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Discussion Starter #1
I love panda chronographs and have been eyeing a bunch of them for a while. I am planning to sell of some of my watches that do not make the rotation to free up funds up until $2000to buy a killer panda chrono. Now i know that pushes the limit of the "affordable" definition, but this is the forum where i mostly hangout and have been in the past...

I am in for both new and used options and am considering both modern and vintage watches.

Must be automatic or handwound. Preferrably 38-42mm (i do consider vintage 36mm but prefer at least 38mm).

Must have that vintage look.

Anything else that i should look at that is not mentioned here yet? What would you buy?

My top 4 so far:

1. New Longines 1973 ~$2000. What can i say. I Like everything except the date window. And it also pushes my upper spending limit.



2. Vintage tradition/zodiac/vantage/hamilton poor mans carrera. 1000$ - 1500$ depending on condition and service history. Love the looks, but 36mm diameter has proven to be the smallest wearable watch for me. Does anyone know if these also come in 38mm?







3. Seiko automatic panda. ~750-1000$. Most affordable of all. Nice size at 40mm. Just dont like the layout vertical as much as the horizontal bicompax.



4. Frederique constant peking to paris. ~1000-1500$. Nice tricompax layout. Even a bit of El Primero looks. Not sure of the 43mm size and 23 lug width.

 

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Oh this is a difficult one! Vintage Movado and Wittnauer pieces look exactely like the watch you're looking for, but recently I've seen prices increase to $3K. A gorgeous Wittnauer panda chronograph can sometimes still be had for around $2K though, depending on your luck and perseverance. Service costs will kill you though.





What about an Alpina Startimer? Inverse-panda.

i_3195_1_850.jpg

Or a Certina DS-2 Limited on leather? It has that Speedmaster vibe, which is kinda vintage right?

CERTINA+DS-2+Chronograph+4.jpg

And then there's always Wakmann/Gigandet, but good luck finding one of those...

b4303db2fcba57741dd37a650c2f6d93.jpg
 

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Hamilton Chronomatic

Omega Speedmaster Reduced Marui 3510.21, probably more than $2k

Nivada Grenchen/Croton Chronomaster Panda, not sure how easy it is to find one.

I've seen the Reissue Siffert Autavia sell for sub $2k as well
 

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I was in a similar spot just a month ago and went with the Tudor Tiger. No regrets so far. 40mm, powered by the 7750. Drilled lugs for easy strap changes. Definitely a poor man's Paul Newman.

They tend to hover in the $2000-2500 range but I've seen them as low as $1700-1800.
 

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My all time favorite panda dialed mechanical chronograph is my Ebel 1911 Discovery. I bought this one one with a black dial for my son during a sale at I believe Ashford for about $1200 each. It really is a lovely watch.

 

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I'd go with the Seiko Panda that you posted at the start.

I got one from the year I was born, its everything You could ask for.

Good hunting!

Enviado desde mi XT1064 mediante Tapatalk
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Some nice additional suggestions guys. Love the Speedy especially but it's a bit above budget for now. And if i were to buy a panda Speedy i even like the Mitosukoshi dial better.



So far i'm leaning mostly towards either saving up the 2-2.5k for the Longines or buying the Seiko on the other end of the financial spectrum. Both have very sharp and original designs!



I found another real interesting option by the way: a Mido Multifort. No idea what they go for

 

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Best <2000$ Mechanical panda chronograph




The date window on the Longines would be a deal breaker for me.

I like the Autavia that Goody posted.

Edit/

Found the other ref that I had meant to post. I first spotted one in the wild. The tritium baton markers and white hands looked fantastic.


 

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Omega Speedmaster Reduced Marui 3510.21, probably more than $2k
The Marui does deserve facetime (I love mine, has perfect dial spacing for that panda-look), but probably best to exclude it from this conversation. It's no longer possible to get a genuine one for less than $2000. In fact, prices have been trending closer to $3000 since last year.
 

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Some nice additional suggestions guys. Love the Speedy especially but it's a bit above budget for now. And if i were to buy a panda Speedy i even like the Mitosukoshi dial better.

While I'm in agreement there, not everyone's a fan of converted watches. It's almost impossible to get a genuine mitsukoshi speedy (only 300 total, and HUGE demand), so the only option if you want one is to have a moonwatch converted... and based on recent selling prices, you'd probably barely get back the money you put into it. If I had to choose between a converted Mitsukoshi speedy and a genuine Apollo XI, I'd pay more for the Apollo panda. As much as I love the look of the Mitsukoshi dial, knowing that I had the wrong dial on the watch would bug me.
 

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Re: Best <2000$ Mechanical panda chronograph

Hamilton Pan Europ Automatic Chrono. Easy to find within your budget.



Alpha Paul Newman mechanical



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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Best <2000$ Mechanical panda chronograph

Not liking the Pan Europa that much. The dial is way too silver for my liking (to be considered a panda) and the case a tad too bulky and chunky compared to the Autavia cases.
Plus i own this Alpina that has a bit of a panda look like that going on. Love this Alpina for different reasons...



I own a Alpha PN and while its a fun watch for the time being it is nowhere near the quality and fit and feel of a watch i am aiming for right now...

 
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