Recently, I was fortunate enough to get a Resco Manus Chronograph sample in for review. I say fortunate only because I have wanted to check out a Resco product for a few years, and now I get to share my hands on experience with all of you.
For some that are not familiar, Resco Instruments was started in 2009 by Rob Smith and his wife Nicole. Rob is an active duty Navy Seal, and as such, the watches they produce are made with a Navy Seal, or military personnel in mind. Hard use and rugged is the focus, while still remaining an attractive watch for us watch enthusiasts.
Their newest offering is the Resco Manus Chronograph. The Manus was named after Max Manus, a legendary Frogman. You can read more about his famous mission HERE .
As many of you know I am not in the military or law enforcement. I am a former chef, and a regular guy who just enjoys a good watch. . It is my passion, and as such, is why I review to try and give you my perspective, honest opinions, and the best look at the watch I can.
Below you will find the video presentation and my initial thoughts and more on the Resco Manus.
I have been wearing the Manus for a little over a week, and as usual, there are some things I love, and some things I think could have been changed, or upgraded.
At $985, the Manus has high price tag, especially for a quartz chronograph. The Manus is powered by a Ronda 5040D quartz chronograph movement, is equipped with screw down crowns and pushers, a sapphire crystal, and arrives on a black nato strap. There are two case finishes available, the stainless bead blasted one you see here, and also a pvd version ($1185).
Resco Manus Chronograph Specs:
316L Stainless Steel
Screw-down pushers and crown
Matte Grey Dial with BGW9 SuperLuminova
Swiss Rhonda Quartz; 4.5 year standard battery life
Crystal : Slightly Domed 3mm thick sapphire with AR coating
20mm lug end
50mm lug to lug
Bezel Options: 12 Hour, Diver or Tidal
Usually I reserve what I think of the overall watch till the end of the review, but I want to state up front that I really do like the Manus. The look, feel of the case, grey dial with grey chrono subdials, machined steel and pvd coated bezel. I love it all. I do not in fact love the strap that comes with the Manus though. Now, I have never been a fan of nato style straps, especially the nylon ones, so take that with a grain of salt. The strap is thin, and I feel with this price, another option should be added, like a leather or a quality rubber strap. There will be a bracelet option available for separate purchase at some point, but Resco does not want to release a definite date until they have them in hand, but it will be coming soon.
The 42mm case wears nicely on the wrist. It has that German tool diver look about it. Speaking of that, and as I talk about in the video, I am not sure where the cases are produced. They do get certain parts from Switzerland and then the watches are assembled and tested at Resco headquarters in California. The Manus seems to be a multi-case construction, meaning it is not one solid machined case. You can see the lines around the sides of the case and case back, and how they are pieced together. It is an interesting looking case, and it all fits together well. The lugs use hex screw bars for easy strap changes, and both the crown and pushers are all screw down. The large crown is easy to grasp and manipulate, and I like that they went with something different than your standard dive watch crown.
The bezel is very firm, but ratchets nicely into place and I would think would be easy to grip with wet hands or gloves. Instead of an aluminum or ceramic bezel, they chose to go with a machined steel bezel insert that is pvd coated with relief markers. I will say, the machining on the numbers of the bezel could be a little more refined, especially the 30 marker on my example.
While I have not seen the other dial options in person, I really was attracted to the gray dial, and the way they chose not to do darker colored subdials. The dial is not overdone with text, and you have the Resco Trident logo at the base of the second hand. Because the lume used is BGW9, the hour markers and hands are white, and the minute and hour hands are outlined in a stark white as well, which give a nice contrast to the gray dial.
The lume is super bright. Way brighter than I was expecting and gives off that nice blue hue you expect from BGW9. The one lume shot is while the watch is on my wrist, while sitting out on my porch on a mild summer night enjoying a frosty beverage. There is just something about that shot that I love, and the way the blue lume steals the show.
On the wrist, with the nylon strap, it wears fairly well. Again, I am not very fond of these types of straps, and would prefer a leather or isofrane style. I think it would balance the watch head a little better, but I know there are many of nato style strap lovers out there. Even still, I think this nylon strap could be thicker and heavier duty.
The case back is 3D engraved, and while not flashy, is nicely done with the Resco branding and Trident logo. I think that is probably another reason I do not like nato straps, they cover up the case back!
As I said in the beginning of the review, I really do like the Resco Manus chronograph overall. Yes, I pointed out some things I don’t like, but that is my job as a reviewer and everyone will have differing opinions on it. One thing that might be of importance to some, is that Resco builds on the average only 5-600 watches per year. Not just the Resco Manus Chronograph, but of all models. And again, they are assembled in tested here in the US. Resco also offers discounts for military and navy seals and they have a layaway program, so it seems they are trying to make their product accessible as much as they can. $985 is not inexpensive by any means, and I know many are always looking for the best value for the price when it comes to watches these days. The Resco Manus definitely has the look and the style, and if you prefer quartz over automatic movements for a watch that you will hard use, this could be an option for you.
Thank you to Resco and Nicole for providing the Manus for review.
Please share with us your comments below and what you think of the new Resco Instruments Manus Chronograph.
Very good watch , I think that is similar to Glycinie Combat Sub . However, trade the rubber strap 🙂
Good review; I just discovered Resco and the Manus is at the top of my list. Really like the gray dial as it reminds me of the Tag Heuer 1500 Granite dial I wore for a couple of decades.
For hard use, quartz is the way to go. It just doesn’t take that hard of an impact to screw up automatic moments. And say I’m a SEAL on a mission. There’s just no way I’m rocking an auto, where your life could depend on the reliability and accuracy of your watch. Hence the Jaeger and Kobold Navy SEALS watches seem a little impractical. That being said, this watch seems a bit over-priced for a quartz chrono, and the lack of a proper dive strap is a real bummer. Package this with a push-button deployment rubber strap or even an Iso, and all of a sudden this would seem like a pretty legit watch.