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Mathey-Tissot is known for producing quality Swiss timepieces that some will find surprisingly affordable. The low prices of Rolly models, in particular, are appealing to many. Very often a low-cost watch goes in pair with poorer quality. Does this rule relate to this particular collection as well? Let’s find out.
If you have read my Mathey-Tissot brand review, you already know that the company offers pretty flexible pricing of their products. Those with money to burn can get models in the region of even ~$1,000 whereas there’s also a plethora of choices for the budget shoppers.
I like to call Mathey-Tissot the “affordable Swiss luxury” because the vast majority of their watches use movements and parts that are very often present in much more expensive brands like Omega or Longines. Can the same be said about the Rolly series?
The Mathey-Tissot’s Rolly collection consists of 2 separate mini-series – Rolly III and Rolly Vintage. Both of these rank at the lower end of the pricing table of the brand’s products, which is great news. How do they fare in terms of quality, though?
Mathey-Tissot Rolly III Review
As things stand, the Rolly III series is the most wallet-friendly which is why it’s so tempting both for new to the brand and the veterans.
Although they look as impressive as any other watch produced by the Swiss company, they are the only series that comes with a worse quality dial window. Unlike watches in the Rolly Vintage line and pretty much any other collection, they use a mineral glass window instead of a sapphire one. Although it’s also acceptable, especially considering the price, it is not as bulletproof as the latter.
Other than that, Rolly III models come with a 20mm-width stainless steel bracelet with a fold-over clasp. Definitely a huge advantage stainless steel straps hold over leather ones is that they are much easier to clean. As is the 40mm watch case made from the same material.
The bezels in the Rolly watch series are also stainless-steel made and include a classic pull/push crown for a comfortable time-setting. In all models, the crown matches the color of the bezel.
Depending on your own preference, there are many design variations to choose from, including:
- silver bracelet and bezel with black dial
- two-tone silver-gold bracelet and a gold bezel and dial
- two-tone silver-gold bracelet and a gold bezel with white dial
- two-tone silver-gold bracelet and a gold bezel with black dial
You can check the full list of available options on Amazon, by clicking here.
Timepieces from the Rolly III series use a Swiss Quartz movement, Ronda Caliber 515 to be precise.
The movement might not be the best in the history of Quartz watches but it will do just a fine job at a very little cost. According to the official documentation, it has an accuracy of -10/+30 seconds per month which is a really good result for the price quoted. Probably the minor downside of it is that it’s pretty battery-consuming with the lifespan of around ~40 months.
All models in the Rolly III series include luminescent hands that ensure comfortable nighttime use. Water-resistance up to 30m is another feature worth mentioning here. All watches also come with a date calendar located at the 3 o’clock position.
Mathey-Tissot Rolly Vintage GMT Review
The second Rolly series is Rolly Vintage. There are two sets of these watches – Rolly Vintage and Rolly Vintage GMT. Quality-wise they are basically the same – the main difference being the price and the design. Rolly Vintage watches are still one of the most affordable Mathey-Tissot timepieces but they cost more than the Rolly III line.
Rolly Vintage GMT seems to be the preferred option of most buyers so let’s focus on this one. The exact model that is being described here is H903BBR.
Just like in the case of Rolly III models, this one is fully made of stainless steel. The H903BBR model comes with a two-tone silver & gold bracelet with a fold-over clasp with a safety release. Here I’d like to note that other color variations are available.
The watch case is 2mm bigger compared to the Rolly III model described above. Around the case is the so-called “Pepsi” bezel (the name given to watch bezels displaying the dark blue-red Pepsi colors). You will be able to set the time using the gold push/pull crown.
The one massive difference between the Rolly III and Rolly Vintage series is the quality of the glass protecting the dial. Rolly Vintage models are made of one of the toughest materials in the form of ultra scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. The same glass is often used with many of the top brands in the Swiss watchmaking industry.
To check the full list of Rolly Vintage models on Amazon, click here.
It won’t be a shock when I tell you that timepieces in the Rolly Vintage series use a Swiss Quartz movement – all Mathey-Tissot watches do. In fact, Vintage models also use the Ronda Caliber 515 movement but its 24h version (Ronda Calibre 515.24h). The model I’m describing here is a GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) watch which means that it’s a timepiece with a 24-hour format that additionally indicates a second time zone depending on how you set the rotating bezel. You can read more about GMT watches here.
The accuracy of this particular movement, as well as its lifespan, is exactly the same as in the case of the Rolly III watch. It’s not the best in the industry (it can’t be for that price) but it still provides great value for money.
As well as the earlier-mentioned GMT feature, the Rolly Vintage Pepsi model comes with the same date calendar as the Rolly III watch. Luminescent hands of this model ensure hassle-free nighttime use. Another slight advantage Rolly Vintage holds over Rolly III series is related to water-resistance. In the case of this watch, it’s 100m which is a considerable upgrade on the Rolly III model.
Rolly Collection Review: Conclusion
I’m optimistic that this article has helped you get a clearer picture of whether the Mathey-Tissot collection is worth going for.
All in all, the Rolly series, whether speaking about Rolly III or the Rolly Vintage watches, seems to provide a stellar value-for-money. Both watch groups are one of the most affordable Mathey-Tissot has produced to date but at the same time, they are unlikely to disappoint you in terms of their durability and functionality.
If you want to keep the costs at the minimum and you don’t mind a slightly poorer quality dial window, feel free to fire into the Rolly III model. If doubling the spendings is not much of an issue for you, I’d advise you to go for the Rolly Vintage watches. No matter which product you selected in the end, the price-to-quality ratio stays intact. And by saying that, I mean – great.