We love British Brands at WRUK – hence the “UK” in our name – so we were very excited to hear about the Rotary Super 7 Scuba.
Rotary Super 7 Scuba Review
Rotary is undergoing something of a renaissance. Their new owners have wrenched them from their mid-90s “catalogue watch” market position and rediscovered what made the brand great. Their last watch, the Heritage, looked great and had the specifications watch enthusiasts expect and with this new dive watch, they’ve hit the ball out of the park. It was designed in association with e-tailer WatchNation.com, and you can tell that they’ve listened to the market, picked the key features that make a great diver’s watch, and put them together into something greater than the sum of its parts.
Presentation is spartan but more than adequate. The box brought to mind Spinnaker – and this is not the first time Solar Time’s dive watch brand will be mentioned in this review.
There’s no denying that this watch is reminiscent of Seiko’s SKX series but its a damn good watch to be inspired by. The 42mm case size feels modern, with a gentle angle on the bezel making it wear a little smaller. The bezel is easy to grip and – at least in the black option – is made of ceramic: a very welcome touch that adds a real feeling of quality to the package.
The case has gentle curves on the sides that take away some of the heft of the watch. Around the back, the Super 7 has an excellent solid case back with – get this – a proper, deep embossed finish. It feels excellent – at least as good as a mid-range Seiko and better than anything else I have reviewed at this price range. The only negative is that the crown is small and a bit fiddly to access because of the crown guards. Another millimetre of diameter would have improved it a lot.
Dial and Hands
Again, the dial is not dissimilar to the Seiko SKX but instead of printed markers you get proper, Rolex- Submariner style metallic circles filled with good quality lume. I don’t often mention lume, because it is not a big deal to me, but whilst not the best I’ve seen (that honour goes to the Seiko Orange Monster), the Rotary Super 7 Scuba is not far behind. An angled chapter ring avoids a cliff edge between dial and bezel. This watch is a pleasure to look at.
A day AND date is a welcome addition to the dial – rare on a dive watch but very useful on a daily wearer, and the minute hand is picked out in orange. The dial design is great – I’ve always liked the look of Rotary dive watches but been put off by their quartz movements. This one has a proper, automatic Miyota 8205 movement, ticking another one of my watch nerd boxes. The Miyota is a good timekeeper but does have an annoying indirect drive design that means the seconds hand sometimes stops after rapid wrist movement until the gearing catches up. It does not affect timekeeping but can make the seconds hand look as if it is stuttering.
The bracelet, at 22mm without a taper, is broad and heavy, but that helps to balance that big watch head. It’s made of solid steel parts, with solid end links and push pins on the removable links. It is smooth and comfortable to wear. The clasp is the standard design I see on most microbrands. It’s got a thick folding part and a clip-in diver’s extension.
The only real problem with this clasp is that it only has three micro-adjustments. I like at least five, so I can achieve the same sizing with or without an added link. On this watch – and many others – I find my wrist size fluctuating between the minimum extension with a link in place and the maximum with it removed. None of us want to get a toolkit out every few days so for me; the fit has to be a compromise.
Rotary Super 7 Scuba – Video Review
What I Liked
- The watch looks like it costs twice the asking price
- Build quality is second-to-none
- The price is the icing on the cake for me
What I Didn’t Like
- If Rotary could have stretched to a Seiko NH35 movement, it would have been perfect.
- The clasp would be better with a couple more micro-adjustments
- The crown is a bit fiddly to operate.
Rotary Super 7 Scuba – the WRUK Verdict
Let’s not beat about the bush: the Rotary Super 7 Scuba is my favourite watch I have reviewed so far this year. Almost every aspect of it is spot-on for my taste: the size, features and price are all perfect for me. The minor niggles I have found are just that – minor. This watch has taken over from my Spinnaker Tesei Titanium as my daily wearer: it has not left my wrist for more than a few minutes since I took it out of the box.
If you asked me last week what was the best brand for affordable dive watches with great designs and decent specifications, but also the backing of a big company so you could have confidence in the warranty, I’d have said Seiko or Spinnaker without hesitation. But Seiko and Spinnaker have both gradually been moving upmarket into a space where Spinnaker at least will struggle to compete with the likes of Christopher Ward. Seiko, on the other hand, has discontinued its most iconic affordable dive watches and allowed the gap between low-end and mid-range to get too wide. Rotary has filled this space in the watch market with an absolute belter of a watch – taking the best bits of both brands and making something even better.
As a complete package, this watch has nailed everything I want to see in a watch and then to top it off, Rotary has slapped a price on it that makes it a no-brainer buy. I had expected to see a price tag of about £400 for this watch. At less than £250 it is an absolute steal. If you like dive watches, buy a Rotary Super 7 Scuba.
Buy a Rotary Super 7 Scuba
You can buy a Rotary Super 7 Scuba exclusively from WatchNation.com or from Amazon.co.uk.
The RRP for the watch, as reviewed here, is £249, and there is also an orange dial/ceramic bezel version at the same price. The green and “Pepsi” options have steel bezel inserts and are £229 each. If you prefer a rubber strap instead of a metal bracelet, then it’s £30 less for each option.