Sharon MITCHELL 
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Sharon MITCHELL 

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Hello, Newman! 10 Panda-Dial Chronographs That Aren’t the Rolex Paul Newman Daytona

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 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. Click here for more details and more models in the 2017 collection of Royal Oak Chronographs.

BREITLING SUPEROCEAN HERITAGE II CHRONOGRAPH
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. Click here for more details on Breitling’s new Superocean Heritage II collection.

BREMONT ALT1-C CLASSIC CHRONOMETER

While some purists believe that a “true” panda dial requires three subdials, the Bremont ALT1-C Classic Chronometer is one of two bicompax watches that made our list. Introduced at the British brand’s New York Townhouse event along with a host of other novelties, the watch introduces several updated elements from the original ALT1-C, such as applied indices replacing Arabic numerals, Super-LumiNova on the hands, and an enlarged steel “Trip-Tick” case to fully showcase the movement, the COSC-certified chronograph Caliber BE-50AE. Remaining from the earlier versions include the vintage-aviation-style crosshairs motif on the small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock and the 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. Click here for more from Bremont’s 2018 collection.

CITIZEN TSUNO CHRONOGRAPH RACER

Japan’s Citizen commemorates its 100-year anniversary in 2018 with the release of a vintage-look “bullhead” chronograph, the Tsuno Chronograph Racer (Tsuno means “horned” in Japanese), which takes its design cues from models the brand produced in the early 1970s. The watch has a round, 45-mm case in a classical bullhead construction, with a crown and two chronograph  pushers at its top; lugs integrating seamlessly into its bracelet; and a second crown at the 5 o’clock position to adjust the watch’s alarm function. The dial has an inclined tachymetric scale and four black subdials for 1/5th-seconds counter, 12-hour counter, power-reserve indicator, and running seconds indicator, along with a small date window an on/off indicator for the alarm function. These various complications are made possible by a Citizen Eco-Drive movement, which harnesses natural or artificial light energy to power the watch. More detail and versions can be found here.

GIRARD-PERREGAUX LAUREATO CHRONOGRAPH

Girard-Perregaux’s new Laureato Chronograph comes in a variety of materials and sizes, including the panda-dial model pictured here. All the new models are distinctly recognizable as from the Laureato family, with a polished octagonal bezel, Clou de Paris hobnail motif on the dial, and integrated bracelets and straps. They also feature subtle details like octagonal-shaped chronograph pushers shaped like the bezel and snailed finishes on the three subdials, two for the chronograph minutes and hours counters, the third for the small seconds display. The larger model, in the 42-mm case, has its hour markers secured to the minutes circle and a clear sapphire caseback; the smaller, 38-mm versions has separate hour markers and a solid caseback. The movement is the self-winding GP03300-01 caliber, with 63 jewels, a 28,800-vph frequency, and a 46-hour power reserve. To see more versions of the Laureato Chronograph and learn more about Girard-Perregaux’s new timepieces for 2018, click here for our SIHH report on the brand.

IWC INGENIEUR CHRONOGRAPH SPORT EDITION “76TH MEMBERS’ MEETING AT GOODWOOD”