Resco is definitely a different cat in the microbrand world. They are not the cheapest by far and actually might be the most expensive in their segment. The model I am reviewing today, the Resco R-TAC is a 44mm quartz piece that comes in at around $1100. There is no shortage of completion, that is for sure, so how can Resco justify their prices and more important, can you justify the price when you are deciding what your next watch purchase is going to be? Resco assembles and tests in the US, but manufacturing and parts are done all around the world. The owner is also an active duty Navy Seal and tests his watches in real “out in the field” situations. If battle tested does not mean much to you, and you just want to know how it compares to others on the market, the build quality, design and more, read on.
Resco R-TAC Specifications:
- Case 316L Stainless Steel Bead Blasted
- 200 Meters
- Matte Black Dial with C3 SuperLuminova
- Movement: Swiss Quartz 515 Ronda
- 4.5 year standard battery life
- Scratch resistant Sapphire Crystal with single inner AR (Anti Reflective) coating
- 22mm Lug
- 44 mm Diameter
- 13mm Thickness
- Hex Screw Lug bars
- Dual Screw-down Crowns
- Internal Rotating Bezel
Let’s touch a little more on Rob being active duty military. Resco has been around longer than most microbrands on the market today and as I have said, they have never been what most would call cheap or inexpensive and they do not follow most microbrand trends such as Rolex or Tudor homages, bronze pieces, crazy silly water resistance with 12 helium valves, massive super domed crystals- none of those things are present on a Resco. Their main customer base is not what we in the community have come to label as a watch enthusiast or watch nerd either. You know, the forum guys, Facebook group guys, etc. I am in the watch nerd camp for sure, in case you were wondering. I mean, I kind of have to be to run this site. Back to Resco. Who is their customer base you ask? Military and law enforcement and their friends and family. Now, I’m not saying there are no watch enthusiasts who own Resco watches, there are a decent amount out there, but from what I have seen, that is not the bulk of their customer base. Why is that? Well, the reality is, most are looking for that massive bang for the buck, the we put everything in this watch, have it assembled in China and sell it for $350. We review some of those here on Watchreport for sure and those watches have their place.
Well, that begs the question, what are you getting when you purchase a Resco R-TAC? First and foremost, a USA assembled piece, by a USA company. That means a great amount to some people and to others, nothing at all. Case construction is top notch, all the way around. The entire case comes across as bomb proof, even though it is not. The quartz movement is Swiss and while I know many beg for an automatic and shutter to think of a quartz watch being this expensive, it should be more shock resistant than many autos in this price range. If a metal movement holder is used as opposed to plastic, even more so. Full disclosure: I have not taken the back off, so I do not know if it is plastic or metal, but there is not rattling sound that can usually be attributed to a plastic holder, though nothing is more proof than seeing it with your own two eyes.
When it comes to functionality, the Resco R-TAC passes in spades. The GMT hand works with the fixed bezel to track 24 hour time or another time zone if you choose, it is a dive watch with a inner elapsed time bezel that is operated by the second crown. Everything here is machined to perfection in my opinion, and again, at this price, it should be. The bead blasted case just screams tactical and the strap can be switched with a hex tool (included). The R-TAC is also not ridiculously thick, as a matter of fact the entire profile is pretty slim, making it easy to fit under a shirt cuff.
There was a 42m auto version of the Resco R-TAC, which has since been discontinued and was also about $900 more. The size has been bumped up to 44mm here but with a relative short lug to lug, it is not an issue for my wrist. One thing that is an issue though-the strap. As you can see in the many photos posted here, I show it on a green canvas strap. That is NOT the strap that comes with this piece, it is an aftermarket strap. Unfortunately, it comes standard with a thin NATO strap that does not equate to the price tag in my opinion. I am not a fan of NATO straps in general as many of you know but if this was a high quality strap I wouldn’t say a word. Resco sells many straps on their website that you can add to your order, and hey, good business; if you don’t like the strap that comes with your watch, spend $40 more to buy one from them. I get it. I feel though at the asking price, a decent strap should be included.
7 1/2 inch wrist
I am not what you would call a lume junkie, but I always say, if you are going to apply lume to a watch, please do it right. Resco got it right, though I am not sure why the triangle marker was not lumed on the internal dive bezel.
So, the question here: Is the Resco R-TAC worth $1150? Well, that is something you will have to decide for yourself. The build quality is fantastic, and it has a great look and feel. The movement is one you can find in watches for much less, but I always say you shouldn’t just a watch on the movement alone. That being said, I think if you are going to use a quartz movement such as this, the rest of the watch should be outstanding, and I would say for the most part, on build and looks, it is, but the cheap strap leaves something to be desired. I want to say I love this watch, but I don’t. Design, colors and style are all here for me, but the internals and the strap do not excite me. You may agree with me, or the design and case quality are enough for you to overcome what I consider the downsides. If I were to give a letter grade on this watch, it would be a B-.
Comment below if you agree or disagree with my take on the Resco R-Tac.
I think you very accurately sized up the watch. It’s a nice watch but is it 1150USD nice? Kudos for the number of photos.
I have two Resco watches and both work flawlessly. I’m a retired SWAT guy so a big draw for me at least is the fact that the owner is an active duty service member. Quality and service has been 1 st rate. Just curious what brand the fabric strap in your video was and where I might pick one up. loved the video, thanks so much!!
The strap is a Gruppo Gamma Canvas.
I’m getting ready to retire from the Army and as a gift I to myself I’ve been looking at Resco. I’ve been looking at the Manus and the RTAC. I love dive watches but really can’t decide. I have a smaller wrist but love big watches. I’ve got an old Seiko dive watch from 1987 that now seems small. I normally wear two different Casio Pathfinders now but want to return to analog. Any thoughts?
I’m not sure what to reply here. There is a review of the Manus on this site as well if you want to check them out. I believe I covered all there is to say about these watches in the article and video. In the end, it comes down to your preference.
Sounds like overpriced OVERHYPED B.S. to me! I can get a Doxa or Sinn for about the same money!
LCDR Joe Hunt USN SEAL (Ret)
Hey Don. Great review on Resco and the RTAC. As a former SEAL out of San Diego but now Aberdeen, WA, the Resco bug caught me back in 2015 after my Rolex Deep Sea crapped out and I found it needed to be sent into Rolex Dallas, TX every 6 years to be serviced for a ridiculous 1K. Scratch that and was enough for me to sell it, get on your great site, read your various Resco reviews, and then visit their watchmaker Kevin right down at their little known and understated Coronado storefront. Whereby I could get any custom combination of color, dial, hands, pressure certified, etc. on any of the watches and done by Kevin right there as I waited. It was awesome service and obviously having personalized access to him by appointment was about as good as it could get especially so as he would mostly do it for free. Although, that level of service was extended to me as a “Resco Loyal” who had the black and khaki RTAC, Gen 2 Patriot, and Manus. That being said, my cadre of their watches paled by comparison to the other 30 or so Loyals who all had unnatural fixations on these watches and sported 10-20 variations in their Resco collections. One year, they even got enough $$$$ together to send Rog and his wife to Hawaii for a landmark wedding anniversary.
Anyway, I bought my watches to support a fellow Frog and because the designs were simple, functional, and BUDS-tested, although at the same time, my eyebrows were raised at the steep prices for a microbrand that sported simple ETA and quartz movements. Long story short, I ended up selling all 3 watches and picked up a Seiko 50th Anniversary 1000m Marinemaster Professional with the Seiko 8L55 hi-beat movement – a stunning tool watch that ultimately became too bulky to wear under a shirt sleeve and that I just finally sold. Believe it or not, I’ve deviated from my analog divewatch roots (restored my 1977 Seiko 6309 Turtle and gave to my son) and have been wearing the Casio GA-2000 watches and have purchased the ones in desert tan, utility blue, deep ocean blue, army green. Absolutely love the low profile design, the flat mil colors and integral resin bands, and I’ve even switched out the crystals for 32mm double dome sapphires which catapults them into orbit for me. Who’d a thunk?! Anyway, long story short, I’m also considering acquiring an RTAC again as the understated black and khaki combination was by far my fav although I’m really stuggling to spend $1205 for it when my 4 quartz GA-2000’s collectively total $520. Thanks again for your great site and for showcasing the many innovative microbrands that you do.