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What Is a Rolex Panda?

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Panda Daytona Cosmograph Men's Watch
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Daytona Cosmograph Ref: 116500LN aka “Panda”

One thing anyone who gets interested in Rolexes is sure to discover is that there are a great many models of watches that have earned nicknames. The Rolex Panda is one such watch. Just as a Rolex Pepsi or a Rolex Hulk is named because of the appearance of the watch, the Panda is named because it calls to mind a Panda Bear. What is this watch and why is it in such high demand?

The Rolex Panda is an unofficial name for the Cosmograph Daytona with a black and white pattern. The Cosmograph Daytona was designed for professional race drivers but became famous and highly desired by everyone because movie star Paul Newman wore one. The Daytona has been one of Rolex’s most popular models for many decades. Sixty years after its appearance in the world, the Rolex Daytona is still the standard of excellence when it comes to sport watch technology.

The Daytona with black and white dial (and many times a special Cerachrom ceramic bezel) very quickly earned the nickname Rolex Panda. The Panda is a perfect example of something Rolex does very well, creating the perfect combination of fashion sensibility and sensible functionality. Like all sports watches from Rolex, there is a perfect marriage of form and functionality, and in this case, the colors call to mind one of the most beloved animals on Earth.

The world fell in love with Pandas (the animals) from the moment the world learned about their existence. Between 1957 and 1983, the Chinese government gave twenty-four pandas to foreign countries. As people were exposed to them, they fell in love. Why not? They’re beautiful animals and somehow regal as well. Just a people fell in love with Panda bears, watch enthusiasts fell in love with Rolex Pandas.

If you are in the market for a Rolex Panda, you may find it difficult to buy. Waitlists at authorized Rolex dealers can be as long as three years for a Cosmograph Daytona. If you decide to buy on the secondary market, make sure you buy from a trustworthy pre-owned Rolex dealer.


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