What Is a Panda Dial Watch? (History, Functions, Brands)

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Written By Alan

Would you believe a G-Shock I was gifted in 2014 by my grandpa started my lifelong journey of a watch geek?

🕑  Last Updated: March 28, 2023

Watch dials are probably the most eye-catching parts of a watch, and there are many different designs to choose from. You can have a simple dial with just the time, or go for something more complicated with a lot of different functions.

Apart from the number of different functions you can find on a watch face, there is also a lot of variation in the way they look – especially when it comes to color patterns.

One of the names that constantly keeps being pushed to the forefront when discussing different watch dials is that of a Panda Dial.

So the question that arises is…

What Is a Panda Dial Watch?

A Panda Dial is a type of watch face that has a white background with black sub-dials. This color combination is what gives the Panda Dial its name, as it resembles the markings on a Panda bear’s fur. 

Panda Dials were first introduced in the 1960s by Rolex, and they quickly became popular among watch enthusiasts. The first model that sported this unique design was the Rolex Cosmograph 6239, released in 1963. To this day, it’s considered the original Panda Dial, and the watch is often referred to as Rolex Daytona.

The Panda Dial is seen as a classic design, and it can be found on chronograph watches – since the chronograph sub-dials usually contrast with the main dial color.

However, a similar design called “Reverse Panda” was already making waves in the world of watchmaking a few years prior.

So, What Is a Reverse Panda Watch?

The Reverse Panda dial has a black background with white sub-dials, which – as you might have guessed – is the reverse of the Panda Dial.

The first watch to sport a Reverse Panda dial was the Breitling Superocean Chronograph (an automatic chronograph released in 1957), Breitling Co-Pilot AVI (1962) and Heuer Autavia (1962).

Frequently Asked Questions

Below find some of the popular questions related to the subject of panda dials in watches.

Why is the Rolex Panda watch known as Daytona?

After its release in 1963, the timepiece quickly became popular among watch enthusiasts, and the name Daytona was eventually given to it as a reference to Daytona Beach in Florida – which was a hotspot for racing fans.s s

Why is the Rolex Daytona Panda so expensive?

The Rolex Daytona Panda is a classic design that has been popular among watch enthusiasts for many years. Because of its popularity, the Daytona Panda often fetches a high price on the secondary market.

On top of that, Rolex is one of the most sought-after and pricy watchmakers in the world of luxury watches. So, it’s no surprise that the Daytona Panda is one of the most expensive watches out there.

So, how much is a Rolex Panda worth?

The value of a Rolex Panda can vary greatly depending on the model, year, and condition. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 for a Rolex Panda on the secondary market.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, the Rolex Daytona Panda 16516 (considered one of the rarest Daytonas) sold for $871,500 at an auction in 2020.

Do Panda watches have other colors as well?

Yes, Panda watches come in a variety of colors. While the classic Panda Dial has a white background with black sub-dials, you can also find Panda Dials with blue, grey, or green backgrounds.

One of the most popular alternative looks is a Blue Panda dial watch offered by one of the low-budget-but-highly-rated Chinese watchmakers, SeaGull.

What are the best Panda watches?

There are many different watches with Panda watch face to choose from, but some of the most popular models include the Rolex Daytona, Omega Speedmaster, and Breitling Superocean.

These are all iconic watches that have been around for many years, and their popularity means that they often come with a high price tag. However, there are also more affordable options available from brands like SeaGull and Invicta.

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