Review of Rotary ‘Editions’ Series Automatic

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Model # 702C
At a Glance:
Brand/Model:  Rotary Editions Automatic
Movement:  Japanese automatic
Material:  rose gold plated stainless steel case, leather strap
Complications:  date display
Price:  MSRP (fantasy):  $695 USD; street price:  $125 – $150 USD
Plenty of photos follow the review.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.
Okay, let’s get this out of the way right now.  Yes, this watch resembles a Cartier Santos, but that is not why I bought it and this review is about the Rotary 702C and its merits, which it has many of, and how it stands on its own as a great watch.
I’ve been wanting to add a brown dialed watch to the stable and a rose gold watch as well, and bingo, this Rotary ‘Editions’ model filled the bill perfectly on these two accounts.
This is the second Rotary ‘Editions’ watch I have owned and since I was reasonably impressed with the first one I purchased, I took the plunge on this 702C and now that I have it, I have no regrets with my decision. 
In conversations, I have referred to this watch as gaudy, blingy and flashy and it still fits those monikers to a degree, but once you see this watch in person, it duly impresses with a range of details and an overall look that belies its modest price tag.
I’ve never owned a square (or nearly square in this case) watch before and this Rotary measures 40mm wide without the crown by 37mm high, not including the lug tips.  Lug tip to lug tip the measurement is 46mm, so by no means is this watch dainty or small.  Thickness is substantial at 14.3mm, with lugs that measure 26mm.  In short, it has presence on the wrist.
Crafted of solid stainless steel with a rose gold ion plate, the case is a jewel to behold.  Unlike the Stührling World Time GMT that is also reviewed on this blog which had inferior application of its rose gold plating, the application of the rose gold on this Rotary is perfect.
The entire case is gently curved to hug the wrist and the curved partial display back is secured by four screws.  The main part of the case sides are brushed and slightly recessed, with the caseback and bezel edges polished and protruding slightly along the case producing a great, expensive look.  The bezel top is brushed, with polished edges and due to the brushed finish, the rose gold doesn’t assault the eye or look garish or cheap.  It looks classy.
The crown is screw down and is capped by a rubberized ‘1895’ logo, the year Rotary was founded as a watch company in Switzerland, as proudly proclaimed on the caseback. 
Getting back to the caseback, the year 1895 is punched through the back, forming the peek-a-boo display back that allows for a few precious glimpses of the automatic movement inside. 
Regarding the movement, I was expecting a Chinese automatic in this one, as that is the movement that was in the first Rotary Editions automatic I owned.  But much to my surprise and enjoyment, this 702C houses the tried and true Miyota 8200 series automatic, which manual winds but does not hack. 
Given the choice between a Chinese auto and the venerable Miyota, I will choose the Miyota.  This one displays no stutter or irregular second hand movements and has been keeping fine time, as expected.  Rotary lists the movement caliber on the caseback as RE2008-1, which is interesting, because my first Rotary listed the same Caliber number, but most definitely had a Chinese auto in it and not a Miyota.
I do find it amusing that this watch makes reference to Rotary’s Swiss heritage since 1895, but inside beats a Japanese automatic!  Irony, I guess.
The dial is a medium to dark brown, chocolate in hue.  Not milk chocolate but not dark chocolate.  Not tobacco, either.  It is a very pleasing shade and it was a bit difficult to photograph, I tried to bring it out as best I could in the photos. 
The Romans are applied rose gold colored metal, which adds another expensive touch to this watch.  The hands will, to some, look somewhat out of place on a dressy watch such as this, since they are, at least to my eye, more sporty in their design.  I personally love the hands and they are very easy to read on the dial which does get a bit busy with all those Romans flying around the dial.  The second hand is yellow, which is a Rotary Editions Series trademark.  A quickset date resides @ 6.
The dial also has inside and outside minute tracks which is kind of a unique touch and helps to frame the Romans nicely.
Both the hour and minute hands are luminous, as is the box end on the second hand.  Lume quality is completely acceptable.  The dial is capped by a curved and slightly rounded heavy mineral crystal.  The crystal is perfectly flush with the bezel.
Overall fit and finish on this watch is quite fine and inspection of the dial with an 8X loupe showed no defects or imperfections.
The dial is marked ‘waterproof’ which in this day and age is an archaic designator for water resistance.  In the instruction manual, Rotary defines ‘waterproof’ as being able to ‘withstand the rigours of any water-based activities with the exception of deep sea diving.’  So I guess that means about 100 meters of water resistance.
This 702C features a nice quality signed dark brown leather strap with crocodile patterning and matching stitching.  The inside of the strap is fairly soft and not hard like some stock straps can be.  The strap measures a hefty 26mm at the lugs and tapers to about 19.7mm at the butterfly deployant style clasp.  The strap has two keepers, one fixed and one moveable.  The strap has minimal padding.
The strap is also thicker at the lugs and tapers off to a standard thickness about an inch below the lugs.  This thickness gives the strap more roundness and somewhat less flexibility, but I was able to achieve a good fit regardless.  The curved case design certainly helps in this regard.
The butterfly clasp is a dual deployment style with a pushbutton release and is polished and finished in rose gold.  The outer part of the clasp is signed along with the folding pieces, which is a cool touch.  Please see the photos to see what I mean.
Presentation is a standard white cardboard outer box with a dark blue velour inner box, typical of a mid-priced watch.
I was able to snag this example of the Rotary 702C for under $100 brand new and delivered.  For this price, it’s a smashing deal.  Prices vary widely on this model, but anything at $150 or less would be considered well-bought.  It also comes in stainless steel models with rubber or leather straps and black dials, a titanium finish model and just so there’s no confusion, a Swiss-made version with a Swiss automatic that sells for around $450.
Overall, this Rotary 702C is a fun, flashy and classy watch that has satisfied my itch for a brown dial and a rose gold case.  Well made, great details and an affordable pricepoint make this one a winner.
Pros:  great case design and unique caseback, Miyota automatic reliability, nice brown dial, good quality rose gold plating
Cons:  Miyota movement may bother some, sapphire crystal would be nice, hand design may seem incongruous to the classy look
Verdict:  good looks, good quality, good price, with enough flash to impress most bigwigs you’ll meet at the club.  Overall, a great effort from the house of Rotary!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics!
Excelsior,
-Marc

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