Always a fan of nicely designed and well made watches, Ronin has captured our interest since their first release, the Ronin Pilot and their follow up, the Rotomatic. Ronin recently gave notice of their next released, a revamped take on their Rotomatic, giving the military-inspired watch a face-lift and some additional features in the Rotomatic MKII.
At a glance the two iterations of the Rotomatic do look similar, but glancing at the crown the first difference becomes immediate. The MKII has a set of crown guards flanking the new, screw down crown. The Rotomatic MKII has improved water resistance with a 100M rating. The crown guards give the watch a bit of a more divers look, at least in the case. Speaking of which, the 42mm 316L stainless steel case has a uniform brushed finish and now uses screw lugs rather than traditional spring bar lugs.
Another touted improvement is the remake of the dial. Gone is the dot flanked triangle at 12, replaced instead with a single stick marker. It, along with the other hour markers are longer than those on the original Rotomatic, but the MKII version are thinner. Noticeable at once is that the MKII has a sandwich dial (two dial layers, one stacked on the other) which gives the dial additional visual appeal. Both models appear to share the same hands, and the same dial text, a single “ROTOMATIC” at the 6 o’clock position. The one other dial change is the addition of a date window at 4 o’clock. The last area of improvement on the dial is the luminescence of the Rotomatic MKII. The hands have a blue lume to contrast the green lume of the markers.
The movement of the first Rotomatic was the Miyota 8215 which has been replace in the Rotomatic MKII for the Miyota 8N24 movement. This Miyota is also a 21 jewel automatic movement, beating at 21,600 VPH with a power reserve of approximately 40 hours. It can also be hand wound, but does not have a hacking seconds hand for time setting. The Miyota Cal. 8N reference (pdf) notes the 8N (the 8N24 automatic and 8N33 hand wind) line as skeleton movements which with none of the movement exposed (neither on the front nor back) the 8N is an interesting choice. Nevertheless, Miyota still tend to be heavy duty and robust, if nothing else.
The updated Rotomatic MKII was available with a black NATO strap with brushed buckles, and a tan leather NATO strap similar to the one that came with the first Rotomatic. It was limited to 100 pieces at $388 each and according to their Facebook page sold out in a matter of days. It seems that Ronin is managing to be successful all on their own – without the current crowdfunding trend – through sold products, good customer service and reasonable prices. Given what the young brand has done so far, we’re excited to see what they offer next.