Rotary Super 7 SCUBA Hands-on Review
Earlier this year, I reviewed the Rotary Heritage, a limited edition watch part of a collection celebrating the 125th anniversary of this British brand with Swiss roots. It was my first encounter with Rotary, we don’t see them too often here in Canada, and I was really impressed by the quality of the watch and the attention to every little detail, considering that it was an entry-price watch.
If the Heritage is a classic dress watch, the Super 7 SCUBA is a completely different beast. It is the result of a project Rotary did in collaboration with the leading British e-tailer WatchNation.com. Dave Parry, the founder of WatchNation is a certified diver and the owner of a large collection of watches, that started with his passion for 70’s dive watches – one of them is a Rotary Aquadive. The idea behind the Super 7 SCUBA was to create a superlative divers’ watch that would cost less than £250. Let’s see how it scores.
The outside wrap of the watch box was specially designed for this model and it has the inscription “Designed with and sold exclusively by WatchNation”, you can’t find the Super 7 SCUBA anywhere else, not even on the Rotary website. The rest of the box is the usual Rotary watch box, which is really elegant. I know not everyone cares about packaging and often hear people finding them a hassle when it comes to storing, but I am a sucker for beautiful watch boxes. For me, they have an important role in the entire experience of owning a watch – or offering it as a gift.
At a first glance, the Super 7 looked massive, I was not sure why, but it looked a lot bigger than I would expect from a 42 mm watch. Then I realized that it’s not the diameter but it is the height of the watch that gives its hefty presence, especially the bezel, which is not a bad thing if you want to have a good grip on it. Yes, the bezel insert is scratch and fade-proof ceramic and the markers are filled with lume, more about the lume down the road.
The case has no sharp edges, everything is rounded down, like a tool that saw a lot of action. The side is polished while the top has a vertical brushed finish, just like the 3-link bracelet. This screams tool watch from distance. I really like this nothing fancy, ready for adventure look and while I have it on a bracelet, I can imagine that on a rubber strap or a Nato strap, it would look even meaner.
The AR coating seems to work quite well even with the black dial, I do get reflections on it, but considering the price of this watch, it’s surprisingly good, nothing to complain about. The layout of the dial is more in the classic diver watch style, the applied stainless steel hour markers are filled with a generous layer of lume, just like the hands. They all come alive together with the bezel markers as soon as you get to a darker place. The day-date complication comes with the automatic Miyota 8205.
The solid back of the watch is decorated with the Super 7 logo, again nothing ornamental and extravagant, just that cut to the chase attitude I would expect from a tool watch.
When it comes to wearing it, I think that my wrist is not enough for this watch, which could be great news for guys with larger wrists, since there is this new trend of watches getting smaller and smaller. But I don’t mind that it’s big, it feels amazing, like driving a pick-up truck, you might never need it as a truck, but the sheer power is fun, the Super 7 might never be other than a desk diver on your wrist, but it can be a heck of a lot of fun. I even took it to a formal event, just to feel more relaxed. I could imagine it as a vacation watch, not with the bracelet but on a rubber strap, and for sure you can spice it up with a coloured Nato strap. The possibilities are limitless.
Besides the black dial, there are three other flavours of the Super 7, orange, green and deep blue on a bracelet or on rubber. Keep in mind that only the black and the orange have dual colour lume, but I don’t think this is a major factor when choosing a colour.