A recent eBay acquisition, there was not a whole lot of technical information available on this particular model, but I do know that it's at least four or five years old, was used as a 'store display sample' in the UK, and is an overall attractive, very comfortable watch. After a long and fruitless internet search, I contacted Rotary's service office in the UK to obtain information about the movement. The answer: ISA 8172. Like many of you, I'm not overly fond of ISA, but Rotary's response was both prompt and friendly, a very pleasant surprise if you've been dealing with the TV brands' nonexistant CS departments for any length of time.
The case is a nice 42mm wide and about 10mm thick. The middle portion of the dial is beautifully textured in the guilloche style, while the outer portion is sunray silver. Overall, the dial face has a nice, fairly well-balanced color scheme: brushed gold bezel, silver guilloche center dial and subdials, polished gold Dauphine hands, silver 'sunburst' outer dial/chapter ring and black Roman numerals, minute marks and signature. It's all protected by a 'sapphirite' crystal (described by Rotary as a "toughened mineral glass coated with a layer of sapphire glass for extra durability"), and the combined result reflects its 'Rotary Classics' moniker. However, the gold hands tend to wash out the dial's overall presentation. Furnace blue hands would stand out much nicer and add some genuine color to the dial, but since this is a chronograph, such hands might not be available or, if they are available, may not be all that affordable.
The caseback, highly polished gold-plated stainless, is very nicely engraved with the Rotary signature, model number, battery info and 'Swiss Made.' It also makes mention of the sapphirite cystal and lays claim to being 'waterproof.' (I'm superstitious enough to avoid making such a claim, but I'm also enough of an aviation structural engineer to know that nothing is ever truly 'waterproof.' Either way, it's not something I ever want to have to find out about first hand.)
The vast majority of the case surfaces are brushed, so fingerprints from everyday use are kept to a minimum. There are just enough high-polished areas to provide a nice contrast to the predominance of the brushed surfaces. The case is also nicely rounded, adding to the overall level of comfort.
Good Info Summary on Caseback
Difficult/Expensive-to-Replace Custom Strap
Uncertain Movement Quality
I genuinely like Rotary watches. I like their largely classic styling. I'm not so sure about the company's real history - thanks in large part to 'Eyal the Ersatz' - but I can give almost anyone a pass if they build a good watch for the money. All in all, this particular Rotary is a nice watch. Unfortunately, it doesn't go much beyond that.
One of the real joys of watch collecting is looking through your storage and/or display cases and coming across those pieces that you love so much that you stop what you're doing and put them on, just to take in the way they look and feel on your wrist yet again. You get a little taste of that feeling you [hopefully] had when you first made the decision to add that watch to your collection. If you're lucky, most - if not all - of your watches will make you feel that way. Although this Rotary is not quite there, it does have a lot of potential. A good cleaning and polishing is certainly in order. And maybe even a new set of furnace blue hands...? Maybe [color=black]black.
Your thoughts and suggestions are certainly welcome...and many thanks for viewing.[/color]