Rotary Regent Review
While Rotary is a lesser-known brand here in Canada, due to a lack of brick-and-mortar retail presence, it is a brand with a long history and an extensive collection of affordable watches that you can explore on their website. After the Rotary Heritage, released last year, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the brand, and the Super 7 Scuba, I’m really excited to have a new Rotary to write about.
The Regent sports watch collection was launched with two models and two dial colours, black or blue full dial with a date, powered by the Miyota 821A or skeleton dial with a Miyota 8N24. They all share the same 40 mm stainless steel case and will be shipped on a bracelet or a leather strap.
The model that we will take a close look at is the blue skeleton on a dark blue leather strap. The Rotary Regent is one of those watches where the first thing you will notice is the case, and while the skeleton dial is actually quite nice, the sophistication of the shape and the finishing of the case steals the show.
I had an opportunity to chat with Matt O’Neil, the head of design at Rotary, and he mentioned that the main source of inspiration for any new model is the rich archive of Rotary watches at their HQ (you can find my interview with Matt here). For the Regent, the inspiration came from a watch designed in the 70s and the overall look of the watch confirms it.
The brushed and polished surfaces bring out the complex shape of the case, it is an absolute delight to have this watch on your wrist and let the light dance on it. It’s chic and sporty at the same time. The bezel is not just a plain octagon; while its facets are symmetrical, some are straight while others are slightly curved, tapered at two different angles. The top is brushed vertically while the side is polished and the same decoration is used for the rest of the case, vertical brushing on the top and polished sides.
The blue of the dial reminds me of the colour of blued steel used in high-end watchmaking. It is blue under direct light, but it changes its colour to darker blue, almost black in shade. While on the full dial model it is a different story, on this skeleton model everything on the dial looks thin and delicate, in total contrast with the bold case. There is a thin minutes register ring connected with lume-filled stainless steel indexes to a thin central circle. At 7 o’clock there is a tiny circle, just above the balance, bringing the beating heart of the movement to your attention. The polished sword hands together with the polished indexes offer decent readability, the design team at Rotary did a great job with this skeleton.
Through the open case back you can enjoy the other side of the automatic movement.
The dark blue glossy leather strap with crock patterns adds to the dressy effect of the Regent, just like the branded buckle.
While Rotary labels the Regent as a “premium sports watch”, I find the “premium” part is the one dominating here, because it feels and it looks high-end on the wrist. Nothing will stop you from wearing it on a weekend, with pair of denim, and it will look just as great with a suit and tie combo. It has a nice presence on the wrist, sitting tall and showing off the sophisticated finishing of the case. The skeleton Regent on a leather strap is £279 about US$390 and if you go with a bracelet, the price is £329, about US$459, very good value considering how solid and beautiful the Regent is.
To explore the entire Regent collection go to the Rotary Watches website.