The Story Behind RESCO and the only Navy SEAL watch maker in the world.

I recently had dinner with my fellow SEAL brother Rob Smith and his wonderful wife Nicole, founders of RESCO Instruments . (FYI-the only NAVY SEAL made watch in history. EVER) Rob is a great guy and is a walking watch “wiki” of information.

Straight away Rob and I got into the story about Luminox. He wouldn’t elaborate only to pointed me to a few SEAL friends that could tell me the real deal about the debacle.   After talking to some old school friends in the Teams, I have come to the conclusion that heir claim as the “official” Navy SEAL watch is overplayed and downright sleazy.  Few guys I know of in the Teams have much of anything good to say about them and I personally would never wear one.

So what’s the unofficial Luminox story?  Rumor has it that they gave some watches to the SEALs to test out.  Most of them flooded out, steamed out or just plain fell apart under harsh SEAL testing.  The Teams apparently sent them back in disgust and somehow, someone at Luminox slid one by our government contracting folks.   And even though the watches failed the SEAL standard, they apparently had some sort of contractual right to lay claim to be the SEAL watch.   FYI, I would welcome a public statement from Luminox stating their side of the story.  Enough said, but at least now you know the inside scoop.  Now onto a real watch company….

Brandon-“What’s the story behind RESCO, Rob?”

Rob-“My dad got tired of me taking apart all of his gauges when I was ten years old.  A few weeks later, he went to an estate sale and picked up about sixty old watches and clocks and gave them to me.  I took apart every one of them and I’ve never looked back.  My dad still has an old submarine clock that I repaired hanging up in his shop”. 

Rob then went on to tell me that he began helping the CEO of Kobold Watches (Michael Kobold) design some Navy SEAL inspired watches while he was a BUD/S instructor.  They established a bond and the CEO of Kobold encouraged him to start out on his own watch company.  Apparently, Michael is a HUGE supporter of the SEAL community, and has donated hundreds of thousands to the SEAL foundation.

Want one? He’s SOLD OUT. Better get on his list for the next series.

His first watch is the RESCO Patriot, and has an older Russian (apparently the AK-47 of watch movements) Slava 24-27 movement. The next gen Patriot (there’s some different versions coming also) will feature Swiss Sellita automatic movement with date.

So what makes a RESCO so special? It has a huge underground SEAL following, it’s the only watch handcrafted and designed by a Navy SEAL (yes he’s the watchmaker), and RESCO is the only watch to have completed BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training)! Rob put watches on actual Navy SEAL (BUD/S) students that were actually going through training.  The watch literally went through every miserable evolution and came out born again hard.  Must be something magical in them too, all the students that had a RESCO attached to their belt buckle made it through training.

Keep up the good work Rob, looking forward to our project together.  Rob and I are doing a limited edition Red Circle RESCO GMT.  It’s a limited run of only 215 very special watches. Why 215? It’s my SEAL class number.

Brandon out.

Brandon is a former Navy SEAL, Executive Media Director for and author of The Red Circle.