From Concept to Boutique: the Journey of a Rotary Watch

The life cycle of a watch is a fascinating one for those interested in craftsmanship and savoir-faire (also commonly said as know-how). In a world where many products are generated at high speed and with cost-effective practices to keep up with trends and demands, Rotary Watches is proud to maintain a more considered and tailored approach to its craft. In honouring the quality of its heritage and the continuing changes of tastes in design, Rotary Watches remains passionate about the journey of its creations, from the moment an idea is conceived all the way to when a watch is worn by its buyer.


The design process begins in our London studio in the heart of the trendy and creative Clerkenwell neighbourhood. Being a British brand with a rich history that spans over a century within London, we cherish the privilege of conceptualising watch designs in Britain. Forever inspired by the Rotary archive and the house’s DNA, our creative team draws upon the brand’s 125 years of watchmaking to develop classic designs that will stand the test of time, as well as accommodate interesting trends within the industry. Our Heritage family is a perfect example of how we have picked up nostalgic aesthetics whilst incorporating desirable modern materials, such as our use of quality 316L Stainless Steel.

In line with contemporary craftsmanship, our designers make use of 3D computer-aided design to realise concepts in real time – all in collaboration with the wider creative team. Each feature on every model is carefully planned out and executed differently to incorporate a bespoke detail that will differentiate it from others. In watchmaking, we truly believe that it is the finer details that can bring a piece to life, whether it is the size of the crown, the diameter of the case or the finish of the steel. A watch’s movement will of course play a huge role in the design process, even through to the aesthetic appeal, as is the case with features such as day and date windows on dials. All these smaller elements are tailored to each design.

Once the foundations of a design are finalised, broader decisions are then made about the key visual features of the watch. A dial’s colour or the choice between leather strap and Stainless Steel bracelet are of course vital to the piece’s identity and appeal. Various models will have different iterations with custom finishes so that the client can truly find what is best for them.


Working with a 3D printer, a prototype is then created to scale within a few hours to assess proportions and aesthetic elements. The next step in the journey will introduce the production of a sample – a process that takes a few weeks to ensure each detail, with the exception of the movement, is honoured. The sample will offer a more visible perspective on the way the case is finished, how it complements the dial, how the indices look and other matters concerning the style.

The Rotary Watches headquarters in London then mobilises an international and highly esteemed supply chain to deliver durable and high quality materials in the manufacturing process. Automatic movements, for example, are ordered from respected Japanese craftspeople with a reputation for precision and long-lasting functionality. Despite pulling from global resources, the design retains the classic British sensibility that originated in our London studio.

The official production timeline will last a few months before distribution will ensure stockists all over the UK will receive the newest Rotary Watches collections and orders. It is at this point buyers can discover first-hand the work and passion that goes into the making of each timepiece. With each piece sold with a guarantee, Rotary Watches remains available to help watch owners with any repair issues. To read more about servicing and repair, please click here and discover more about our streamlined process.

Inspired by the know-how and craftsmanship that goes into our watches?
To browse all collections, begin your journey as the next Rotary watch owner.