The date was October 26th, 2017. The event was the highly-anticipated ‘Winning Icons’ auction. The place was the Phillips auction house at 57th and Park Avenue in New York City. And the sale that took everyone’s breath away was that of the 1968 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona that once belonged to iconic film star Paul Newman. The price tag was a staggering $17,752,500. It was a new world record for the highest price ever paid for a wristwatch at auction, by far beating the previous record paid for a Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 just a year before.
The watch had been a gift to Newman from his wife, the Oscar-winning actress Joanne Woodward. On the back of the watch was inscribed her three-word message to him: ‘Drive Carefully Me’. It was a sporty-looking chronograph, befitting of an actor who was also an avid sports car racer. Perhaps its most eye-catching feature were the three black miniature dials set against the beige-colored main dial. The ‘panda dial’ watch, so-named due to the mini-dial configuration on the main dial, was highly popular with chronographs back in the 1970s.
The distinctive panda dial is proving more popular than ever, which is the reason for this article. It’s also why we at LIV Watches have designed and made our very own panda dial watches. We will discuss these here, as well as four other panda dial watches we also like. What can we say - we love our pandas!