Top 11 Best Affordable Panda Watches [Chronograph with Panda Dial]

Best Affordable Panda Watches

Top 11 Best Affordable Panda Watches [Chronograph with Panda Dial]

Panda Dial watches are some of the most iconic and recognized watch designs in the world. They stand out from the crowd with their black and white dial configuration and create a classic yet unique appearance which has appeased to watch enthusiasts for many years.

What is a panda watch?

You have probably heard the term ”panda watch” or ”panda dial” when it comes to watches before. This ”nickname” or term can be explained by the dial design of a timepiece. Panda watches are designed to look like the face of a panda, meaning a white face with two eyes and one mouth in black. Because this is the standard layout for chronograph sub-dials on a chronograph watch, panda watches are naturally chronographs.

With that said, a panda watch is a chronograph with a white dial and black sub-dials which gives the watch dial the look of a panda face, thereby its name.

Since watch designs vary, there are different versions of panda watches which perhaps do not fit the bill perfectly but remind of them. One example is white dial chronograph watches but with only two black sub-dials on the dial instead of three.

Another example is the ”reversed panda dial” which means that the zones on the dial are white and the background is black, instead of the opposite.  The history of panda watches goes a long way back and by now, the panda dial has become an iconic and classic design. The panda design was first introduced many decades ago, but perhaps the most well-known and iconic of them all is the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ”Paul Newman”. It also happens that the world’s most expensive timepiece ever sold at an auction is such a timepiece. 

It’s easy to see why panda Chronographs are so popular. First and foremost, the good contrast between the dial and the sub-dials makes it easier to read the dial and improves the legibility. Secondly, it makes for a distinct and unique appearance 

In this article, we will look at both watches with panda dials as well as watches with ”reverse” panda dials.

Best affordable panda watches

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Seiko Panda Chronograph SSC446

First up on this list is the Seiko Chronograph SSC446. This is an affordable chronograph watch powered by a Solar quartz movement with a power reserve of 6 months when fully charged.

The watch has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 43.5mm and yellow gold accents for a more elegant appearance which complements its sporty style very well.

Of course, it has a panda dial white a cream-white background, and three black sub-dials. Furthermore, the dial has applied metal yellow gold hour markers and skeleton yellow gold hands to follow through on the design of gold and steel.  Between 4 and 5 o’clock, it also has a date window discreetly integrated into the dial which can be practical to have for everyday wear. As for the chronograph function, it measures up to 60 minutes in 1/5 second increments with a split time measurement function.

The watch offers a water resistance of 100m/330 feet which is decent for this type of watch.

All in all, this watch has a very interesting combination of sportiness and elegance. It is stylish and elegant, whilst also having sporty design traits that also make it suitable for everyday wear.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 43.5mm
  • Water-resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Movement: Quartz solar
  • Power-reserve: 6 months   

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono H38416711

One of the most popular affordable panda dial watches on the market is this Hamilton watch. Although, since everything is relative, the price may not be seen as affordable for a lot of people, at least not compared to the other panda watches in this article. But if you look at the great build quality, movement, and attention to detail, it still offers exceptional value for money. And this is also why it is so popular.

As its name suggests, it has a very classic and simple case design with a thin polished bezel and mushroom-style chronograph push-buttons. The case has a diameter of 40mm and a thickness of 14.45mm. Overall, the watch is designed to be on the more elegant and dressier side, but unless you’re performing demanding sports activities, the watch should work perfectly for everyday wear and on many different occasions. On top of the case, it uses a sapphire crystal.

The dial is really the highlight of this watch in many ways. First and foremost, it looks visually pleasing and balanced with a nice panda configuration. At the same time, it is naturally vintage-inspired which gives it a classic look that looks truly timeless. Hamilton has done a great job with the execution of this dial by making a matte white color at the center, surrounded by a black outer edge on which the tachymeter scale is printed. Then, in turn, the dial has two black sub-dials which create yet another contrast. Worth noting is that it only has two sub-dials and not three, so technically it is not a complete panda dial, but it still counts.

At 6 o’clock on the dial, there is also a useful date window. Furthermore, the hands are sword-shaped with luminescence applied and the dial has applied metal hour markers for a more premium look.

Specifications

  • Crystal: sapphire
  • Diameter: 40mm
  • Thickness: 14.45mm
  • Water-resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Movement: automatic

Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic Aviator AL-727SS4H6

The Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage AL-727SS4H6 is a retro-inspired chronograph with a design that stands out from the ordinary. The watch has a relatively large and bulky case with a diameter of 42mm and a case shape that is very evidently inspired by vintage and classic watches. Whilst this bulky case shape is quite large, it does have a beautiful finish. Around the case, it has large polished bevels which are contrasted by a sharply brushed upper side.

It has a classic brushed silver dial with a sloped reheat around the dial on which the tachymeter scale is printed. The chronograph has black sub-dials with white sub-dial hands. Whilst it does not have three sub-dials it can still be called a panda watch. The dial is nicely executed with applied polished metal hour markers and sword-shaped hands with applied luminescence.

For a chronograph, the water resistance isn’t terrible at 100m/330 feet whilst it isn’t a watch that you’d go swimming with in the first place. 

The watch is powered by a Swiss La Joux-Perret movement. All in all, this panda chronograph is a great choice for those who are looking for a retro, classic chronograph that has a racing-inspired design.

Specifications

  • Movement: Swiss automatic
  • Water-resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Diameter: 42mm

Zeppelin 8674-3 – Series LZ127 Graf Zeppelin

The Zeppelin 8674-3 – Series LZ127 is a classic chronograph with a reverse panda dial. It features a stainless steel case with a diameter of 42mm but still a slim design with a thin bezel and relatively slim lugs.

The reverse panda Zeppelin chronograph has a black background and white sub-dials. Around the outer edge of the dial, it has a tachymeter scale for measuring the elapsed time. This watch has a German/Bauhaus and military pilot’s style which is great if you like classic and historical watches.

Apart from the panda-style dial, it has large Arabic numerals for good legibility and has large diamond-shaped hands with luminescence applied to them. 

The water resistance is 50m.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Water-resistance: 50mm

Bulova Marine Star 96B255

The Marine Star Collection from Bulova is a collection of marine-inspired timepieces. This particular watch incorporates a chronograph function as well as a dial which is almost a panda dial. Whilst the dial is white and features three sub-dials, they are not black, which gives it that signature panda look. Instead, they are white at the center and have metal frames around them.

First off, the watch has a relatively large stainless steel case with a diameter of 43mm. This isn’t a full-on dive watch, but it is a watch that incorporates a few dive-inspired elements. The watch has a relatively thin bezel but with a teeth edge for a sportier look. The crown is positioned at 3 o’clock and protected by crown guards. On each side of the crown guards sit a chronograph push button, obviously for the chronograph function. To give it a more balanced look, it has a matching extension from the case on the left side which balances out the crown guard on the right side. The chronograph displays time up to 60 Minutes, 60 Seconds and provides timing to 1/20th of a Second. Between 4 and 5 o’clock, you also have a date window.

The watch has a water resistance of 100m/300 feet which is ok for everyday wear, but it is not suitable for diving.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 43mm
  • Water-resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Crystal: flat mineral glass

Invicta Speedway Chronograph 9211

The Invicta Speedway Chronograph is an affordable and stylish sports chronograph with a classic design. In many ways, it reminds of perhaps the most iconic chronograph ever made, the Rolex Daytona.

It has a stainless steel case with a reasonable size of 39.5mm which should fit well on most men’s wrists. The thickness of this watch is 14mm. The crown is protected by crown guards. On each side of the crown guard, it has screw-down chronograph pushers. The case has a fixed polished bezel on which a tachymeter scale is engraved and printed in black. On top sits a mineral crystal.

The watch has a matte white dial with an interesting texture which makes it more interesting. It has applied metal hour markers with luminescence applied to them and slim pencil-style hands with luminescence as well.

The watch has the classic sub-dials positioned at 3, 6, and 12 o’clock and has a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. The sub-dials have a black frame around them which gives the watch an iconic panda look. The chronograph measures 60min, 60sec, 24 hours.

Powering this watch is a Japanese quartz movement, specifically the Japanese caliber VD53B-14 which is made in Japan.

For a sporty and versatile look, it is presented on a stainless steel bracelet with a fold-over safety clasp with removable links.

Despite being a chronograph, it offers a water resistance of 200m/660 feet. This means that you can go swimming and diving with it without any issues, which is practical if you are going to wear it as an everyday watch.

Whilst the watch is not the most qualitative in terms of build quality, it’s important to keep in mind that this watch costs less than 100 USD. And with this in mind, this Invicta really offers exceptional value for money.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 39.5mm
  • Thickness: 14mm
  • Movement: Japanese quartz
  • Crystal: mineral glass, anti-reflective

Fossil Flynn Chronograph BQ1125

The Fossil Flynn Chronograph BQ1125 is a clean, simple, and sleek chronograph with a reverse panda-style dial.

It has a large case with a diameter of 48mm which is on the larger end of watches and requires a larger men’s wrist to pull off. At the same time, it is designed with a clean and elegant design which makes it versatile and suitable for many different occasions assuming you can pull off the size. The case has slim lugs with a thin polished bezel and it is presented on a stainless steel bracelet.

The watch has a black dial with large applied metal hour markers where the 12, 3, 6, and 9 markers are Roman numerals. The sub-dials are positioned towards the center. The hands are broad and have luminescence applied to them. The hands provide excellent contrast against the background and provide great legibility. The water resistance is decent as well at 50m.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 48mm
  • Water-resistance: 50m
  • Movement: quartz

Citizen Eco-Drive Brycen Chronograph BL5400-52A

The Citizen Eco-Drive Brycen Chronograph BL5400-52A is a huge chronograph with a bold and sporty appearance that requires a large wrist to pull off. It has a design that is clearly inspired by the Breitling for Bentley – which is also a watch that is known for being big.

The watch has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 47mm and an interesting bezel design with a knurled finish. On top of the case, it has a mineral crystal.

This watch incorporates Citizen’s Eco-Drive function, which means it is powered by a solar quartz movement that gets its energy from solar and ambient light. The water resistance is 100m/330 feet which is relatively decent.

The first thing that catches your attention is its large and busy dial with a lot of things going on. The dial has a nice silver background with a brushed finish that reflects the light, and of course, three chronograph sub-dials to achieve the panda look. At 4 o’clock, it also has a date window. Around the outer edge of the dial, it has applied hour markers filled with luminescence. The watch is packed with useful functions, including 12- and 24-hour time, dual time, alarm, and a rotating inner dial ring, and a perpetual calendar.

If you’re after an affordable panda chronograph with a large size and plenty of functions, this is a cool and bold timepiece that offers just that.

Specifications

  • Water-resistance: 100m/300 feet
  • Diameter: 47mm
  • Movement: Eco-Drive quartz
  • Crystal: Mineral glass

 


Longines HydroConquest Chronograph L37434566

The Longines HydroConquest Chronograph L37434566 is built on what is Longines perhaps most iconic model, the Hydroconquest. It has a sporty stainless steel case with a diameter of 41mm. Since it is based on the Hydroconquest, it has a design that is inspired by dive watches and the signature large, pointy crown guard. It is equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel with a black aluminum insert.

To go with the sporty theme, it has a stainless steel bracelet with polished middle links and brushed side links. Since this is technically a dive watch, it offers a great water-resistance of 300m/1000 feet, meaning you can go diving and swimming with it without any issues.

The dial is black and has a reverse panda design with white/silver chronograph sub-dials positioned on the dial. At 4 o’clock, a date window is also discreetly tucked in. The hands are also large and broad with luminescence applied to them to ensure great legibility in all environments.

Powering this watch is a Swiss quartz movement that offers great accuracy, durability, and accuracy. Whilst many watch enthusiasts would enjoy a mechanical movement, there are a number of practical benefits of a quartz movement. The chronograph sub-dials display 60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours. 

Whilst this watch is pricier than many of the other panda chronograph watches on this list, the Hydroconquest is greatly appreciated for its quality and for being an affordable watch. This is due to the great quality it has, attention to detail, and qualitative movement it uses. It is also a Swiss-made watch.

Specifications

  • Diameter: 41mm
  • Crystal: scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Water-resistance: 300m/1000 feet
  • Movement: Swiss quartz Longines Calibre L400

Accurist Chronograph Quartz 7216

The Accurist Chronograph is a vintage-inspired chronograph that obviously goes very well together with its panda dial design since this is, after all, a classic design feature. The watch has a stainless steel case with a thin brushed bezel and a satin finish lug design. Around the outer edge of the dial, it has a cream-colored rehaut with a tachymeter scale made in a cream color Which is used together with the chronograph to measure elapsed time. The center of the dial is black and has applied rectangular metal hour markers with a brushed finish for a more rustic and vintage-inspired look. To continue on this theme, the black dial has a slightly matte finish to it. On top of the case sits a mineral crystal.

The dial features three chronograph sub-dials with a cream white color which gives a panda look but also matches the vintage style of this watch perfectly. To add a touch of color, the chronograph seconds hand is color red. And for everyday wear, it is practical to have a date window, which can be found between 4 and 5 o’clock. The chronograph has 1-second chronograph timing up to 1 hour and 24-hour read-out.

For a sporty and versatile look, it is presented on a satin finish stainless steel bracelet with a push-button folding clasp. The water-resistance of 50m is quite decent as well.

Specifications

  • Water-resistance: 50m
  • Crystal: mineral
  • Movement: automatic

 


Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph AT2390-82A

Last but not least of affordable panda chronograph watches, we have what is perhaps our favorite of them all, the Citizen Eco-Drive AT2390-82A.

The watch has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 40mm which is a great size for a versatile watch. The case is also well-thought-out and well-designed with beveled lugs with brushed and polished elements. The bezel is very thin which puts all the focus on the dial. But because the dial has a large sloped rehaut, the dial isn’t perceived as huge which can otherwise be the case. On the large rehaut, or chapter ring, around the dial, we find a tachymeter scale which is used together with the chronograph. The dial is white but has large black chronograph sub-dials which give it a panda look. It has a date window at 4 o’clock and applied metal hour markers on the edge of the dial where it meets the end of the rehaut. The hands have applied luminescence on them as well.

As you can see on the dial, this is an Eco-Drive quartz watch that gets energy from solar and ambient light. This is a very practical and convenient feature that people love about Citizen.

For the crystal, Citizen has opted for mineral glass. And as far as water resistance goes, 100m/3300 feet is ok for this type of watch.

Specifications

  • Water-resistance: 100m/330 feet
  • Crystal: mineral
  • Movement: Eco-Drive quartz
  • Diameter: 40mm

Which is the most popular Panda watch?

A lot of people would argue that, altough “best” can always be debated, the Rolex Daytona is the most iconic Panda dial watch in the world. Of course, most people do not have tens of thousands of dollars to drop on a watch, but it has become what most people think about when they hear “panda dial watch”. We discussed the backstory earlier, but Rolex has used the panda dial design for a long time and very early on. And to then use it in one of the most iconic watch models in the world makes it a true recipe for success. The good news is of course that as you have seen in this list, there are also panda watches at considerably more affordable price tags that offer similar designs and styles as the Rolex Daytona.

What is a reverse panda dial?

A reverse panda dial is exactly what it sounds like. Since the panda’s face (and also watches) is white with black zones, a reverse panda dial is the oppositve – meaning it has a black dial with white zones. The reverse panda dial naturally gives a similar look to the classic panda dial, so if you like that, you should also find the reverse panda layout attractive as well.

Buyer’s guide & tips for buying a panda watch

Really, when buying a panda watch, the same principles apply for when buying any watch. If you are going to buy a panda watch, you of course need to know that all panda watches are chronographs. If you don’t only like the dial layout but also the look and purpose of a chronograph, this is a good choice.

Because everyone have different needs and wants in a watch, the most important factors to consider are:

  • The size – different watches have different sizes. Think about which size suits your wrist the best.
  • The style of the watch – as you have seen above, the style of a panda watch can vary a lot. Think about if you want a sportier watch, a dressier watch, a vintage-inspired watch, and so on.
  • The movement – do you want a mechanical or quartz panda dial watch?
  • Water resistance – the water-resistance isn’t generally the most important factor to consider since they are not built as dive watches, but it can still be nice to have a decent water-resistance if you plan to wear it everyday and go wsimming occasionally.

When can you wear a panda dial chronograph?

One of the reasons why this type of watch is so popular is that they are, in general, very versatile. As you have seen, they vary a lot in design so ultimately, it depends on the exact watch you choose but for the most part, you can wear a panda chronograph as your everyday watch. In general, they have a good balance between sportiness and elegance.

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