Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the new Chestor Panda from Dutch watch microbrand, Vescari.

After the success of its Chestor collection – which I reviewed here – Vescari decided to release a pair of limited editions in Panda and Reverse Panda livery and kindly sent the former over for me to review. Let’s see if it’s any good.

Vescari Chestor Panda – Video Review

For those interested in seeing hands-on footage of the Chestor Panda, do check out the Youtube review below:

Vescari Chestor Panda – Build Quality

With the new Chestor Panda, Vescari has actually changed its manufacturer to “guarantee the quality we stand for”. As a result, the Chestor Panda comes with a few upgrades.

Firstly, the Chestor Panda features a sapphire-coated domed K1 glass. While not as durable as sapphire crystal, domed K1 glass (especially with the sapphire coating) is still substantially more scratch-resistant than the domed mineral glass of the original Chestor. In fact, I specifically wrote in my previous review that I would have liked to have seen at least a K1 crystal – good to see that the brand takes and adapts feedback well. The Chestor Panda also has an AR coating applied, which helps keep away nasty reflections.

The water-resistance rating has been bumped up too, from 50m to 100m. This makes the new Chestor Panda a bona fide everyday watch.

However, the most significant upgrade is undoubtedly the movement. While the original Chestor was powered by the full quartz Miyota 6S21 movement, the Chestor Panda utilises the mecha-quartz Seiko VK63 movement. With a mecha-quartz movement, one gets the best of both worlds – the accuracy of a quartz movement (which also negates the need to wind the watch), and the sweeping second hand that’s characteristic of a mechanical chronograph. The second hand can also be instantly reset by pushing the bottom pusher.

The Chestor Panda also comes default on a bracelet. The bracelet features a simple three-link design, with the centre link being polished. The clasp is a hidden butterfly clasp, which gives the bracelet a clean look. I quite like the bracelet – it feels sturdy, and lacks the rattiness that often plagues bracelets of this price point. And if you don’t like bracelets, the Chestor Panda comes with two additional suede straps.

As the icing on the cake, Vescari has also updated the Chestor Panda with lume – two types of lume, in fact. The markers feature ice blue BGW9 Swiss Superluminova, while the hands are coated with green C3 Superluminova. It’s not the brightest, but it’s still nice to have.

All in all, the Vescari Chestor Panda is a significant upgrade over its predecessor in almost every aspect. It has a more durable crystal, arguably better movement, higher water resistance, a good bracelet, and even lume – all while costing less than S$200. What’s not to like?

Vescari Chestor Panda – Design

As great as the specifications bumps are, what really captivated me about the Chestor Panda was its vintage design.

For one, the Chestor Panda now features a tri-compax design, as opposed to the bicompax layout of the original Chestor. With its Panda colourway (black sub-dials against a white/silver dial), the Chestor Panda is strikingly reminiscent of the iconic Paul Newman Daytona, yet without looking like a mere homage (unlike the Alpha Daytona). I also love how the dial is symmetrical, giving the watch a clean look.

Yet, there’s thoughtful detail in the dial as well. For one, the silver dial has a striking sunburst texture that interacts beautifully with the light. In addition, the sub-dials possess azzurage, a form of concentric guilloche that elevates the look of the watch. I also appreciate the applied indices – faceted for greater detail – which give the dial depth. It’s a high-quality dial that belies the price point.

This level of detail extends to the case of the Chestor Panda, which features a brushed finish with polished bevelling. It’s a nice detail that reflects the finishing of the bracelet. Additionally, the domed crystal gives the Chestor Panda a nice vintage vibe, and increases the perception of depth that the watch possesses.

Furthermore, the chronograph pushers of the Chestor Panda feel sturdy to operate, and possesses a nice feedback that’s akin to that of mechanical chronographs. I’ll say this – the Vescari Chestor Panda has the best feedback of any mecha-quartz chronographs I’ve reviewed to date.

Perhaps the only area that reflected the Chestor Panda’s low price point is its caseback, which simply comprises the brand logo and the serial number (the Panda series are limited editions of 250). I would have liked to see some sort of artwork or motif on the caseback – anything would have been more interesting than simply slapping on the brand name.

The Chestor Panda’s 40mm case wears well on my 7-inch wrist, and fits right in my personal sweet spot of 39-40mm. It’s big enough to be an everyday watch, yet svelte enough to be a dress watch when the occasion arises. Due to the mecha-quartz movement within, the Chestor Panda is also relatively slim and slides under a dress cuff easily.

All in all, I’m a big fan of the Chestor Panda’s aesthetics. It has a lovely neo-vintage design, with a dial that possesses texture and depth in spades.

Shootout: Vescari Chestor Panda vs Dan Henry 1964 Grand Turismo

If you’re looking for an affordable mecha-quartz chronograph with a Panda dial, then your main alternative would be the Dan Henry 1964 Grand Turismo.

In terms of specifications, both watches are near identical. Both the Vescari Chestor Panda and the Dan Henry 1964 Grand Turismo use a sapphire-coated crystal, the Seiko VK63 mecha-quartz movement, and Swiss Superluminova. However, the Chestor Panda does edge out the 1964 Grand Turismo with twice its water-resistance rating (100m).

From an aesthetic standpoint, both watches are near-identical with their Panda design. In fact, both watches could be confused with one another at a glance. The main difference between the two is that the Dan Henry 1964 is slightly smaller at 38mm – thus retaining a more vintage size – whereas the Vescari Chestor Panda has a more modern 40mm case diameter.

However, where the Vescari Chestor Panda has a clear upper hand is in its value. Despite having near-identical specifications and looks, the Chestor Panda costs less than half of its Dan Henry counterpart, making it the obvious value proposition between the two.

Conclusion – so the Vescari Chestor Panda “shiok” or not?

When I first reviewed the original Vescari Chestor in 2020, I wasn’t that impressed – I viewed it mainly as a slightly better alternative to mainstream fashion watches. In fact, I wrote: “If you’re a watch enthusiast with several mechanical pieces (especially if you already own a mechanical chronograph), I don’t think the Vescari Chestor is for you.” That changes with the Chestor Panda. Not only does it have bolstered specifications, but it also has a neo-vintage Panda design that appeals to my enthusiast heart. The look is clean yet detailed, thoughtful yet respectful. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but at this price point, it doesn’t have to. For less than S$200, it’s even cheaper than the MSRP of a Daniel Wellington, yet delivers so much more. If you’re a budding watch enthusiast, the Vescari Chestor Panda is an easy recommendation.

An up-and-coming microbrand.

Those interested in any of Vescari watches can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 20% off, as well as an additional suede strap. That means that the Vescari Chestor Panda would cost just 119 Euros/~S$170, with not one but two additional suede straps thrown in as the cherry on top. That makes the Chestor Panda an outstanding value.

View the Vescari Chestor Panda here.
View Vescari’s full range of watches here.


Case size: 40mm
Case Material: 316L stainless steel 
Dial: Silver sunburst and black subdials with hand-applied polished markers and Swiss BGW9 Lume 
Glass: Sapphire-coated domed K1 glass with anti-reflective coating
Strap: Stainless steel with butterfly clasp
Lug Width: 20 mm
Movement: Seiko VK63 Meca-Quartz
Water resistant: Up to 100 Meters

P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.

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P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.