Panda Dial Watches

The watch industry has always been a prolific ground for innovation and design. Among the many creations that have caught the attention of luxury watch lovers, today we are going to highlight one in particular, the panda dials.

This curious term refers to a white dial accompanied by black subdials, evoking the face of a panda. There are also variants which we will explore in the course of this article.

Panda Dial Watches

What are Panda Spheres?

A panda dial watch is characterised by a light main dial, usually white, contrasted with black subdials. This colour combination makes it easy to read the time and also gives the watch an aesthetic that distinguishes it very well from other designs. The term “Panda” derives precisely from this visual combination, reminiscent of the facial features of a panda.

History of the “Panda” dial

The panda dial design became known in the mid-20th century, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, during the golden age of motorsport. These chronographs became essential tools for racing drivers because of the high contrast between the white dial and the black subdials, which allowed a quick and accurate reading of elapsed time.

The panda dial made its first notable appearance with the Breitling Superocean in 1957, featuring what is now known as the Reverse Panda design, white subdials on a black main dial.

Iconic brands such as Rolex, Heuer (now TAG Heuer) and Omega were pioneers in adopting the panda dial design for their chronograph models. However, it was the Rolex Daytona in 1963 that cemented this design, setting a new standard for aesthetics.

The Daytona’s association with actor and racing enthusiast Paul Newman further elevated its status, making it a model coveted by collectors.

Panda Dial Watches

Design features of the Panda Spheres

Watches with panda dials often have common characteristics that contribute to their universal appeal:

High contrast

The colour combination between the light dial and the dark subdials ensures excellent legibility, adding a very elegant aesthetic to the design of the watch.

Chronograph functionality

Many of these watches incorporate chronograph complications, adding a sporty and practical element to the watch.


In addition to the colour scheme, watches with panda dials often include design details such as elaborate indexes, aligned subdials and special fonts for numerals.

Panda Dial Variations

The design of the panda dial has evolved over time, giving rise to various interpretations:

Classic Panda

It features a white or silver main dial with contrasting black subdials.

Reverse Panda

This style reverses the classic style, with a black main dial and white or silver subdials.


A more subtle variation that combines elements of both classic and inverse design, with contrasting dials and subdials in other colours.

Vertical Panda

A less common design where the contrasting colours are arranged vertically at the 6, 9 and 12 o’clock positions, instead of the typical horizontal design.

Panda Dial watches selection at Ideal Joyeros

The panda dial design is still a fundamental element in modern watchmaking, reinterpreted in different ways by contemporary brands, these are some of the references that you can find in Ideal Joyeros.

Discover many other models at Ideal Joyeros, your authorised distributor of luxury watches.




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