On the topic of color dials, or at least the visually exciting ones, this article will focus on the so-called “panda dials”. As the name suggests, the overall visual effect resembles a black and white face of a panda. While it may sound playful, panda dials possess a certain sophistication, owing to the dominant black and white hues and classic chronograph dial design. As far as design variation within the relatively fixed parameters of a “panda dial”, think of black subdials on a fresh white dial, or the reverse, a moody dark dial broken up with bright subdials. In any case, the wearer will enjoy high visual contrast in a dynamic design, ensuring a stunning wrist-statement.
Without further ado, let’s dive in and take a closer look at our carefully curated favorites.
*By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.
Hamilton American Classic INTRA-MATIC
The Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono is a new recreation of a 1968 signature timepiece that delivers a sporty yet timeless design. With its characteristic panda dial and true 1960s charm, the H-31 automatic watch is a surefire eye-catcher. It’s a great watch for classic car enthusiasts as well as the tachymeter on the bezel and long seconds hand make you feel like you’re looking at a dashboard of a racing car, already visualizing the checkered flag.
Seiko Prospex Speedtimer
“SPEEDTIMER” is a new series that embodies the technology and passion for “precise time measurement” that Seiko has cultivated over the last 50 years. The Seiko Speedtimer combines traditional and sporty appearance with a solar chronograph movement “Caliber V192”. A great-looking solar-powered chronograph – do we need to say more?
Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph Silver
The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph model, inspired by Alpina’s legendary 1970 design, has a barrel case design, screw down crown, and automatic chronograph movement – Alpina’s own AL-727 caliber providing 55 hours of power reserve. The tachymeter is not on the bezel, but part of the dial, which gives this already beautiful watch a more elegant look.
The German made Zeppelin watch brand brings vintage-style timepieces at an affordable price to the market. The Zeppelin 8674-3 is an elegant option with a black dial and bone-white subdials and hour markers. The date window is located at 6 o’clock position, further strengthening the symmetrical layout of the design. A perfectly balanced, elegant yet dynamic timepiece.
Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph
Longines watches are always classy looking timepieces with great quality, and the Heritage Classic Chronograph is no exception. The case width is on the smaller side of things with 40 mm, especially if we consider that the tachymeter is not on the bezel, but it’s part of the dial. The white outer rim of the dial gives a great contrast to the inner black dial, which is further broken up into bone-white sub-dials and inner circles. This VERY classy timepiece is then brought together with an elegant blue accent color for the stopwatch hand, the hands in the subdials and the tachymeter markers. One of our favorites!
Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chronograph
The Dan Henry 1962 Racing Chronograph has a 39mm diameter, which is the standard size for vintage racing chronographs. The mechanical-quartz movement combines the performance and sharp feel of a mechanical chronograph with the precision of quartz. The 31st day is highlighted in red on the 1962’s optional date variant, a design choice made by illustrious brands in the past to serve as a reminder to change the date during months with 30 days.
Our favorite part: the revolutionary Maserati Tipo 60 “Birdcage” sports car’s silhouette and your unique serial number from the 1,962 pieces in this edition are etched on the faceted, screw-in case back.
YEMA Rallygraf Meca-Quartz Reverse Panda
The Yema Rallygraf is a beautiful vintage-inspired racing chronograph. The subdials’ rounded corners remind us of the dashboard of race cars from the ‘60/’70s. The case is polished stainless steel, not brushed, an excellent choice to give a bit of a modern sheen to a retro look. The VK64 Seiko Mechanical-quartz movement is a reliable movement. The width of the case is 39 mm, a great size for most wrist sizes.
Tissot Heritage 1973
Tissot honours its historic links to motor racing with a re-issue of a seventies-style chronograph, as innovators by tradition. The Tissot Heritage 1973 is pleased to be a part of Tissot’s illustrious stable. It represents the collaboration between Tissot and the Kessel Classics racing team. This 43 mm wide chronograph, with a white dial and matte black counters, meets modern and classic. The overstitched brown calfskin strap, with its huge perforations, is a replica of the one Tissot designed and patented in the 1960s. Tissot has equipped this racing machine with the Valjoux A05.H31 self-winding movement, which is a durable, powerful, and well-tested engine.
Tudor Black Bay Chrono
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight is a classic dive watch with a 39 mm case diameter. The reason we like this Black Bay is the no-nonsense design. No unnecessary features, straight to the point. The stainless steel bracelet, the uni-directional rotating stainless steel bezel with a blue aluminum ring make it an evergreen classy watch.
Tissot PRX Chronograph
All PRX models have a ’70s vibe, and this chrono with the rose gold hands and index hour markers further adds to that feel. But the classic racing chronograph dial design with the high contrast black subdials counterbalances the “all out ‘70s style” and the result is a beautiful, timeless, vintage-inspired look.
The PRX Chrono comes with the Valjoux A05.H31 caliber, which gives the classic 3, 6, and 9 chronograph dial configuration as well as a 60-hour power reserve.