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Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I had ambivalent feelings when I first learned about the new Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline limited edition, so I’m happy I have it in for a review to get to know it better. Basically, it’s one of those rare dressy-elegant watches with an outstanding price and design and durable appeal ratio that, for some weird reason, still comes only as a limited edition. Full review and contemplation on limited editions, here we go.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

About Those First Impressions

First, I thought it looked blooming gorgeous, with its — rather more rarely experienced — creative use of color on what is distinctly not a dive or sports watch, but a truly elegant one. Second, I had a positive sticker-shock (yep, that still exists), as this steel-cased watch with a spectacular GO movement retails for just under $10,000. That’s a lot of money, none of us need to be told that, but it’s also a lot of watch for it. Third among initial impressions was the blow that this is a limited edition of just 50 pieces. “Do you want to buy all fifty, or what?” — I can imagine someone out there asking. No, I do not, but I have seen (and have agreed with) the uptick in frustration among fellow watch lovers in our comments section, as well as in the comments on social media, who are disheartened by the engineered scarcity even in those alternative market segments in which they wanted to seek refuge from the steel sports watch price hike bubble. We’ll talk about all that later, but let’s begin the proper review.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

A dial proudly made in-house from start to finish, including the polished and domed moon on the moon phase disc.

Design Of The Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch

The Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar has been a staple of the brand, an important and successful line of watches. Situated within the so-called “Pano” collection, the PanoMaticLunar’s name refers to its Panorama Date, its self-winding movement, and its phase of the moon indication. I marginally prefer the PanoReserve with its sharp-looking power reserve replacing the phase of the moon indication in the front. But that’s just me. That said, watches with moon phase indications are here to stay as they seem to rightfully enjoy widespread success. And the closer you look at the aperture on the PanoMaticLunar, the more you’ll grow to appreciate it, too.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

At 40mm-wide, the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar is sized right in between the (at last passing) large watch trend that would require a diameter of 42mm or larger; and the (rather new-found) traditionalist sentiment that would want something around 38mm. What’s clever here is that although 40mm is a more restrained size, the dial filling it up to the brim adds a more contemporary look to it.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The hands and indices are just as vibrant blue in real life, as they are on this image.

The dial is neatly segmented into a sufficiently large area reserved for the running time’s three hands. These two sub-dials are visually separated from the rest of the dial with their concentric textures, a bit like those on a vinyl record. They are surrounded by a sea of silky smooth and almost eye-wateringly fine surface presented in the very same color: salmon. Glashütte Original calls this a “rose opaline” and I guess they are right with that. But for us watch nerds — even though we will never have the perfect consensus on what is and isn’t a salmon dial — this, upon first sight will, of course, be called exactly that, and not “rose opaline.”

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Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

What really makes this exercise in color swapping stand out from most others is in the fact that legibility has remained bar none excellent. At a time when Rolex still designs a considerable number of almost totally illegible dial-hand combinations, as it sacrifices legibility in favor of fancy-looking colors, I am happy to see Glashütte Original taking the original functionality of a watch dial into consideration. The reflective, really-very-blue hands go against the satin-looking salmon backdrop beautifully, as do the blue, hand-applied indices.

Last, and I know this might sound uncanny, but I’ll say it anyway: there is something about the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline that makes me think of it as a “Dad’s watch.” It’s the grown-up, responsible, thoughtful, non-shouty, yet confident man’s watch. You’ll either get that vibe from it, or you won’t — but it’s one of the best vibes a sensible watch could give, as far as I’m concerned.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Wearability Of The Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch

I’ll begin with the bad. I think Glashütte Original should either do something with the immense stiffness of its straps, or educate its customers on how to treat the strap when they get a new watch. The CITES-certified Louisiana Alligator leather strap is so incredibly stiff, it is literally painful to wear at first. When I asked the brand about this, their response was that it’s like a nice shoe, that needs breaking in.

Finding a way to break them in is exactly what I did, so here’s what I recommend doing for everyone who gets some crazy stiff new leather straps — irrespective of brand. The technique I found is that I undo the deployant clasp and just thread the longer end of the strap through the two loops of the other end, rolling the strap up as tight as it will go, so that it curls up tightly behind the caseback. It will be rolled up to about half the thickness of the skinniest of wrists, and I leave the watch like that for a day or two. On a quality strap, such as the one on the PanoMaticLunar, no part of the leather will break — not the tops, nor the sides or the lining —, but the strap will finally become more compliant in following the shape of the human wrist.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Truly beautifully finished deployant clasp — I wish it was as comfortable, as it is nice to look at.

Once you figure this out and perform this simple task, GO is right, you will end up with a durable, expensive and expensive-looking alligator strap — which is a very nice thing to have on a luxury watch, and yet is far from being the industry standard. If you like a deployant clasp, you can get the Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline on GO’s beautifully finished clasp — or, for $300 less, you can get it on a pin buckle. It’s not the three-hundred bucks difference that matters, but the one in wearability, so I suggest you try both to see which one you like. I personally don’t find Glashütte Original’s elongated folding clasp to be comfortable at all (prone to pinching my skin between its metal end and the inside of the strap) and would definitely go for the pin buckle instead.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Okay, enough about straps already. At 40.00mm-wide and 12.70mm-thick, the PanoMaticLunar is a modern-sized watch that nevertheless looks great with a suit or a jacket on. It won’t proactively crawl under a shirt sleeve, but if you want to be discreet about your watch-wearing (as you probably should be: it’s not 2005 anymore after all), once you tuck it under the sleeve, it will remain there securely and comfortably.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The dial goes from opaque to more saturated hues, depending on the power and color of the light source.

The way its contrasty, perfect legibility blends with what still is an (undeservedly) exotic color combination, the PanoMaticLunar makes a highly positive impression on its wearer, as well as on on-lookers. The moon phase display and the barely visible texts around the periphery of the dial add likable complexity, as does the high-contrast Panorama Date. The long, arching and inwards angled lugs bring masculinity into the picture, as does the multi-tiered, beautifully executed, polished bezel, along with the brushed case band that’s right below it.

No stupid extra pushers — just one flush with the case at 2 o’clock to adjust the phase of the moon — or other nonsense like that; the PanoMatic is small details adding up to a manly, yet refined watch. PC world and equality and me loving to see women wear men’s watches all noted, the PanoMaticLunar remains among those few luxury watches that are distinctly manly watches.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Check out the incredible polishing, or how the lug raises above the lowest tier of the bezel. Beautiful fit and finish throughout.

As far as wearability is concerned, once we skip analyses and scrutiny, the point is how wearing this watch makes you feel: and to that end, this is what I experienced. The PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline lends to, as well as communicates the elegance and confidence of its wearer in a tastefully bespoke way. By not being one of your go-to “smart casual” / dress watches, it makes a more powerful statement than the usual suspects, without sacrificing anything as far as legibility, refinement and other core values are concerned.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The Glashütte Original Movement & Other Watchmaking Eye-Candy

Glashütte Original rightfully prides itself for its Manufactory Calibres — as they like to call them. Designed, machined, decorated, assembled and regulated in-house, these calibers round Glashütte Original’s elegant designs into a complete package. The PanoMaticLunar relies on the Glashütte Original Manufactory Calibre 90-02, a genuinely bespoke movement with:

  • an off-center self-winding rotor with a 21kt oscillation weight over a three-quarter plate,
  • individually heat-blued screws
  • a hand-finished, mirror-polished duplex swan-neck fine adjustment over
  • a fully (and in-house) hand-engraved balance bridge
  • with a balance wheel with additional adjustable inertia screws.

…and all that watchmaking goodness for under $10k.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

The PanoMaticLunar is among those few sub-$10,000 watches that I would genuinely want to be able to wear with the caseback facing up, there is so much horological eye-candy crammed into it. The movement is 32.6mm-wide, so it fills up the 40mm case beautifully. Power reserve is 42 hours, which ideally should be longer so that it would last a full weekend, but I’m not sure how that could be implemented with this movement construction.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Speaking of decoration, although it’s part of the dial, I’ll rank it under the movement this time: the phase of the moon disc is a brilliant piece of watchmaking unto itself. Having seen how these are made in Glashütte Original’s very own dial manufacture in Pforzheim, Germany, the closer you look at the polished and domed (!) moon, the more unbelievable this small piece becomes. In fact, the moon disc is a wheel with teeth around its periphery, with the tiniest stars in gold over a rich blue background. And yes, as you gently move the watch around, the stars reflect and so they appear to be sparkling and glistening. I’ll go out on a limb and say that there are more steps and challenges to making this one component than there are to making an entire Panerai dial.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Closing Rant Over Limited Editions In General

The only strange aspect of the PanoMaticLunar in rose opaline is that it is limited to just 50 pieces. Glashütte Original knows its customer base much better than you or I do, and it surely has extensive data on how they respond to colorful, more experimental designs. But even with that prospect in mind, I believe that 50 is a very strong underestimation of the potential of this reference.

I also truly believe that major brands inside or out of luxury groups should fully and immediately abandon the concept of limited edition watches. Not just Glashütte Original or Omega or the Swatch Group, but all of the LVMH and Richemont brands, and all the rest of them, too.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Not all, just some of the alternatives within the PanoMaticLunar line.

Over my seven or so years in this industry, and close to a decade as a helplessly dedicated watch-lover, I have never ever (as in never once ever) heard anyone boast about, or even just get remotely excited by, having a Limited Edition. In my experience, nobody cares. Literally and absolutely nobody cares, and especially nobody cares to make a purchase decision on this merit anymore. “But it’s for those who want a good investment!” I hear you say. I would have had a bit of leeway to this approach even just a few years ago. But at a time when run-of-the-mill stainless steel Rolex Daytonas — of which there are so many that one could reconstruct the Great Wall of China of them — double in value within 3-5 years, then who needs limited editions anymore? Okay, fine, I’ll say that maybe 1% of limited edition watches in the $8k-$20k segment have their limited edition status make an iota difference in their resale value, and maybe the PanoMaticLunar is one of them… But does that make a positive difference for the manufacturer by translating into distinctly faster/easier sales? I don’t think it does.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

I cannot speak for Glashütte Original on why it decided to make just 50 iterations — from previous industry-wide experiences, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were manufacturing difficulties that keep them from reliably producing more of the dial. What I can say however is that I really do hope Glashütte Original keeps on making impressive watches like this but does so without limiting their availability.

Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline Watch Review Wrist Time Reviews

Conclusion

Once you add the beautiful movement, the stunning dial and the hardly ever matched quality of execution together, and combine all that with a sub-$10,000 price, you see how the PanoMaticLunar easily lands itself among the top offerings of its price segment. And that’s true irrespective the color of the dial.

As such, the salmon rose opaline dial may not be everyone’s cuppa, but for them, there are anthracite gray, blue, and even crisp silver dial options available on the PanoMaticLunar in steel — and there even is a steel bracelet option to boot.

Price for one of the 50 limited edition Glashütte Original PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline watches is $9,600 with a pin buckle, and $9,900 with a deployant clasp, and you can browse the collection on Glashütte Original’s website.

Necessary Data
>Brand: Glashütte Original
>Model: PanoMaticLunar Rose Opaline reference 1-90-02-12-32-30 on deployant clasp
>Price: $9,900 with deployant clasp
>Size: 40mm-wide & 12.70mm-thick
>When reviewer would personally wear it: On a daily basis, outside of sports activities.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: The one with a solid sense for quality, elegance and restrained, but defined style.
>Best characteristic of watch: Amazing movement and superb legibility meet competitive price and rare looks.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Uncomfortable strap and deployant clasp.

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  • Ugo

    i’m not so fond of rose dials, but this is gorgeous.
    also the off center rotor is gorgeous.
    and for the price it’s a bargain, even if i’d prolly stay on the silver or antracite.

    the only thing i can’t stand is the fact that they “explain” me what those things on the dial are: just take away that “moonphase” and “panoramadate” prints already!

  • Mikita

    Salmon SALMON [email protected] dial! Winning combo in the front, ugly Gucci rotor at the back: typical GO.

  • ???

    Nice review, but as a previous owner of the PanoReserve, I want to point out that you can’t see the planetary gears from the movement side of it(I guess you messed up with the Senator Chronometer).

    • David Bredan

      You are absolutely correct, I’ve removed that reference to the planetary gears. I still prefer the PanoReserve ever so slightly though 🙂

  • Carmen Brisante

    I love the combination of rose and blue. But I was convinced I loved PanoMaticLunars until I actually saw them in person. So overall, not sure. Beautiful finishing, though.

  • The stiffness grade of the Alligator leather strap depends on the tanning process specs but it also tells me that the GO leather strap David reviewed here was made from the hornback cut of an adult Louisiana ‘Gator likely caught in its wild natural habitat.

    To put it another way, that strap did not originate from the underbelly cut of a young farm raised ‘Gator which has a more softer and more malleable consistency https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/343e547fca241effd3ce1d82c4aa7f2f9355ba3e1e8db36d480dfd0b9fdb3627.gif I follow the episodes of the TV series Swamp People on History Channel https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6ab6c032b1e94d5176fc9afad27a42044af05c04a41a45f8e001d812bbc6674c.gif

    • SuperStrapper

      Gator backs can be every bit as supple as the bellies, it depends on the quality of the hide and the tanning process. Gator hides also carry a great variety of hide weight, and I use a few suppliers that thin the hides down to normalise the weight across the entire hide, and it also helps in making more of the hide worthy of watch straps. Cayman are often used and described as gators, the hides aren’t as good quality and they are almost never tanned in a way as careful as you’d see in good gator hides, and they certainly cause confusion.
      I use very small amounts at a time obviously, but i have bought several full gator hides because of the economics involved. Because it is such a big quantity and I only buy top shelf materials, I’ve only ever bought black and brown full hides as they are the most popular. I think gator works best in bold colours so finding good pieces in blue or green, etc, can be difficult.
      These are all LA gator, different areas of the hides but all of them are lovely and supple straps.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ffc4a854febc67ad4d53e3a61d66967d0267554d6504abed44138bc971d41fa4.jpg

      This one I made the one in front, to replace the deteriorated original seen in the back. He very specifically asked if he could change from the square scale to the rounder ones you’ll find on the sides and belly.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8f3d3514b96695e32a6d74e401205c7408f6179b838e40c5150ab65aa69bb2a1.jpg

      • spice

        For stiff leather (straps) why not saddle soap, mink oil or dubbin to both soften and protect?

        • SuperStrapper

          I wouldn’t really recommend any of those for watch straps. Mink oil most certainly because it will naturally break down any stitching it comes in contact with and most glues as well: that is a product for much more hard use leather goods.
          Good leather would be conditioned best with a more purpose made oil, my preference is leatherique but there are many nice products.

          • Spangles

            Oh god, I should have asked you about this forever ago. So, to clean and protect my leather watch straps from sweat and moisture, should I use the leatherique pristine clean or something else?
            Also, my saddleback backpack, use the same stuff once a year or something else?
            Much appreciated!

  • Luciano

    I like the PanoMaticLunar a lot, but the “rose opaline” would by my 3rd option in terms of color.

  • cluedog12

    Limited editions mania has been ridiculous for about ten years, but if it works what can we say?

    Scarcity determines resale pricing, not the size of the edition.

    The old steel Panograph came in an anthracite dial for about one year. It was never a limited edition, but resale value of this watch is a bit higher than the silver dial Panograph.

  • SuperStrapper

    Why is the comment I made an hour ago posted but not the one from 4 hours ago.

    • David Bredan

      Sometimes what happens is that a tsunami if giveaway and other comments come in and they push earlier comments yet further back

      • Berndt Norten

        I tried to help with that a couple years ago…?

      • Gokart Mozart

        Speaking of giveaways and posting comments, now is an opportune time to say I was the first comment or on last months giveaway……?

        Completely agree with you most limited editions once in a while there some genuine reasons, but most of them are for no valid reason.

  • Independent_George

    Like everything about this watch. Strap won’t be an issue since, starting Jan. 1, it will be illegal to sell in California croc and gator straps.

  • drThrillman

    Blue dial version is my favorite of the bunch. Just don’t like how bright the moonphase is on it – automatically pulls my eye to it and not in a good way

  • Mikita

    I jump from a plane with a parachute
    Scuba to the ocean floor
    Driven super fast in a racing car
    I’ve bungee jump and zip-lined, I’ve crossed roped bridges over raging rivers
    But I don’t like those SALMON DIALs!

  • Richard Baptist

    I love this model anyway but this is my favorite version and then to find out it’s limited to 50! Be like Omega and have a limited edition of 2500. These will disappear and second hand prices will skyrocket. A shame, this watch deserves to be in more hands.

  • Playboy Johnny – Team Mariu$

    The Rose Opaline (salmon) is just beautiful. Visually striking.

  • Dakota Dennison

    What are the odds that they decide to give this a regular run ? This is by far the best looking of them all, and I think it would sell very well.

  • Spangles

    Thanks, I’ll try the silicone! My watches are mostly Breguets, maybe I should try the oil on them?

    • SuperStrapper

      I don’t know that breguet has ever released a watch on a tanned leather strap. Finished exotics, etc, aren’t applicable to regular leather conditioning.

      • Spangles

        So, an alligator strap is a no-go for the leatherique oil? The FPJ straps are just alligator, the Breguet may have a calf underliner as it’s more puffy on the inside. Would something bad happen if I tried it? I’ve been putting some “natural” leather protectant/cleaner/??? on them and it seems to be good.
        Thanks again for discussing this with me.

        • SuperStrapper

          I can’t imagine that the outside of those straps need any conditioning. If you are having issues with the liners, i would suggest letting them completely dry (don’t wear them for a week+) and then doing the silicone spray and go from there. You can add leather treatment to gator but for the most part you’re really just polishing it. Just don’t overdo it.

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