Once upon a time, in a pandemic, way back in August 2021 when I had my first good look at Chinese watches in this cleverly titled post, Chinese watches - I Sugess you pay attention, I pondered a Panda purchase. And a year later, I made that ponderance a reality. I had further pondering to do though as there were a few sub-options to choose from. Did I want the 40mm or the 38mm, did I want the goose-neck panda (picture it) regulator or the swan-neck regulator? For the latter choice, after finding out they are the same thing, I went for the goose-neck. And I was leaning towards the 40mm but I prefer the detail on the 38mm, so I went for the goose-neck..in a 38mm. I got a goose-neck panda, and here it is...
Did I make the right call? I have slight reservations which I will discuss, but I think I did make the right decision. I have a number of chronographs already, but they are larger and more substantial examples, the Raymond Weil Freelancer, Certina DS Podium, and Seiko Flight-timer. It makes sense to have a bigger dial when there is more on it, yea-duh, I hear you say. So, I was thinking that the panda with it's 2 sub-dials would be ok at 38mm with an otherwise uncluttered dial, and it is, while it isn't all ok. Maybe it's just going to take some getting used to. It looks good though, tidy, and tight, with some nice touches that drew me away from the 40mm. The 'Zenith' star on the seconds hand, and on the crown, are winners. Those little details give it a better finish and hence a more considered quality.
First impressions then, are good, it comes in a plastic clip case which is a nice change to a flimsy cardboard box. The watch sits well on a skinny wrist, though sits quite tall. I like the detail and the fit. We do love a manual wind and exhibition caseback. It's keeping time and everything is dialled in except the chronograph reset(lower) pusher, which is a bit squidgy. It's not like I'll be using it everyday (or ever) but it's nice for things to be nice. The strap is a bit lacklustre but we can sort that out. In general, all good for now, more pros than cons.
As I write this I'm wearing one of my faves, the SKX007J1, and feeling a bit anxious as today I bought a watch (+am yet to receive). I probably shouldn't have but, I have been after one for a long time - the wrist sister, SKX009J1. It's a used example but hopefully not abused. I also want a SARB033 to go with my SARB035, I have issues, I know. I should be saving my monies for a grail, I have one in particular in mind, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay 79220R, red bezel, smiley, rose, eta edition, you know the one. But there are others vying for the first pricey purchase in a long while, Speedmaster Racing, Zenith Chronomaster and Breitling Navitimer amongst them. Watch this space for that to never happen, but also for the review of this Sugess Chrono Panda, which will.
This is the fifth post in a row, I'm earning my grail purchase over here. Tell your friends about me...