Rotary are quite the intriguing case. Founded in 1895 by Mr Dreyfuss (of Dreyfuss and Co I believe) they’ve always been a popular make. Nowadays, their focus is mainly on affordable watches, usually homages, with a few of them being Swiss Made. It seems their goal is to offer a watch that looks like the more expensive brands, for cheaper, whilst still having decent build quality and a long-standing reputation.
The Greenwich will cost you £319 direct from Rotary, but can be found cheaper elsewhere, and although it’s not an all-out homage it certainly takes design cues from other luxury brands. It’s one of their “Les Originales” range, meaning that it is higher quality than their standard watches and is Swiss Made. Still, is it good value at £319?
With any watch costing around the £300 mark, you’d expect it to be impressive. Thankfully, it is. A good size and shape, the Greenwich has a case that’s also well built.
The watch weighs 57g, and has a 40mm diameter, height of 9mm, and a 47.5mm lug to lug length. A comfortable size and weight, especially for smart wear. The yellow gold plating seems to be thick and durable. It’s also highly polished, with no marks and a mirror-like finish. The push-pull crown is a lovely touch, featuring the Rotary wheel with wings logo set within a black plastic end. The case has 3 buttons down the flanks of the case – 1 below the crown, and 2 on the opposite side. These control the various increments for the date. The push-on caseback is simple enough, and is not gold plated.
To put it simply, the dial is exquisitely made – but I’m just not too happy with the aesthetics. The subdials seem crowded, resulting in a busy appearance. I think things could have been done a bit subtler, increasing the elegance.
The subdials are as follows: month at 12, date at 3, Moonphase at 6, and day at 9. These are all controlled by the pushers located on the sides of the case. All applied elements (hour markers, hands) are yellow gold plated to match the case. They’re spotlessly made and applied. All subdials have a classy concentric circular texture / pattern, creating a little bit of depth to the dial. The subdial housing the Moonphase indicator also has the printed logo within. All printing is accurate and fine. The Moonphase wheel is cute, and doesn’t take too much attention away from the rest of the dial.
The black leather strap measures 20mm wide at the lugs, reducing down to 18mm at the buckle. The leather has a smart finish to it – it’s not quite as shiny as patent, but has more of a sheen to it than a standard leather strap. The leather is comfortable, soft on the wrist, and decent quality. The buckle is yellow gold plated, to match the case. It cleverly features the Rotary wheel with wings logo along the top bar.
Powering the Greenwich is a Swiss Made Ronda 706.3. Rotary provide a lifetime guarantee which is pretty good and is not seen too often. It has 5 jewels, a 5 year battery life and is accurate to -10/+20 seconds per month.
There’s no doubting that the Rotary Greenwich is a very well made watch. It’s certainly worth the money at under £300. Personally, though, I feel that the aesthetics are lacking a little; the dial seems a bit crowded and not quite elegant enough. But, that’s just my preference. If you like the look of it, then you can be happy in knowing that you’re getting a decent watch for the money.