still a sporty beast and not to be underestimated while racing round the track!

The bracelet is similarly crafted out of 316L steel with a polished and satin finish. Secured in with a folding clasp and a safety catch, the bracelet blends in seamlessly with the case and doesn't make the watch look any less elegant. 

It's nice to see that Tudor are following a retro style with the panda dials but are still maintaining key Tudor talking points such as the old school Tudor fluted pushers and the rose logo Tudor are associated with. 

You can buy a Tudor at retail for £4,790 as of February 2024


TAG Heuer Autavia Chronometer Flyback


Celebrating 60 years of the Autavia collection, TAG Heuer released a beautiful panda dial Autavia Chronometer Flyback for us horophiles to indulge in. The Autavia collection has its predecessors' design codes featuring a very large crown with prominent chronograph pushers. 


Autavia - Source - Cigaraficionado

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At 42mm, the watch is crafted out of stainless steel and features a variety of finishes. Varying from sandblasting to polishing, the watch boasts a mirror finish on the watches edge and a rugged sandblasted aesthetic on the case sides and on the top. 

The bi-directional rotating bezel is crafted from black ceramic. While not as surprising nowadays due to the influx of ceramic into the watch industry, ceramic is immensely valuable due to its anti-scratch properties and capability to offer high levels of visibility. 

The bi-directional rotating bezel is a mainstay of the Autavia collection, especially since it's so robust and suits the up-and-at-em lifestyle it caters to. It more than sets the background for what we feel is one of the best panda dial watches from this brand.

The watch features a classic large crown and chronograph pushers on the right hand side. Inspired by the timeless historic TAG Heuer dashboard timers, you can clearly tell you’re getting a perfect panda dial watch that’s brimming with horological heritage!

The dial follows the all too familiar “Panda dial” structure of black subdials and white dial face. There is a 30-minute chronograph subdial at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour chronograph sub dial at 9 o’clock with a small seconds counter located at 6 o'clock.

The brushed sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock specifically are blacked out, matching the black ceramic bezel. 

The sub-dial based at 6 o’clock is given the same finish which contrasts superbly with the black sub dials, resulting in the panda dial design. The large Arabic numerals are rhodium plated and dosed with Super-Luminova, ensuring visibility in all conditions.

The grey dial face provides the perfect backdrop for that phenomenal panda dial finish.

Given a beautiful black alligator leather strap, the watches are secured with a supple grip. Not bad for a sporty timepiece! The Heuer02 Calibre is COSC certified, ensuring a steady beat of 28,800VpH and a very respectable power reserve of 80 hours.

Enough time for you to jet off to shake hands with the new overseas CEO and fly back.

You can buy a TAG Heuer at retail for £5,900.00 as of February 2024


Zenith Chronomaster Original


This has vintage vibes written all over this particular panda dial chronograph. Zenith created the Chronomaster Original chronograph with the sole intention of appealing to the classic watch horophiles.

By classic, we mean size and vintage style, of course!


Chronomaster - Source - Zenith

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The panda dial styled, Zenith Chronomaster Original follows these exact design codes. Effervescent and packed full of vintage inspiration, it is sized at 38mm.

The watch closely follows the construction of the old school A386 references from the 1970s when John Travolta, The Brady Bunch and Space Hoppers were dominating popular culture. 

Oh no, don’t feel like Zenith are simply rehashing fantastic watches from the past. All we’re saying is wait until you hear about the 1/10th of a second precision!

Zenith make this abundantly clear with their 1/10th and 1/100th of a second scale that edges around the periphery of the dial and the black flange. 

Of course, the panda dial influence comes in the form of three bright white sub dials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock on the watch dial. 

Comprising a 60-minute, 60 second and running seconds scale, the chronograph offers a rare reverse panda dial look due to the dial itself being black and the sub dials white. The hands are rectangular and coated with a healthy dose of lume.

The indices are also painted a similar beige colour, allowing a seamlessness throughout the watches. 

Held together with a hand stitched tan leather strap or stainless steel bracelet, the Zenith Chronomaster Original is capable of being worn for those casual events like heading off on holiday to more formal events with the steel bracelet like that big business meeting or impressing your date.

The El Primero 3600 chronograph movement is the end product of 50 long years of horological mastery. Trust us when we say a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into this specific movement. Running at an exceptionally hardy rate of 5Hz, this panda dial watch is capable of offering a highly accurate 1/10th of a second indication for the chronograph functions. The power reserve can reach up to 60 hours which certainly makes it “weekend-proof.” You can buy a Zenith Chronomaster Original at retail for £8,400 as of February 2024


Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph 


The Breitling Premier represented Willy Breitling’s movement into dress watches. 


Premier B01 Chronograph - Source - Breitling

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The style of the watch has maintained the traditions of the past. From rectangular chronograph pushers into the classic Panda dial allure that’s so adored by enthusiasts, The Premier collection prides itself on an exhibition caseback and subtle curvature in the watches case. 

Now, you may hear stainless steel and be appalled. Pah, what are we thinking bringing this material up. Yet, a dress watch in stainless steel! Not to fear, Timelords. The watches undergo a fantastic level of polishing on the top of the case, bezel and the top of the pushers.

The brushed aesthetic is left to the case sides and the sides of the pushers. This contrast of finish means these watches have various dimensions, pertaining to the luxury feel of this chronograph. 

A close look at the case sides will reveal a layered effect which is akin only to the Premier B01 Chronograph. The dial’s face is a tad unorthodox in the panda dial world.

Breitling here, negates the need for a third sub dial at 6 o’clock, instead opting for a ¼ second and 30 minute sub dials situated at 3 and 9 o’clock. 

The panda dial face is a cream white, allowing the black sunray subdials to very clearly stand out. The hands and indices are silver and given thin streaks down the centre, prioritising luminescence.

A subtle date aperture replaces the date aperture at 6 o’clock, ensuring this panda dial cannot be missed on the wrist or when out and about. 

The TECH-205 calibre runs at a phenomenal 28,800VpH. Offering 70 hours of power reserve, the watch is capable of running at 1/4th of a second which is nothing to be sniffed at.

COSC certified, the movement is more than capable of dealing with your busy lifestyles!

You can buy a Breitling Premier B01 at retail for £6,700 as of February 2024


IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “76th Members Meeting At Goodwood”


We’ve seen a few standard Panda dial watches so far. How about we change the horological track a second and explore a rare panda dial face on a brilliant IWC watch instead?


Ingenieur - Source - IWC

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Released to celebrate the launch of the 76th Goodwood Members meeting in West Sussex, or the start of the automobile racing season for you car fiends, IWC brought in limited edition watches capped at 176 watches for its racing team

At 44mm, these watches are made from titanium. Titanium is famed in the horological world for its stronger properties compared with stainless steel and its lightweight feel. The IWC watch features the classic soft iron cage that Ingenieur has been celebrated for.

Used to combat magnetism like a ninja, the watch intentionally makes the cage visible through the exhibition caseback. 

The dial is given a silver plate in which the three black sub dials reside. Hold on a second? What shape is that? The sub-dials are placed at 12, 6 and 9 o’clock as opposed to the standard design of 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. Not to worry.

If the shape is there and there is a clear contrast between the white and the black, it still accounts for a panda dial!

Featuring a tachymetric scale round the periphery of the dial, the watch makes intentional references to its racing prestige. The dial is not particularly cluttered, given that there is a big date aperture at 3 o’clock.

It goes to show the brilliance of a panda dial for first rate legibility. The hands on the dial are blued while the hand on the 6 o’clock subdial is a lightning bolt as an ode to IWC’s heritage

The calibre 69380 is housed within the watch and is supplied with a column wheel chronograph mechanism. Similarly featuring IWC’s patented pawl system, the movement is swifter and less likely to jam up.

Running at 28,800VpH and with a modest 46 hour power reserve, the watch powers small hacking seconds and classic chronograph functions.

You can no longer buy an IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Sport Edition “76th Members Meeting At Goodwood” at retail due to it being a past edition. 

You can buy it on the secondary market for upwards of  £7,000 as of February 2024


Longines Heritage 1973 Chronograph


Those that know their Longines history may know this watch from somewhere…


Heritage 1973 - Source - Reddit

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Inspired by the highly influential Longines Conquest, the case shape follows a cushion style shape, with the edges circling out and back in. Longines know how to party through their combination of polished and brushed finishes on the case.

Unusually, Longines have opted for these panda dial watches to have polished sides and a brushed top as opposed to leaving the more luxurious polished aesthetic on the top. 

No yellow dials here. Just classic white! This crisp sheen highlights the stunning black chronograph subdials positioned at 3 and 9 o’clock. The sunray aesthetic on the sub dials instantly promotes it above the matte white dial, resulting in a tidy Panda dial aesthetic that many collectors cannot get enough of.

The decision to white out the sub dial at 6 o’clock is to continue the bi-compax, panda dial chronograph allure. However, the watch's indices and hands are individually blackened to ensure that it still can be seen. 

Those eagle eyed watch lovers will notice the date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock in a slightly slanted position to allow a quick glance when it’s on the wrist. The indices are given a small dot of Super-Luminova while the hands have about a quarter covered in Super-Luminova.

The seconds hand is exceptionally prominent which ensures you can efficiently read the time. 

Powered by the Longines L688.2 calibre, these watches are supported by a column wheel and run at an astonishing 28,800VpH.

With a power reserve of 54 hours, the watch is reliable and just about “weekend-proof” compared to our other mouth-watering panda dial choices above.

Complemented with a black alligator strap, the watch prides itself on its refinement, especially since the strap works so well with the panda dial colour scheme.

You can no longer buy a Longines Heritage 1973 Chronograph at retail due to it being discontinued. 

However, you can buy one on the secondary market for around £2,000 as of February 2024


TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox Chronograph 39mm


2023 saw the celebration of 60 years from the Carrera collection. It was an out and out racing chronograph designed for the adrenaline filled corners of the racetrack and the speedy pursuits that took place.

And who wouldn’t want to flex a black and white dial from one of the most legendary timekeeping collections.


Source - TAG Heuer

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Now, the TAG Heuer Carrera has once again been updated with the brilliant Glassbox Chronograph 39mm. This makes it onto our best panda dial watches list due to its slim wrist profile that comes in at 39mm of steel with a height of 13.9mm.

Furthermore, they feature a brushed finish in keeping with the rugged allure of this hot dynamo. 

Hey, Ken. How about you leave your vintage Carrera’s for just a second and get yourself a modernised Carrera Glassbox Chronograph? The lugs are tight, which aligns well with the stripped back design of the piece.

The iconic two pusher design sits on the right hand side, allowing the crown to sit between them. 

So, why Glassbox? This links to the domed and curved sapphire crystal that stretches across the top of the piece, enhancing the visibility of the curved tachymeter flange. And enthusiasts were going potty for the Glassbox effect which touched a horological nerve, perhaps even more than the rising bronze watches trend!

For the dial, the background is black while the sub-dials offer a silver azurage sheen, perfecting the reverse “Panda” styling. The sub dials total 30 minute, 12 hour and running seconds, based at 3, 9 and 6 o’clock. The applied hour markers and silvered hands are daubed with Superluminova in order to enhance legibility. 

Powered by the Calibre TH20-00, these panda dial watches are bolstered by a column wheel and vertical clutch. Throw in 80 hours of power reserve with 28,800VpH and you have a strong chronograph contender that’s a bit of an animal.

No need for a tourbillon when you have such an accurate timepiece. You can buy a TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox Chronograph 39mm at retail for £5,600 as of February 2024. 


Longines Conquest Chronograph L3.835.4.72.6


The Longines Conquest is one of the collection's longest running lines. First released in 1954, this line was superseded by the Flagship collection which initially ran from 1954 to 1959. Fitted with a medallion on the caseback, these luxury sports watches set the precedence for durability and the circular style that has popularised Longines today. 

Source - Longines

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The Longines Conquest Chronograph L3.835.4.72.6 is built into the same circular case. Sporting the same panda dial theme, these watches are made out of steel and fitted with a ceramic bezel, fitted with a tachymetric scale which leans to a racing inspired theme. 

Measuring 42mm x 14.30mm thick they are fitted with a solid screw down caseback. Capable of resisting 100 metres of water resistance, it may not touch the Hydroconquest collection, but that's no matter for these watches. 

Retaining their sporty ability, they have like the Speedmaster taken one giant leap with a very fashionable dial face. The silver matt dial is enhanced with black subdials based at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, pertaining to the perfect panda dial watch aesthetic.

Fitted with silver applied indexes and polished hands, they are all finished with Super-Luminova for maximum legibility.

There are jolts of red throughout the Longines dial making up the hands of the subdials at 9 and 6 o’clock, tip of the second hand and square markers above each hour marker. Pulsating away inside is the L898 calibre, offering 28,800VpH and a 59 hour power reserve.

Meanwhile, the movement powers the chronograph functionality of a 60 seconds hand, 12 hour counter and 30 minute counter. 

Fitted onto a steel bracelet, these perfect panda dial watches are best paired with a black leather jacket or charcoal suit, James Bond style. You can buy a Longines Conquest Chronograph at retail for £3,650 as of February 2024. 


Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384


Watches do not take their cues from the past like the Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384. 


Source - Zenith

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Another best panda dial contender, this watch dates back to the very first steel Zenith timepiece that was the first timepiece to feature the lauded El Primero movement from 1969. Celebrating over half a century of the El Primero’s release, the movement was first put into the steel A384 watch. 

So, Zenith has decided to release a Revival edition of the timepiece as an ode to its extraordinary history. Sized in a classic tonneau case shaped at around 37mm, these watches are very accurate to the original size. 

It similarly happens to be a great size for the modern everyday wearer! Not quite capable of hitting the bottom of the sea due to its 50 metres of water resistance, the dial is given a white lacquered effect which allows the triple black sub dials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock to clearly stand out. 

Given a prominent red second hand, it's the added jolt of colour that livens up this panda dial. Totalling a 12 hour counter at 6 o’clock, 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds at 9 o’clock, there’s a tachymetric scale on the flange as opposed to the bezel.

While you could miss it at a glance, there is also a small date aperture between 4 and 5 o’clock. 

These highly relevant panda dial watches are of course home to the influential El Primero calibre. Made up of 278 components, it skips away merrily at around 36,000VpH and has a 50 hour power reserve.

This revered movement retains its impeccable speed and continues its awe-inspiring legacy…50 years on. Who needs skeleton dials when we already know the legendary El Primero?

Equipped with a steel ladder style bracelet, the watches would look sublime against a black suit on a red carpet bash, especially since its diminutive size means it slips under cuffs easily.

It may not be polished like a pair of brogues or a Defy Extreme Mirror, but it’s got enough charm and vintage appeal to make your wrist pop.

You can buy a Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 at retail for £7,900 as of February 2024. 


Frequently Asked Questions


Who Makes Panda Watches?

Panda dial watches are made by a plethora of watchmakers, including top luxury brands like Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, Longines and TAG Heuer.

Originally designed by Rolex in the 1960s following the release of the Daytona reference 6239 as the first ever outright Panda dial, the Breitling Superocean Chronograph 1957 would have beaten it, but it has a black dial and white subdials. That's a reverse panda!


What Is The Most Expensive Panda Watch?

For the sake of argument, we will include only pure Panda dials. No reverse panda dials here! It could be argued that the most expensive panda dial watch is the Rolex Daytona 6263.

As the first reference to bring a Rolex Daytona into the public eye in the 1970s, the watch is highly desirable for a number of reasons. 

Produced from just 1971 to 1987, the line features all the classic Daytona elements, including screw down pushers, classic 727 calibre and a balkite bezel that boasts a tachymetric scale. Crafted out of steel, the watches boast the iconic panda dial face that’s revered by many collectors and enthusiasts. 

One such model that yields a very high figure at auction is the Rolex Daytona 6263 Green Khanjar. Released around 1972, the dial is silver and features black subdials. As a piece that's part of the Green Khanjar Daytona collection, the watches were originally made for the Sultan of Oman. 

Only around 10 steel models are made in 6263 and 6265 references. This edition is the earliest Green Khanjar known. The green Khanjar symbol is very prominent under 12 o’clock.

Referencing the emblem of the Sultanate of Oman, this watch was given to a pilot of the Sultan who kept it in his possession from 1974 to 2017. 

It eventually sold at a Christie’s auction in 2017 for around £664,700. 


How Much Is A Vacheron Constantin Panda Dial?

A Vacheron Constantin Panda dial can produce a range of figures. For example, if you opt to buy the Overseas Chronograph 5500V/110A/B686, it’s only available when you request a price at retail.

However, if you look at the secondary market, it sells for upwards of £28,000 as of February 2024. 


What Is The Most Expensive Rolex Panda?

Say if we were to say the name Paul Newman… Are you already interested in dropping some cash?

Well, it may be best to keep your wallet in your pocket as Paul Newman's Rolex panda dial Daytona sold for a value that could probably buy all the houses in your neighbourhood at once!

His Daytona reference 6239 features an exotic dial which alters the hour markers to the outer track and features white subdials against a black dial. 

Gifted to him from his wife Joanna Woodward in 1972, this is the first reference to feature “Cosmograph” on the front alongside the classic acrylic bezel with the tachymetric scale. It sold at auction in 2017 for around £15 million. 




Panda dial watches are a massive topic in the watch community and remain one of the biggest watch trends for collectors, horophiles and every enthusiast in between. Adding timekeeping value to any collection, panda dials stem from the 1960s evoking the classic white dial with black subdials.

This is now a timeless staple for any gents wardrobe, emanating quality, first-rate design and optimum readability. 

They present a clean view of not just your wrist but the world itself and can be modified with guilloche patterns as seen with The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak or Girard-Perregaux Laureato hobnail design. 

The iconic panda dial display is still very much the in thing with collectors with no signs of abating. There's an abundance of watches out there that show why panda dial watches are so respected including the bicompax Bremont ALT1-C Classic Chronometer and the historical Longines Heritage 1973. 

Rest assured, if holy trinity members Vacheron Constantin and Audemars Piguet are on board with the idea, then we know panda dials are as on point as ever. Furry they aint, but as loveable as a giant panda they most certainly are. 

After all, not everything has to be so black and white does it?

Feeling the itch for a horological fix? Gnawing at your wrist like a panda on a stick? Whatever the requirement, you can buy a Vacheron Constantin or buy a Rolex at the best possible price with Chrono Hunter

If you want to save money the smart way and want to purchase one of the best panda dial watches around, contact us here or check out our Trustpilot reviews to see why people keep coming back to us time and time again when they buy a watch or sell a watch.


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Further Reading: 

Sell your Rolex - The Ultimate Guide

Matchtime - Audemars Piguet v Breitling - Which Is The Best Watch Brand


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