Rotary Watch Reviews: 10 Best Picks From the Brand

NanaDC watch reviews

The Rotary watch brand was founded in 1895 by Moise Dreyfuss in La Chaux de Fonds, a small town in Switzerland. After years of expansion, Rotary watches are now sold in over 65 countries worldwide.

Since many consider Swiss-made watches to be the best in the world, we wanted to see if Rotary lives up to that standard.

Check out our watch review of the best ones from the brand to figure out if Rotary watches are worth purchasing!

Rotary Henley GMT (GB05108/04): Best Overall

For us, this Rotary watch has got it all: Superb design, function, and quality—all at an affordable price!

What's interesting about the Henley collection is it's named after a famous rowing town in Britain. We think it's a fitting name for a dive-style watch with added GMT functions [R] like this one.

On Sale
Rotary Men's Year-Round Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Strap, Silver, 20 (Model: GB05108/24)
6 Customer Reviews
Rotary Men's Year-Round Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Strap, Silver, 20 (Model: GB05108/24)
  • Case Size 41.5mm
  • Case thickness 10.6mm
  • Case material stainless steel

This means that it's not only water-resistant, but it also features an extra hour hand so you can see a clear display of two time zones.

What about the watch design and material?

The three-link bracelet and case are both forged from stainless steel, while scratch-resistant sapphire glass encloses the watch's dial. This Rotary watch comes in many different colors from basic black to deep blues and greens.

You may even purchase editions with a mesh or leather strap for a different look.

At 41.5mm, we feel the case diameter is just the right size for most individuals. It looks classy, but it's also sporty enough for regular, everyday wear. However, this Rotary watch also has a

Gents model bigger for men who may prefer a larger looking watch.

The only downside some users commented is that this watch is quartz-powered and not Swiss-made, but we don't think it's any less high quality than an automatic one. For the price you're paying, it seems to be a pretty sweet deal!

If you're always on the go, you might want to consider the Rotary Henley GMT. Its dependable features and subtle elegance can easily take you from day to night in style.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel and sapphire glass finish
  • Water-resistant up to 100m
  • Many design options
  • Very functional
  • Two time zones displayed
  • Affordable
  • Some users didn't like it wasn't Swiss-made

Rotary Legacy Automatic (GB90165/04): Best Value

The Legacy collection is part of Rotary's Les Originales line, which is notable because it's exclusively made in Switzerland.

Most of the other Rotary watches on this list are produced in China or Japan, so the Swiss-made ones like the Rotary Legacy are comparably more expensive.

Rotary LB90166-03 Ladies Timepieces Legacy Two Tone Steel Bracelet Watch
3 Customer Reviews

In addition, because this model has an automatic movement, it costs more than the regular, quartz-powered ones.

On the other hand, its dial is clean and simple: It has index markers to tell the time and a date window positioned at three o'clock for easy readability.

With that said, this Rotary watch is still a great one to invest in. It's luxurious, beautiful, and functional, but more affordable than competing brands in the market.

It has all the essential functions you want in a watch, but with elevated style and quality to satisfy more discerning customers.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel and flat sapphire glass finish
  • Dolphin standard (for swimming and diving)
  • Many design options
  • Swiss automatic movement
  • Expensive

Rotary Expander London (GB02765/04): Best Budget Pick

Looking for a durable and inexpensive watch that still looks stylish? The Rotary Expander London watch might be the one for you.x

Its dial is very simple yet chic, with thin index markers [R] instead of numbers to represent the hours. Unlike other Rotary watches, it doesn't have a date window, so it's meant to perform the most basic functions: Telling time.

Rotary Ladies Watch 29mm London Silver Stainless Steel Expander LB00765/18
1 Customer Reviews
Rotary Ladies Watch 29mm London Silver Stainless Steel Expander LB00765/18
  • Expandable Bracelet Style Strap
  • Silver Stainless Steel
  • White dial surrounded by a silver stainless steel case

Despite this, the brand doesn't skimp on its manufacturing quality, as it's still made with high-quality materials.

This model's design also looks a lot younger and fresher because of its stainless steel expanding bracelet, so it's perfect for men and women looking for something a bit more modern.

With good, no-frills features and a classic style at a very affordable price, we think it's a great way to try out the brand even on a budget.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel
  • Fun, modern look
  • Easy to wear
  • Most affordable
  • Slight water resistance
  • Basic functions

Rotary Lausanne (GB90111/01)

The Rotary Lausanne is also part of the Les Originales collection, so you're guaranteed Swiss-made quality.

However, it costs less than the automatic models in the same line, even with quartz movements—that sounds like a great deal to us!

Some watch enthusiasts are wary of quartz-powered timepieces. Still, this model combines the prestige of traditional manual or automatic watches and the convenience of quartz ones.

Design-wise, this Rotary watch comes with rose gold finishes on either the dial, the strap, or both. Since it's also sized at just 38mm, it's perfect for women who want a more delicate and refined timepiece in their collection.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel and sapphire glass finish
  • Swiss quartz movement
  • Slight water resistance
  • A bit expensive

Rotary PVD Greenwich Skeleton (GS05354/05)

One of the more cool-looking pieces in the Rotary line, the Greenwich Skeleton, has a dial that showcases the automatic movements inside the watch—that's why it's called a skeleton. [R]

While this Rotary watch model has classic stainless steel strap options, we prefer the rugged look of this rose gold PVD [R] watch paired with a blue leather strap.

Given these features, this watch is more attention-grabbing than the rest, but it falls a little behind in terms of its technical specifications. If you're just after form rather than function, then this would still be a great choice.

PROS
CONS
  • PVD stainless steel and flat sapphire glass finish
  • Water-resistant up to 50m
  • Unique design
  • Basic functions

Rotary Tradition (GB90194/01)

As its name suggests, this Rotary watch boasts a traditional style with its clean lines and detailing. It's also made in Switzerland, along with the other Les Originales watches.

Its specifications and price are closer to the Rotary Legacy than the Rotary Lausanne, so this is still definitely considered an expensive watch choice.

We still prefer the Rotary Legacy a bit more in terms of design, but the Tradition's crisp Roman numerals, nickel stick hands, and recessed crown [R] design are still beautiful to look at.

This collection offers more variety, as other Rotary Tradition models display Arabic numerals, place the date window at 6 o'clock instead of 3 o'clock, and have a leather strap instead of the steel one.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel and flat sapphire glass finish
  • Dolphin standard (for swimming and diving)
  • Many design options
  • Swiss quartz movement
  • Expensive
  • Hard to pull out the crown

Rotary Limited Edition PVD Heritage (GS05143/03)

The Heritage watch is a special release for Rotary's 125th birthday in 2020.

Reminiscent of a popular aviation-style design from the 1940s, it features rounded Arabic numerals, protruding lugs, and gold metal detailing under bubble mineral glass. Its off-white dial adds to its overall charming, dated look as well.

Other models in the collection come with a steel, canvas, or leather strap and slightly different index styles on the dial.

However, their specifications are quite similar in terms of quality, as the materials used are similar to their high-end ones.

The company will only release 300 pieces of each watch model, so if you're interested, you'll have to pick one up quickly before they run out of stock.

PROS
CONS
  • PVD stainless steel and bubble mineral/crystal glass finish
  • Water-resistant up to 50m
  • Limited edition design
  • Long lugs may not fit nicely on small wrists

Rotary Avenger (GS05203/70)

The Rotary Avenger watch is another vintage design that brings back memories of the 1960s.

It features polished Arabic numerals at 12 and 6 o'clock, while the other hours have straight index markers. What's great about this model is it also contains two smaller dials for added chronograph functions.

Rotary Watches Men's Avenger Sport Blue Dial Brown Leather Strap Watch GS90130/05
11 Customer Reviews
Rotary Watches Men's Avenger Sport Blue Dial Brown Leather Strap Watch GS90130/05
  • Chronograph Sub dials
  • Quartz Movement
  • Stainless Steel Case

The theme with the other Rotary watches comes in several color, strap, and dial design options to match various customer preferences.

At 38mm, though, it may be a little small for men used to the bigger sizes that are more common in watches today.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel and bubble mineral/crystal glass finish
  • Water-resistant up to 50m
  • Chronograph functions
  • Small case size

Rotary Revelation (LB02966/06/09)

I'm sure you've seen a watch with two time zones, but what about one with two dials?

This Rotary watch revolutionizes style and function with a dial that can be swiveled around to display an entirely different design and time zone.

Rotary Men's gs02965/05/21 Stainless Steel Watch with Rotating Case
3 Customer Reviews
Rotary Men's gs02965/05/21 Stainless Steel Watch with Rotating Case
  • Stainless steel watch with rotating case featuring white dial on one side and dark blue dial on...
  • 42 mm stainless steel case and mineral dial window
  • Swiss quartz movement with analog display

One side features a clean, white dial with blue Roman numeral markers and watch hands, while the other has a striking, black dial with steel dagger indexes and hands.

It's also worth noting this list mostly reviews Rotary watches for men. This one, in particular, is made for women looking for something basic yet stylish.

Overall, this thoughtfully crafted timepiece is perfect for jet-setters who want to travel the world in style.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel and bubble mineral/crystal glass finish
  • Dual dial design
  • Two time zones displayed
  • Swiss quartz movement
  • No water resistance
  • Basic functions
  • Limited design options

Rotary Ultra Slim (GB08010/05)

Rounding up the list is this sophisticated, lightweight option: The Rotary Ultra-Slim.

This watch from Rotary mirrors the sleek design of the other watches—it has polished index markers, a stylish seven-link steel bracelet, and a deep blue dial.

Rotary GS08303-02 Mens Ultra Slim Watch
9 Customer Reviews
Rotary GS08303-02 Mens Ultra Slim Watch
  • Case Size 38mm
  • Case thickness 5.7mm
  • Case material stainless steel

However, it has the added benefit of a 5.7mm case depth to complement a 38mm case width, making for a truly ultra-slim watch.

Delicate, understated, and elegant, this watch is that perfect finishing touch to any outfit.

PROS
CONS
  • Stainless steel and flat sapphire glass finish
  • Water-resistant up to 50m
  • Ultra-slim and lightweight
  • Small case size

Are Rotary Watches Good Quality?

After reading the watch review, some of you may still be wondering if Rotary is a reliable and good brand.

Well, when Moise Dreyfuss established the company in 1895, he placed a great deal of importance on product value and quality—something Rotary has retained over the years.

are rotary watches good quality

Because of its continuous innovations in watch design and construction, Rotary was not only appointed as the official watch supplier of the British Army in the 1940s, but it was also awarded Superbrand status as early as 2006.

Now that the company has expanded globally, you'll notice that some of the watches are exclusively made in Switzerland.

We're not going to lie; these will be higher quality than their other watches made in China or Japan. However, we don't think there will be stark differences in performance—just watch out for potentially more frequent repairs.

Considering all the great features of the watches above and general consumer trust in the brand, you can still depend on them to offer quality products at reasonable prices.

Where Can You Buy Rotary Watches?

Check out Rotary's website for their official stores in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.

where can you buy rotary watches

Alternatively, you can find resellers and distributors online on Amazon, eBay, or other e-commerce sites. Preferably, it's best to buy Rotary watches on Amazon.

Before purchasing any of their watches, don't forget to check the Official Rotary Presentation Box, the Official Rotary Guarantee, and the instruction manual to ensure authenticity.

You can also read the watch review on the sellers' websites as an added precaution. After all, a watch is an investment, and you want to be sure you're getting your money's worth!

What Are the Different Types of Watch Movements?

There are three main types of movements for watches: Manual, automatic, and quartz.

Manual movement watches have to be manually winded every day to function. Because of its inconvenience, it's not produced as much anymore, so you'll mostly find these in vintage shops or antique collections.

Automatic movement watches have a self-winder that functions as you move around. This combines the classic, luxurious feel of a manual watch with the convenience of an automatic watch.

Quartz movement watches use a battery and a quartz crystal to function. It's the most accurate and cheapest of the three because its mechanisms aren't expensive to produce.

You'll need to spend on maintenance more frequently, but the repair cost is still relatively cheap compared to a manual or automatic movement watch.

An automatic watch might seem more prestigious, but you shouldn't dismiss quartz ones either, as they offer great function at a fraction of the cost!

Nowadays, automatic and quartz movements can be manufactured in Switzerland, Japan, or China. The ones made in Switzerland are usually the best quality (but also the most expensive).

Meanwhile, movements from Japan and China are a lot cheaper but also slightly less reliable. Given a choice, you should still pick a Japanese movement over a Chinese one.

Rotary Watch Services and Warranty Policy

Now, you might ask if Rotary provides a lifetime guarantee for their watches.

Unfortunately, while they did offer a lifetime guarantee for a while, they've since altered it to become a two-year guarantee that's extendable for 12 additional months.

This means that you'll have a maximum of three years upon registration to claim any benefits from components and workmanship defects.

Although we'd prefer a lifetime warranty policy, if you consider Rotary's quality of materials and construction, it shouldn't be too big of a problem.

Additionally, if you check out the company's website, you'll find a detailed care guide [R] for their watches to help you with regular upkeep.

A Brief Summary

Whether you're a watch enthusiast looking to add something new to your collection or just a regular individual trying to find a good, reliable timepiece, we think Rotary has a lot of great options for you.

For something more budget-friendly, consider the Rotary Expander London for an everyday beater watch.

On the other hand, if you're willing to spend, you might prefer the Rotary Legacy Automatic watch with its exquisite Swiss parts, detailing, and finish.

Ultimately, our all-around favorite is still the Rotary Henley GMT watch for a style that's universally functional, fashionable, and affordable.

Conclusion

It's been 125 years for the brand, but we think its watches have many more to go!

Watch Rotary as its timepieces continue to take on the world by storm.

Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2021-01-18.

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