Actual pandas are a rare and vulnerable species, only recently removed from the endangered list, but so-called “panda dial” watches — loosely described as chronographs with black subdials on a predominantly white main dial — are more ubiquitous than ever, especially in the wake of the record-breaking auction sale of perhaps the world’s most famous panda-dial watch, the “Paul Newman” Rolex Cosmograph Daytona once owned by Newman himself (though that timepiece, of course, had other exotic details beyond its color scheme that made it special). Here we round up 10 currently available panda-dial chronograph watches (and for the sake of simplicity, we’re keeping it to the classic panda rather than the also-popular “reverse panda,” i.e., black main dial and white subdials), plus one honorable mention.
AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK CHRONOGRAPH
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Audemars Piguet marked the 20th anniversary of its Royal Oak Chronograph in 2017 with the launch of several new models, among them the silver-and-black “panda” version above. The dials recall vintage examples of Audemars Piguet chronograph watches from the 1930s to 1960s, with subdial colors that contrast the color of the main dials, along with the hallmark Grand Tapisserie motif on the main dial. The watches all contain Audemars Piguet’s automatic Caliber 2385, with 37 jewels, a 21,600-vph frequency, and a minimum 40-hour power reserve when fully wound. The cases have glareproofed sapphire crystals and screw-locked crowns that help ensure a water-resistance of 50 meters.
BREITLING SUPEROCEAN HERITAGE II CHRONOGRAPH
Breitling Superocean Heritage II B01 Chronograph 44
At Baselworld 2018, Breitling released a host of new Superocean Héritage II models in new 44-mm cases, including three chronograph watches (silver-and-black “panda” version pictured above) with a 3-6-9 tricompax dial layout and powered by an in-house movement, Caliber B01. The movement, which is visible through a sapphire caseback, is a COSC-certified chronometer with a 70-hour power reserve. The dial features a date window at 4:30 and the watch comes on Bretling’s Aero Classic black rubber strap, which echoes the look of a Milanese bracelet.