With the historic sale of Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona, there’s been a renewed interest in panda dial chronographs in the watch community. What is a panda dial, you ask? A chronograph with a light color dial (usually white or silver) with contrasting (usually black) sub-dials is referred to as a panda dial by watch enthusiasts and collectors. This style was ubiquitous in the 1960s and 70s, but over the last six months we’ve seen a clutch of new chronographs that hark back to this classic design.

Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph

This Montblanc chronograph uses an in-house movement

In December, Montblanc unveiled the TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph with a panda dial configuration and manufacture movement. It uses a 43 mm steel case with a fixed ceramic tachymeter scale bezel and semi-skeletonized lugs inspired by the air inlets of a car’s body. The motoring inspiration continues with a black DLC crown knurled like a vintage car radiator cap for better gripping and a caseback fitted with a smoked glass.

Montblanc’s manufacture calibre MB 25.10 has a traditional column wheel and horizontal coupling to control the chronograph functioning. The monobloc rotor, made of black rhodium-plated tungsten, is shaped like a steering wheel. Price: $4,500.

TAG Heuer Autavia Jack Heuer Edition

Jack Heuer had an input in the creation of this watch

To celebrate the 85th birthday of honorary chairman Jack Heuer, the legend behind chronographs like the Carrera and Autavia, TAG Heuer unveiled a limited edition panda dial version of the neo-retro Autavia Caliber Heuer 02 unveiled at Baselworld 2017. The watch uses the same 42 mm stainless steel case as the standard model and is fitted with a polished black aluminum bi-directional bezel with a 12 hour scale.

The brushed silver sunray dial has three black sub-dials for the chronograph indications and the running seconds hand. The watch is powered by the Heuer 02  Caliber equipped with an 80-hour power reserve. The Jack Heuer edition is limited to 1,932 pieces (Jack’s year of birth) and is priced at $6,050.

Breitling Superocean Heritage II Chronograph B01 Chronograph

The Superocean Heritage II Chrono with the silver dial

The Superocean debuted in 1957 and was aimed at military and professional divers. Fifty years later in 2017, Breitling introduced a new Superocean collection headlined by the much-loved Superocean Heritage II diver. This year the brand introduced a new Superocean Heritage II Chronograph powered by the in-house B01 movement.

It uses a 44 mm stainless steel case with a ceramic bezel and is paired with a stainless steel mesh bracelet (or a rubber mesh-like strap) and a silver dial with three black sub-dials. The result of over five years of R&D, the B01 (now referred to as Breitling 01) movement has a column wheel chronograph construction and a power reserve of 70 hours. It is priced at $7,665.

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph

The watch is available in 42 mm or 38 mm case sizes

This year at SIHH 2018, Girard-Perregaux launched a new range of Laureato chronographs clad in steel or pink gold. Available with a 42 or 38 mm case, the watch is paired with either a black leather strap or a steel bracelet with wide satin-brushed H-shaped links. The steel model comes with a silver dial that bears the “Clou de Paris” hobnail motif common to all Laureato models and houses three black sub-dials and a date window at 4.30.

The watch is powered by manufacture Caliber GP03300-0137, a self-winding chronograph with a 46-hour power reserve. While prices for the 38 mm start from $12,500, the 42 mm version begins from $13,600.

Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Limited Edition

This is a limited edition of 2,998 pieces

At Baselworld this year, Omega introduced a new Speedmaster limited edition based on a popular vintage Omega model. The new CK2998 Limited Edition is based on the original model from 1959 and employs the popular panda dial configuration with a pulsometer scale bezel. The 2018 limited edition sports a black and silver color scheme. All three subdials are black, but the big difference is seen on the bezel – the polished ceramic bezel has an enamel pulsometer scale instead of the usual tachymeter marking seen on the 1959 original and the 2016 tribute piece. Powered by the hand-wound Caliber 1861, the watch is priced at $5,850 and is limited to 2,998 pieces.