The owners of Resco Instruments appeared on “Fox & Friends” to explain why they chose to put their American-made watches through Navy SEAL training.
Retired Navy SEAL Rob Smith founded Resco Instruments in 2009, along with his wife, U.S. Coast Guard veteran Nicole Smith.
Rob Smith served for 22 years in active duty in the Navy with nine deployments, while his wife Nicole Smith spent 10 years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
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Rob Smith explained that when he built his first watches, he was working as an instructor in First Phase, the beginning step in Navy SEAL training.
“I strapped a couple of watches on the belts of some of our students,” he said on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Resco Instruments produces watches in the United States — and field-tests them with Navy SEALs. (Fox News)
Because the students were not permitted to know the exact time during their training, those first watches did not have hands, he said.
After the trainings were done, Rob Smith said he would test the watches to see how they had fared.
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While Resco Instruments’ products are put through military testing, the technology used is “standard automatic Swiss movements,” and not any sort of specialized military technology, Rob Smith said.
The watches themselves are designed, assembled and tested in the United States.
Rob and Nicole Smith, shown here on right, are the founders of Resco Instruments in California. (Fox News)
Smith explained that his love for watches began when he was a child, and that his father, a machinist, would go to estate sales frequently — and return with watches.
As a boy, he said he would take apart his father’s instruments and fiddle with the various “gauges and things,” he noted.
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“I remember one time he brought home a bunch of old busted gauges and watches, and that’s kind of what sparked my interest in tinkering and watchmaking,” said Rob Smith.
Rob Smith, a retired Navy SEAL, tested the watches’ durability on his students. (Fox News)
In 2006, while on deployment, he further delved into his hobby.
“Instead of playing video games, like the rest or some of the fellas [did] to decompress after operations, I would tear apart watches and fix them, and get home and sell them on eBay,” he said.
The small business has grown substantially since its inception.
Nicole Smith is the “heart and soul” of the company, said Rob Smith — and handles all the orders.
The company produces a limited number of watches per year, Rob Smith said on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, Feb. 2. (Fox News)
The Smiths’ two teenage daughters plan on joining the family business once they graduate from high school, said Nicole Smith.
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“Their plan is to roll into watchmaking, and come alongside us and assist with the business,” she said.
The California-based company has purposefully limited itself to producing 600-1,000 watches per year due to Rob Smith’s military commitments, according to the company’s website.
“These numbers will grow in the coming years but will never breach 3,000 watches in any one year,” the site also says.
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In addition to watches, Resco Instruments also sells sunglasses, apparel and knives.
Christine Rousselle is a lifestyle reporter with Fox News Digital.