Rotary is a Swiss watchmaker that’s huge in Britain. Like many Swiss brands, they have quite a history. They’re especially loved for how much detail they pour into devices. In our Rotary watch reviews, we talked about their units, helping you know what you’re getting into. We also took a good look at the company.
The brand is an award-winning name. When it comes to watch collecting, such a thing is preferred. Enthusiasts are all about horology. Rotary is Swiss in origin. They were founded in 1895, in La Chaux de Fonds. They moved their headquarters to the UK, having now been there for decades.
Although more than a century since their founding, they are still family-owned. They were founded by Moise Dreyfuss, and the Dreyfuss Group owns the company.
Being a Swiss manufacturer, it shouldn’t surprise you that their timepieces are exquisite. They look like a million bucks, but they’re affordably priced. What makes people fond of the brand is that they’re very particular about the smallest details. Everything is designed in-house.
By 1925, they grew into the giant we know them as today. You can find their devices all over the world, in 65 countries to be exact. The cherry on top is that there are many collections to buy from.
Before diving into our review, give the following table a read. We summarized some of our most notable entries in it.
The watch is eye-catching, thanks to its dial. It is dark blue with a metallic effect. It sparkles when in the right lighting. The device’s strap will catch your eye as well. Rotary makes use of genuine Italian leather.
Not only is its band soft, but it’s also got embossing on it. This is a trick manufacturers use to make regular leather look like crocodile skin.
Its case is shiny. That’s because it’s made from surgical grade stainless steel. It’ll be hard to scratch. What’s great about surgical grade stainless steel is that it’s super water-proof too.
Speaking of water, what’s the Avenger’s resistance rating like? It is one of Rotary’s Dolphin Standard units. This means that you can shallow dive and swim with it, just don’t scuba dive.
How big is your wrist? Its case is not that big. It only stretches 1.57 inches (40 mm) across. If you have larger hands, you’ll still be able to wear it. But it’d look awkward on you.
You’ll have a hard time denting its display. Sapphire crystal is in-place. If you didn’t know, it’s the toughest glass around.
The Avenger has multiple pushers on its sides. That’s because they work its chronographs. They are the two sub-dials on its face. They read the seconds and minutes passed – you can think of them like stop clocks. Its chronographs are especially useful as you get a tachymeter too. Together, you can tell the speed and distance between points.
There’s a third sub-dial. You might not notice it, since it’s small and at the bottom of the face. It tells you the day of the week.
What about its movement? It hosts a quartz mechanism. Unfortunately, we’re not told its exact name. It’s buttery, though.
What makes it special:
The chronographs and tachymeter it comes with.
The Best Looking
The Mecanique is stunning. We have a weak spot for skeleton pieces. The GS05035/03 is plated all over with gold. Rotary did such a good job with it that it doesn’t look plated. You’ll fool anyone into thinking it was fully made from the metal.
Behind the plating, you’ll find surgical grade stainless steel. As you know, it’s scratch resistant and thoroughly waterproof.
You’ll be peeking at its skeleton cut-out through a mineral crystal window. It’s not as tough as sapphire, so be careful. Although the company doesn’t mention it, we think its window has an anti-reflective layer on.
In terms of its cut out:
It’s gigantic. The GS05 has a myriad of jewel bearings inside it. You can see them in motion thanks to the open display. How many jewels are present? We sadly don’t know. Before you get too excited, they are synthetic. Automatic pieces place them between gears to keep friction at bay.
The automatic movement it hosts is not anything fancy. It’s a Miyota, which means it’s Japanese.
If you flip it over, you’ll realize that its back is also open. You’ll get a better glimpse at its insides at work.
Hopefully, you have small wrists. The unit has a 1.57-inch (40 mm) case. The material on its strap is genuine leather. It feels like a dream.
Is it water-resistant? You can shallow dive and swim with it. It is one of Rotary Watches’ Dolphin Standard products.
What makes it special:
The Skeleton cut-out on its display.
The Best For Swimming
Its full body is made from surgical grade stainless steel. That’s why it’s tough. As its name suggests, it was made for the seas. It comes with 330 feet (100 meters) of water resistance. It’s great for snorkeling and swimming. You can shallow dive with it, just don’t think about scuba diving.
The Rotary AquaSpeed watch comes with a black dial. Not only does it make it look chic, but it lets its orange markers be easy-to-read. When it comes to pieces for underwater use, the watch industry found out that orange displays were the easiest to read when submerged.
The watch comes with lume on its display. It’s Swiss, so it packs a punch. You are getting it on the hands and markers.
If you’re not a fan of telling the time through rhomboid markers, know that Arabic numerals are also in place. But they’re small and located on the edge of its dial. You might have to squint.
Like any good underwater piece, you’re getting a crown protector. It prevents its crown from snagging onto your wet-suit.
The device is not too small. Its case stretches 1.69 inches (43 mm) across. It was made larger for a purpose – you’ll be able to read its face submerged better.
What kind of movement does it have? You’re looking at a Japanese quartz entry. We have no idea what the name of its specific mechanism is. Rotary is not a fan of disclosing this information.
The glass on its window is sapphire. Good luck trying to dent it – it’s the toughest crystal around.
What makes it special:
Its orange watch-face.
The GS024 looks regal. You’re looking at a watch that’s very pocket-watch like. This is mainly due to the Roman numerals on it, and the shape of its case. There isn’t even a seconds’ hand present – you commonly see this in pocket watches.
Although there is no seconds’ hand, you’ll still be able to read the seconds’ passed. The GS024 comes with a sub-dial for this. Is it easy to read? Not if you have poor eyesight. It’s quite small.
The Roman numerals are easy to read, thanks to how dark they are. They contrast against their backdrop well.
Its strap is super black like its markers. It’s one of the first things you’ll notice about the unit.
The Canterbury makes use of a genuine leather strap. Rotary let us know the type of leather present. It is calf-skin. This explains its luxurious feel.
Its face is small. You’re getting a 1.49 inch (38 mm) case. If you have larger wrists, it’ll look awkward on you. You can still wear it, though.
The glass on its window is sapphire. Good luck trying to dent it.
It is not a Dolphin Standard unit. It comes with 165 feet (50 meters) of resistance. You can swim with it.
Like most of our entries, it makes use of a quartz movement. It is not Swiss – we don’t know what its exact mechanism is, either.
What makes it special:
Its pocket-watch like face
Our Premium Pick
No matter their price, rectangular pieces ooze luxury. Rotary has quite a few of them. The GB02651 looks extra rich due to its two-tone. There’s silver and gold plated on. Just like the Mecanique, you won’t be able to tell that the metals were plated. The watch looks like it’s fully made from them.
Its face is small. It stretches 1.10 inches (28 mm) across. Rectangular watches are usually on the smaller side, so this wasn’t a surprise. As its face is so small, make note of how strong your eye-sight is.
The glass on its face is something you’re familiar with – it is the company’s favourite sapphire. We think there’s an anti-reflective layer too, it seems to handle glare well.
Not only is its crystal tough, but so is its case, which is thick. This lets it handle drops and scratches better. The fact that it’s made from surgical grade stainless steel is the icing on the cake.
The unit is water-resistant. However, it’s the least resistant watch on our list. It can only handle 100 feet (30 meters) underwater.
Like the majority of the devices we talked about, it has a quartz movement. Unfortunately, we have no idea what the name of its mechanism is. We do know where it’s from, though. It’s sadly not Swiss or Japanese. You’re getting a Chinese mechanism. Although it is the most expensive watch we reviewed, its aesthetic should’ve made it more expensive. The Chinese mechanism in it has dropped its price quite a bit.
You probably won’t notice it, but there’s a date feature too. It’s really small. Its position doesn’t help it to be readable either – it’s in the 6 o'clock angle.
The GB02651 is a great purchase. We love the way it looks. That being said, the other entries came packed with more features for their price. That’s why we placed it at the bottom of our review.
What makes it special:
It’s a rectangular timepiece.
Now that we ran through some notable pieces, let’s answer some burning questions you may have about the company.
As mentioned, they are now located in the UK. Their watches are all designed at their headquarters in London.
When purchasing from them, you will be covered for a long time – products get lifetimes warranties. You also get two-year guarantees. You can expand them by registering on their site. We think their warranty coverage is extensive.
They’re not pricey, yet they come with quality builds. Their devices are affordable due to the movements they come with. Everything is designed in-house, so a lot of attention is paid to units.
Although we didn’t review any, they offer a luxury collection called Les Originales. The timepieces in it are the epitome of Swiss watchmaking.
Watch enthusiasts are fond of the company due to their attention to detail. They are family-owned, which is a plus. If you want to turn the most heads, you can purchase from their Les Originales line.
What do we think about Rotary watches? We’re fans. They’re affordable yet look like a million bucks. When it comes to watch collecting, working with brands that have history is preferred. Thankfully, Rotary has been around for a while.
Although Swiss, they are associated with British watchmaking. They moved their headquarters there a long time ago.
When it comes to the entries we talked about, it’s clear that the Avenger deserved our number 1 spot. Not only is it super good-looking and chic, but it’s jam-packed with useful features and is affordable.