Little is said about Rotary watches, a Swiss watchmaker that has become the official supplier of the British Army and is still highly appreciated in the United Kingdom, where it is headquartered.
The brand mainly manufactures dress watches with quartz and skeletonized mechanical movements, many of which meet the Dolphin standard and feature sapphire crystal.
Rotary offers both watches manufactured in Switzerland and less expensive pieces made in China with Chinese and Japanese movements.
Therefore, you can find Rotary watches at very affordable prices and others much more expensive depending on the movement they integrate and where they are manufactured.
In any case, the brand usually provides additional warranty in most of its designs and enjoys a good reputation internationally.
With this entry, we will delve deeper into the history of the brand and discover some of the best Rotary watches and the features that have made them so popular.
|Case Diameter||42 mm|
|Case Thickness||14 mm|
|Water Resistance||30 ATM (300 meters)|
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✚ Rotary watches and their history
The history of Rotary watches dates back to 1895 when Moise Dreyfuss founded the brand in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, a city known for its extensive watchmaking tradition.
In 1920, his relatives Georges and Sylvain Dreyfuss opened a new branch in Great Britain and started exporting the family’s watches to the United Kingdom. Shortly after, in 1925, the famous winged wheel logo of the brand appeared.
However, it was not until 1940, during the Second World War, that Rotary watches experienced real expansion, thanks to its appointment as the official supplier to the British Army.
After the war, Rotary continued to develop, and under the leadership of Teddy Dreyfuss, it became one of the most important watchmakers in England, leaving a legacy that still endures today. In fact, in 2006, it was selected as one of the Superbrands of the United Kingdom.
Since 2014, the brand has been owned by Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited, an investment company based in Hong Kong that specializes in luxury brands (such as Eterna), although its headquarters are still in London.
✚ Are Rotary watches good?
Even though it is no longer owned by the Dreyfuss family, Rotary is still a recognized member of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (FH), and its watches generally offer a good value for money.
It is essential to note that the brand offers both high-end watches manufactured in Switzerland and more affordable watches made in oriental countries, which usually feature lower-cost Chinese or Japanese movements.
They also have a second brand with which they sign their most exclusive designs known as Dreyfuss & Co.
Regardless of their origin, Rotary watches usually meet the Dolphin resistance standard, comparable to an ISO 2281 certificate, enabling them to be used for swimming or even diving.
Their designs also frequently use sapphire crystal, a material practically impossible to scratch, surpassed only in hardness by diamond.
The most commonly used movements in Rotary’s automatic watches are Seagull and Miyota, one Chinese and the other Japanese, both with a good reputation in the watch community.
In Swiss-made models, it is also possible to find Sellita movements, a Swiss caliber similar to the famous ETA 2824.
It is undeniable that Rotary offers a wide variety of designs and qualities, making it easy to find a watch from this brand that fits anyone’s tastes and budget.
✚ The best Rotary watches of 2023
Regardless of their price, the best Rotary watches usually feature sapphire crystal and are water-resistant, with many of them meeting the English Dolphin standard, allowing them to be used for swimming or even diving.
Some of the best models belong to the Windsor, Legacy, Les Originales, and Tradition series, where you can find Swiss-made watches with Swiss movements at highly competitive prices.
Here are some examples:
➤ Rotary Windsor Gents
In the more affordable range of the brand, but still maintaining quality with a reliable Japanese movement and sapphire crystal, we have the Windsor Gents, a sturdy quartz watch with a moon phase feature.
With its 40 mm diameter, it is a medium-sized and very slim watch (only 8.5 mm thick) with multiple sub-dials to display the complete date (day of the week, day of the month, and month of the year).
It features a classic design with Roman numerals, and its blue hands contrast perfectly against the white background.
Internally, it is equipped with a Japanese quartz movement signed by Miyota, well-known for its reliability. The best part is that it can be obtained at a reasonably affordable price.
➤ Greenwich Skeleton
|Case Diameter||42 mm|
|Case Thickness||11 mm|
|Materials||Stainless Steel and Leather|
|Water Resistance||5 ATM (50 meters)|
One of Rotary’s classics is skeletonized watches, such as the Skeleton model from the “Greenwich” collection, a watch that offers excellent value for money.
For a much lower price than other Swiss-made watches, you can get this skeletonized watch with sapphire crystal and a transparent case back to see every detail of its components.
It also offers a higher water resistance than what these types of watches usually offer. Few Swiss watches, if any, offer so much for so little.
➤ Rotary Legacy Ocean
The Legacy collection from Rotary also hides some Swiss-made gems, such as the Ocean model, a 36 mm diameter watch targeted towards the female market.
It features a stainless steel design with sapphire crystal and a transparent case back. It also meets the Dolphin resistance standard, making it water-resistant to a significant depth without any issues.
Furthermore, it houses an automatic Sellita SW200 movement, which, as mentioned before, is a Swiss caliber with 26 jewels and 28,800 bph, offering a power reserve of around 38 hours.
Considering it is a Swiss watch, its price is quite reasonable, especially if you find a good deal.
➤ Rotary Regent Chronograph
|Case Diameter||41 mm|
|Case Thickness||11 mm|
|Water Resistance||100 meters|
The brand also manufactures Swiss quartz watches, such as this chronograph from the “Regent” collection. It is a stainless steel watch that includes mineral crystal.
It is a multifunction watch with a three-sub-dial chronograph and tachymeter, which is also water-resistant up to 100 meters.
Being a Swiss quartz movement, it is much more affordable and accurate than an automatic caliber with similar features.
➤ Rotary Tradition
Finally, another collection that also includes great Swiss-made watches is the Tradition collection, characterized by hosting classic and highly durable designs.
A good example is this model with sapphire crystal, stainless steel case, and leather strap. It is a watch that meets the Dolphin standard, making it water-resistant to a significant depth.
Moreover, it features a Swiss automatic movement, specifically the Sellita SW200, which, as previously mentioned, is a Swiss caliber with 26 jewels and 28,800 bph, and a power reserve of approximately 38 hours.
Considering it is a Swiss watch, its price is quite reasonable, especially if you find a good offer.
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Last update of links and images on 2023-11-30.