Following up on the popular Super 7, Rotary has released the Rotary Seamatic, a slightly different take on this budget dive watch. There are a few changes from the Super 7 Scuba, most notably the bezel, dial, and hands, and the slightly different crown, but the case and bracelet stay the same. Pricing is set at $350, which is a little more than the Scuba sold for, though that was almost two years ago now, so I guess I can understand the price increase. What hasn’t changed is Rotary’s attempt to release new models with classic looks and modern appeal and they have managed to keep the budget buyers in mind. Lets take a look.
Its true, the Rotary Seamatic is very similar to the Rotary Super 7 Scuba, in fact, it shares the same dimensions, case, and bracelet, but they have changed things up a bit with a different bezel and bezel insert, new dial, and hands, and a slightly different crown. These new divers come in 4 different colors, black, blue, yellow, and green, with all having an orange second hand except the yellow dial, and the yellow dial also sports a black bezel instead of a color-matched bezel.
With this being a budget diver (I know, $350 is not exactly cheap for many, but this price is regularly considered a budget piece), Rotary went with the Miyota 8215 movement, and Rotary seems to be quite fond of the 8200 series of movements. I have spoken about this movement at length over the years, and the choppy seconds hand, stutter, and lack of hacking seconds really make it hard for me to recommend this movement and the thing that held the Super 7 back as well. I wish Rotary would bump up to the 9000 series movements. Fortunately, they chose to go with a solid case back instead of showing this movement, and it is a rather nice one, promoting the 125th anniversary of Rotary.
The stylish case is brushed topside and extremely high polished case sides, with very soft and curved lines coupled with the 47mm length of the case, this is one comfortable watch on the wrist. While the coin edge crown is easy to use and rotate, the Super 7 crown did have more purchase area, making the overall watch a touch thicker, 13.4mm vs 13.7mm, so if you prefer a slightly thinner watch, the Rotary Seamatic is it between the two. The other big difference of the case would be the bezel insert, as this one is sloped where the Super 7 was completely flat, but both used a ceramic insert, and both are fully marked and lumed. Something else they retained is the thick crown guards and an easy-to-grasp and turn screw-down crown.
The new dial, at least on this black dial version is matte, and overall, I guess I could live with the look but this is definitely not my preferred choice of hands, markers, or date application. It is probably not fair to keep comparing it to the Super 7, but since this was the first watch from Rotary to use this case and bracelet design, it is hard not to. I much prefer the look of the previous model as it looked cohesive whereas on this Seamtic it looks like they chose the elements from a parts bin. It is just not an attractive dial, at least to me, and the biggest nono for me is the date cyclops. A change to more solid hands, getting rid of the lollipop style hour and hand, and dropping the magnifier would have made this a much better-looking dial.
The oyster style link bracelet is nice and solid, uses friction pins, and has a pretty sturdy push-button flip-lock dive clasp with an old-school extension and a few micro-adjustment holes as well, to really dial in the perfect fit. It is a perfect bracelet for a watch at this price and I have no complaints. 5 links were removed for my 7 1/2 inch wrist, meaning if you are a big guy, you should be able to wear this watch out of the box as it should fit a 9-inch wrist with ease.
And lastly, we get to the lume. I think the lume here is sufficient, but it does trail behind its predecessor, with less area for the SuperLumiNova to be applied, the glow will just not be as intense or long-lasting. It is lumed on the bezel though, and dual lume is used as you can see, and will probably satisfy most people in the dark, just don’t expect a lume monster is all.
I don’t think I have made it a secret that if I had to choose, I would prefer the Super 7 Scuba version of this watch, but that watch is exclusive to Watch Nation, and even though at the time of publishing is cheaper than this Rotary Seamatic, and is available with a rubber strap version, you do get a few colors here not available on the 7, and as I said, bracelet only as well. I think the biggest issue, for me, with both is the movement, but for those that don’t care about the Miyota 8215 and can overlook it, both are solid options in the budget dive watch arena.
I've been an avid watch lover since the age of 7. Watches are not only my hobby but a passion. My favorite style used to be dive watches, but field or non bezel watches have been growing on me. When I'm not reviewing watches I am either cooking or with family and friends.
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