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Roundup of the 10 Best Panda Dial Watches: Top Picks for 2024

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panda dial watches

Panda dial faces have captivated enthusiasts and collectors alike with their distinctive, high-contrast design that’s as functional as it is stylish. Resembling a panda bear’s face, the best panda dial chronographs typically feature a white main dial with black sub-dials, offering an appealing aesthetic that enhances legibility. 

This classic color scheme gained prominence in the 1960s and has since become a beloved choice among various timepiece aficionados, from casual hobbyists to serious collectors.

Panda dial timepieces come in several options; automatic or mechanical. Additionally, some boast complications such as Rrattrapante and flyback for extra functionality. Their design provides a striking visual against the wrist and carries a legacy of precision and practicality rooted in the golden era of chronographs.

So, which are the best panda dial watches to own in 2024? Let’s find out.

1. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Panda ref. m116500LN-0001

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN-001

About

The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona has been synonymous with professional racecar drivers and high-speed track performance since its debut in 1963. 

Even before its appearance on the scene, however, Rolex made pre-Daytona pieces like the ref. 6234 with a stainless steel case, a Valjoux movement, and a tachometer scale on the outer ring between 1955 and 1961.

The Rolex Daytona Panda ref. m116500LN-0001, with its distinctive aesthetic, combines both sportiness and elegance. It’s a discontinued luxury men’s chronograph watch that was first introduced in Baselworld 2016 and is an improvement of its immediate predecessor- the ref. 116520.

One of its biggest design lifts is its ceramic bezel compared to the ref.116520’s steel bezel.

It’s well-behaved around the wrist thanks to its slim, comfortable matching Oystersteel bracelet. However, smaller wrists might take some time getting used to its manageable bulk.

Features

Some of the main ones include a black ceramic bezel, an Oyster bracelet, a 40mm Oystersteel case, lume-applied hands and hour markers, and a sapphire crystal over the stunning panda dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2016
  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – White lacquered, with subdials with black rings and 18K White Gold hands and hour markers with Chromalight lume
    • Bracelet – Oystersteel, 3-link Oyster, with brushed outer links, polished center links, and a Folding Oysterlock safety clasp with Easylink 5 mm comfort extension link
    • Bezel – Smooth, fixed, black ceramic Cerachrom, with a tachymetric scale
  • Function: Chronograph, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds, Tachymeter
  • Mechanism: Self-winding Caliber 4130, with 44 jewels, a 72-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

The Rolex Daytona appreciates in value over time. For example, according to WatchBase, its price increased from S$16,453 on January 27, 2017, to S$21,550 on January 14, 2023. 

Moreover, its demand often outstrips supply, making it a sought-after piece for collectors.

2. Tudor Black Bay Chrono ref. m79360n-0002

Tudor ref. m79360n-0002

About

Tudor is a sister brand to Rolex, flaunting the same luxury but in a less flashy fashion. It’s better known as the poor man’s Rolex. One of the models in its catalog is the Tudor Black Bay, a dive watch famous for its water resistance and sleek design.

The Tudor Black Bay Chrono is a cross between diving and motorsports racing. Like the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona pieces, it’s available in panda and reverse panda dials options. 

Our pick, the Tudor Black Bay Chrono ref. m79360n-0002, is a luxury men’s sports panda timepiece that pays homage to Tudor’s historical chronographs (with its tapered lugs, strong flanks, and box-style domed crystal) while incorporating modern craftsmanship and style.

It’s chunky for most watch wearers due to its bigger case size. However, it makes up for this (flaw) with its easy charm, slender case, and daily-beater personality.

Features

It comes with a range of features that include a tachymeter scale engraved on its bezel’s black anodized aluminum insert, black subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock, a Snowflake hour hand, a domed sapphire crystal over the dial, and a date window at the 6 o’clock marker.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2021
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – White, with black subdials, luminous hands, and triangular/round applied hour markers
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel, riveted, with folding clasp and safety latch
    • Bezel – Fixed, steel with an engraved tachymetric scale on its black anodized aluminum insert
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: COSC-certified Caliber MT5813 movement with 41 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

As per WatchBase, the Tudor black bay chronograph has been increasing in the past three years. It had a price tag of S$7,164 on April 6, 2021, which rose to S$7,309 on January 6, 2022, and S$7,906 on January 1, 2023.

The cost went higher to S$8,081 on September 1, 2023, and S$8,256 on January 1, 2024.

3. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03

About

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03 is a luxury men’s sports watch. Its creation marks 20 years since AP first appeared in three-register chronograph form in 1997.

Of course, this panda dial watch incorporates some tasteful modern touches while giving a respectful nod to its vintage predecessors with design choices like larger subdials at 6 and 9 o’clock, a slight relocation of the date window closer to 5 o’clock, and wider hour markers with extravagant lume application, in our opinion.

However, its overall design, smooth lines, and super functionality draw attention away from any of its sore-thumb features.

Features

Speaking of features, its main ones are a silvered dial with a ‘‘Grand Tapisserie’’ pattern, an octagonal bezel with eight screws, an integrated steel bracelet with flat contours, a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, and a glare-proofed sapphire crystal over the dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2017
  • Case Size: 41mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silver-toned, with a “Grande Tapisserie” pattern and lume-coated Royal Oak hands and White Gold applied hour markers
    • Bracelet – Integrated, stainless steel, with AP folding clasp
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, stainless steel, octagonal, with eight screws
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: Self-winding manufacture Caliber 2385 movement with 37 jewels, a 40-hour power reserve, and a 21,600vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

WatchBase indicates its value for money as its value rises with time. For instance, it went for S$39,313 on April 21, 2020, and increased to S$40,624 on July 2, 2020, S$43,827 on March 30, 2021, and S$45,429 on October 12, 2021.

4. Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Sport Chronograph ref. pfc931-1020001-400182

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Sport ref. pfc931-1020001-400182

About

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Sport Chronograph ref. pfc931-1020001-400182 is one watch that stands out for its design and innovation. This panda dial chronograph is a luxury men’s sports watch that’s part of the Tonda PF Sport family.

Spearheaded by PF’s CEO Guido Terreni, the new member of Parmigiani Fleurier’s catalog seeks to give PF watch fans a sporty piece with an elegant flair, evident in our pick’s robust steel case and strong strap against the striking dial and stylish bezel.

It combines the Tonda GT chronograph’s sportiness with the Tonda PF’s sophistication for the ultimate luxury weekend watch with a classy vibe.

Features

They include a silvered dial with a hand-guilloché ‘triangular nail’ pattern decoration, a knurled bezel with 160 incisions, a black strap fashioned from Cordura-treated rubber, a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, and a sapphire caseback that offers a generous view of the movement within in action.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2023
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silvered and black, with a hand-guilloché ‘triangular nail’ pattern decoration, skeletonized hands, and applied hour markers coated with black SuperLumiNova
    • Bracelet – Black Cordura-treated rubber strap
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, stainless steel, knurled with 160 incisions (rather than the usual, finer 225) for a stronger look
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic manufacture Caliber PF070 movement with 42 jewels, a 65-hour power reserve, and 36,000vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

The Tonda PF Sport Chronograph might be new in the watch market, but its price has increased by 20 percent since its production. 

Moreover, its blend of exquisite craftsmanship, outstanding performance, and timeless design ensures it retains its value over time.

5. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph ‘Panda’ ref. 5500V/110A-B686

Vacheron Constantin ref. 5500V_110A-B686

About

Want a Haute Horlogerie sports timepiece with a commanding wrist presence? The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph ‘Panda’ ref. 5500V/110A-B686 is the piece for you. 

The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Panda is a luxury men’s sports watch that’s part of VC’s Overseas collection. This catalog included the chronograph complication in 1999, and it’s been a staple ever since.

What makes the ref. 5500V/110A-B686 is particularly special because of the sunburst finish on its dial, in-house developed movement, and versatility- it comes in various bracelet types; stainless steel, black rubber, and black leather.

Features

The best ones are an integrated steel bracelet with a quick-release system, a silvered dial with a sunburst finish, a six-sided Maltese cross-shaped bezel, an openworked caseback, and a 5-minute marker on the dial’s flange.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2023
  • Case Size: 42.5mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silvered and black, with a sunburst finish, and SuperLumiNova-filled White Gold hands and applied hour markers
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel, with a triple-blade folding clasp with push-pieces and comfort-adjustment system; It also comes with a black textured rubber strap and a black calfskin leather strap
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, stainless steel, with a six-sided Maltese cross shape
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic self-winding in-house Caliber 5200 movement with 54 jewels, a 52-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

Its aesthetic, marked by the panda dial, is an enduring design choice that continues to be sought after by most enthusiasts and collectors. 

Additionally, its price has increased by at least 30 percent between 2023 and January 2024, promising more profit in the coming months as its popularity increases.

6. TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th Anniversary Edition ‘Panda’ ref. CBK221H.FC8317

TAG Heuer ref. CBK221H.FC8317

About

The TAG Heuer Carrera 60th Anniversary Edition ref. CBK221H.FC8317 is a limited edition (to 600 pieces) luxury men’s sports watch. As its name suggests, it was created to commemorate the release of the first Tag Heuer Carrera in 1963.

It stays true to the original 1960s aesthetic (specifically the Carrera ref. 2447SN) with its familiar case and dial design. However, it incorporates modern watchmaking technology, leaving most watch enthusiasts weak in their knees.

It has a perforated strap with holes, allowing for breathability and comfort whether you’re on the racing track, the beach, or the office.

Features

It boasts an array of exciting features such as a sapphire caseback, faux-aged lume on the hands and lume plots for a back-in-the-day feel, black and hollow subdials with a circular azure finish, a perforated black calfskin strap, and a raised box-style sapphire crystal above the dial. 

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2023
  • Case Size: 39mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silver and black, with beige SuperLumiNova-filled faceted hour and minute hands and Rhodium-plated faceted index hour markers
    • Bracelet – Perforated black calfskin leather strap with a pin buckle
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, stainless steel
  • Function: Chronograph, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: Automatic in-house Caliber Heuer 02 movement with a vertical clutch and column wheel, 80-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

It’s a limited edition timepiece, a quality that boosts its appeal among watch enthusiasts. Moreover, its rarity ensures it’s sold at a higher price in pre-owned and secondary markets.

7. Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph ref. AB0118221G1P2

Breitling Premier B01​​ ref. AB0118221G1P2

About

The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph ref. AB0118221G1P2 is a luxury men’s sports watch. However, it has a gentleman’s aura thanks to its formal strap, less busy dial, and well-polished case. 

Breitling’s Premier collection is vital to the brand because it marked a major shift in the 1940s from an exclusive utilitarian tool piece to a more sophisticated modern (man’s) companion.

The ref. AB0118221G1P2 maintains this esteemed reputation, marrying elegance with functionality, therefore being a distinguished model in the world of luxury timepieces.

Features

The main ones are a tachymeter scale on the dial’s flange, subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock, a date window at 6 o’clock, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides over the dial, a non-screw-locked crown with two gaskets, and a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2018
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silver and black, with luminescent hour and minute hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet – Black alligator leather strap with white stitches and a steel tang buckle
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, stainless steel
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small seconds
  • Mechanism: Breitling B01 self-winding mechanical movement with 41 jewels, a 70-hour power reserve (approximately), and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

According to WatchCharts, its average market price increased from S$7,397 on July 12, 2023, to S$7,475 on January 4, 2024.

Plus, WatchBase indicates it has increased in value between 2019 and 2021, from S$10,868 on March 6, 2019, to S$11,057 on March 31, 2021.

8. Omega Speedmaster Apollo XI 35th Anniversary ref. SU 145.0227

Omega Speedmaster ref. SU 145.0227

About

The Omega Speedmaster Apollo XI 35th Anniversary ref. SU 145.0227 is a vintage, limited edition luxury men’s watch that pays homage to the historical lunar mission. It was introduced in 2004- 35 years after the moon landing in 1969- in 3500 pieces.

It was among the first watches to try the bold white and black panda dial combo and make it a trend for most other watches. The difference is it didn’t flaunt it too much, thus reserving the combination’s appeal- especially on a vintage Speedy!

Features

Its key features are ‘July 12 1969’ in red under the 12 o’clock position, a caseback with a logo of the Apollo XI mission, a bezel engraved with a tachymeter scale to 500 units on its black insert, luminous baton hour markers, and a Hesalite crystal over its classic panda dial.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2004
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silvery white and black, with luminous steel baton hands and index hour markers
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, stainless steel, with a tachymeter scale to 500 units
  • Function: Chronograph, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds, Tachymeter
  • Mechanism: Caliber 1861 movement with 18 jewels, a 48-hour power reserve, and a 21,600vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

It’s a vintage, limited edition piece that rarely shows up on private and secondary market sales (it’s virtually unavailable on retail). The rare factor has led to a rise in its price over the years.

For example, it sold for at least S$6,658 five years ago. Currently, they go for between S$9,987 and S$13,317 on Chrono24, depending on the seller and its condition.

9. Girard Perregaux Laureato Chronograph ref. 81020-11-131-11A

Girard Perregaux ref. 81020-11-131-11A

About

Girard Perregaux is a respected Swiss watchmaking brand known for creating bold, unique timepieces that test horological boundaries. The Girard Perregaux Laureato Chronograph ref. 81020-11-131-11A is one of these offerings.

It’s a luxury men’s watch with a monochromatic design beautified by a silver dial with black and blue details. It has a steel case and stainless steel bracelet that prove their superiority with their high corrosion resistance and radiance after polishing.

Features

They include a black dial flange with printed minute/seconds track, a silver dial with a Clous de Paris pattern, an octagonal- shaped stainless steel bezel, blued steel hands and hour markers, a steel bracelet with contours, and a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2018
  • Case Size: 42mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – Silver and black, with blued steel hour and minute hands and blued steel applied hour markers with luminous fill
    • Bracelet – Stainless steel, with contours and a steel triple folding buckle
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, polished stainless steel, octagonal
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds
  • Mechanism: In-house automatic Caliber GP03300 movement with 63 jewels, a 46-hour power reserve, and a 28,800vph frequency

Why You Should Invest?

It retains its value well with time and may even increase in worth if sold in mint condition. For example, its price increased by approximately 50 percent between 2019 and 2021.

10. Zenith Chronomaster El Primero A384 Revival ref. 03.A384.400/21.M384

Zenith Chronomaster ref. 03.A384.400_21.M384

About

Like the rest of the chronos on our list, the Zenith Chronomaster El Primero A384 Revival ref. 03.A384.400/21.M384 is a luxury (men’s) sports watch steeped in history. As its name rightly describes, it’s a revival of an earlier automatic Zenith El Primero A384 chronograph launched in 1969.

Its creation also celebrates 50 years since Zenith first used the chronograph complication in January 1969.

Look closer and you’ll note it borrows several design cues from the original 1969 model. Some of them are a 37mm tonneau-shaped case, a domed crystal above the dial (sapphire, though. Not acrylic), and a steel ladder bracelet.

Features

Some of them are a tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, a steel ladder bracelet, a white dial with a tachymeter scale around its periphery, a domed sapphire crystal above the dial, hands and hour markers coated with Super-LumiNova®SLN C3, and a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Specifications

  • Production Year: 2019
  • Case Size: 37mm
  • Materials:
    • Dial – White and black, with steel faceted hours and minutes hands and hour markers with a Rhodium plating and Super-LumiNova®SLN C3 coating
    • Bracelet – Steel ladder
    • Bezel – Fixed, smooth, stainless steel
  • Function: Chronograph, Date, Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Small Seconds, Tachymeter
  • Mechanism: Automatic El Primero Caliber 400, with 31 jewels, a 50-hour power reserve, and a high beat rate of 36,000 vibrations per hour

Why You Should Invest?

It’s an essential piece of Zenith’s storied past and a solid investment for collectors due to its limited production run and the unwavering appeal of the El Primero legacy.

Plus, its price has increased between 2019 and January 2024 by at least 40%. Experts predict a higher figure before December 2024.

Summary

The following table highlights the panda dial chronographs above, plus their key features, retail, private market, and pre-owned prices:

ModelKey FeaturesRetail PricePrivate Market PricePre-Owned Price
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. m116500LN-0001• Black ceramic Cerachrom bezel
• Oyster bracelet
• 40mm Oystersteel case
S$19,709S$37,127S$40,500
Tudor Black Bay Chrono ref. m79360n-0002• Tachymeter scale engraved on its bezel’s black anodized aluminum insert
• Domed sapphire crystal over the dial
• Date window at the 6 o’clock marker
S$7,391S$5,188S$5,900
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak ref. 26331ST.OO.1220ST.03​​• Silvered dial with a ‘‘Grand Tapisserie’’ pattern
• Octagonal bezel with eight screws
• Integrated steel bracelet with flat contours
S$45,543S$57,811S$63,603
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Sport Chronograph​​ ref. pfc931-1020001-400182• Silvered dial with a hand-guilloché ‘triangular nail’ pattern decoration
• Knurled bezel with 160 incisions
• Black strap fashioned from Cordura-treated rubber
S$41,491S$48,990S$54,178
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Panda​​ ref. 5500V/110A-B686• Integrated steel bracelet with a quick-release system
• Six-sided Maltese cross-shaped bezel
• 5-minute marker on the dial’s flange
S$43,146S$38,386S$41,648
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph 60th anniversary Edition Panda ref. CBK221H.FC8317• Faux-aged lume on the hands and lume plots
• Black and hollow subdials with a circular azure finish
• Perforated black calfskin strap
S$9,854S$10,933S$11,346
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph​​ ref. AB0118221G1P2• Tachymeter scale on the dial’s flange
• Scratch resistant sapphire crystal glare-proofed on both sides over the dial
• Non screw-locked crown with 2 gaskets
S$12,508S$7,475S$7,480
Omega Speedmaster Apollo XI 35th Anniversary​​ ref. SU 145.0227• ‘July 12 1969’ in red under the 12 o’clock position
• Caseback with a logo of the Apollo XI mission
• Hesalite crystal over its dial
S$10,950S$11,130
Girard Perregaux Laureato Chronograph ref. 81020-11-131-11A• Black dial flange with printed minute/seconds track
• Silver dial with a Clous de Paris pattern
• Blued steel hands and hour markers
S$21,440S$14,832S$16,413
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero A384 Revival​​ ref. 03.A384.400/21.M384• Tonneau-shaped stainless steel case
• Steel ladder bracelet
• Hands and hour markers coated with Super-LumiNova®SLN C3
S$11,319S$7,191S$7,871

Final Word

Panda dial watches serve as a nod to racing’s golden era—accessories that transcend mere timekeeping to make a stylistic statement. Whether you opt for a luxury piece or a budget-friendly version, the panda dial remains a beloved choice in the watch community.

Key Takeaways

  • A panda dial is characterized by a white or light-colored background with contrasting black sub-dials, commonly at the three, six, and nine o’clock positions. This design is reminiscent of a panda’s face, hence the name.
  • Authentic panda dials from the 1960s or 1970s are particularly rare, making them highly desirable to collectors. Their clean, contrasting look offers both aesthetic appeal and legibility.
  • There’s a wide range of panda dial versions in terms of pricing and luxury, ensuring availability to both budget-friendly enthusiasts and high-end collectors.

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