The hype around the Paul Newman Daytona has spawned a lot of interest in panda dial watches over recent years. We have talked about panda dials before, but this post aims to clarify some confusion between panda dials and their opposite: The Reverse Panda Dial.
Even some big time brands seem confused about the terminology. For example, Hamilton officially describes every version of their Intra-Matic chronos as having a “distinctive panda dial” regardless of color or inverted contrast.
So what exactly is a reverse panda dial?
A reverse panda dial is a black or dark colored dial with silver or lighter colored subdials. It’s the exact inverse of what is referred to as a “panda” dial.
Next we have a Breitling SuperOcean chrono with a reverse panda dial powered by an ETA 7750…
Does a reverse panda dial have to be black and white or black and silver?
Not necessarily, but the contrast between the main dial and subdials should be distinct enough to justify being labeled as a reverse panda dial. For example, below is a Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronograph with a dark grey dial and silver subdials. Some would argue that this is not a proper reverse panda because of the bold rings around the subdials, but others would have no qualms with calling this a reverse panda style…
“Reverse panda” is not just a term used to describe watches with three subdial registers like the Paul Newman Daytona. It can apply to watches with any number of subdials, as long as the subdials are white/silver (or significantly lighter) in contrast to the main dial. This position of the subdials also does not matter. The Hamilton BelowZero chrono below is a good example of a two subdial reverse panda.
Are all reverse panda dials chronograph watches?
The most common type of watch that would have a reverse panda dial is a chronograph watch, however, chronographs are not the only watches that can have this style of dial. Just because a watch has subdials doesn’t make it a chronograph. Here is a non-chronograph Ingersoll Bison No. 8 with a triple date calendar using a reverse panda style dial.
Hopefully you learned something from this article. Do you have a reverse panda dial watch in your collection? Do you love them or hate them? Please share your thoughts and watches in the comments below…