Morgenwerk M1-3 Specifications:
- Solid titanium, Titanium Carbide coated
- 43mm case
- 15mm thick
- 53mm lug to lug
- 122 grams
- Movement: Morgenwerk Satellite Caliber
- Sapphire Crystal
- Black Rubber Strap
- Water Resistance 5 ATM
Price as of publishing, $1500-$1600 Euro, depending on conversion.
7 1/2 inch wrist for reference
When it comes to the standard “Smart Watches” that have been rising in popularity the past few years, I have to say, I am just not a fan. They are just not for me. The fact that they do not work independently of your phone, and the look of the watches themselves does not excite me. So when I heard of Morgenwerk Satellite controlled watches, I was a little skeptical. Would it need to be charged like an Apple Watch does, would I need to sync it to my phone, is it going to be another gadget that will be obsolete in a few years? While some of my criticism of smart watches might sound harsh, I am not out to offend anyone who has one. It is just my opinion, and these were the questions running through my head about the Morgenwerk M1-3. I can easily state that my apprehension was put at ease once I got the Morgenwerk M1-3 out of the box and set it up with my timezone. Now, it would take a couple thousand words to sit here and go step by step about how to use the M1-3, and between the booklet that comes with it and their website, they have that covered.
What I will be going over is how it operates in general, its ease of use, and the my overall experience with the Morgenwerk M1-3.
Let’s get right to the gist of how the M1 operates. What you have is a custom made, lithium quartz powered movement, all made by Morgenwerk, that is rechargeable via the adapter that attaches to the back of the case while hooked up to a USB cable. Your maximum charging time is 2.5 hours, and how often you charge the watch varies. If you put it into power save mode, you are looking at 8 months before charges. In regular mode, about every 2-3 months. When you get the watch, the first thing you want to do is take it outside or near a window, and then proceed to set your timezone, and DST on or off, (Daylight Savings Time), and then the hands will proceed to move around the dial and set it exactly to your current time. This is all done with a couple of pushes of the 3 buttons. (Shown in video review). On the outer track of the dial, you have the days of the month listed, which you can set with the push of two buttons. If you wish to just check the date, one push of the bottom button will do just that, and the second hand will point to it. If you do nothing, the hand will resume back to time keeping within ten seconds. If you prefer to have the hand pointing to the date all the time, just hold the button down for 2 seconds.
Now I am never going to sit here and say that I understand all the technology that goes into the Morgenwerk M1-3, but for those that are wondering what the glass panels are on the ends of the case, that would be the antennae, which are covered with hardened K1 mineral crystal, that allow the watch to sync up with 1 of 6 satellites. The M1-3 will then pick the strongest signal to set to. Everything is well presented in the instruction booklet on how the watch works and how to set it up, and is done so in multiple languages as well.
So what is the benefit of all this? Accuracy. Morgenwerk claims that their watches are accurate to +/- of 0.75 seconds a year! The use of thermo- compensated quartz oscillators, and a microprocessor that maps frequency is what is in play here. The processor compares the atomic time signal from a GPS satellite during a time sync of the watch and a time given by the watches oscillators. From this difference, correcting parameters are calculated to compensate the quartz. By repeating this practice, the learning software is able to reach a maximum accuracy for each individual movement.
Hopefully I have explained in my own words, and some of Morgenwerk’s, how this watch operates. But what about the rest of the watch? The lume, the case construction, the rubber strap etc? Well, let’s get to it.
The case as noted is titanium with a titanium carbide coating, giving it that blasted dark grey look. I found no issues with the case construction as far as finishing, case edges or how the function buttons are integrated. Crystal is sapphire with a very good AR coating, which you would expect from a watch of this price point.
When it comes to the dial, especially the hands, you definitely get that German vibe, which makes sense considering that is where the watch is produced. Let’s just get it out of the way, and say they are somewhat Sinn like. You can consider that a negative, but I do not. I love the simple clean dial that Morgenwerk has presented, and you will see in the photo below that they did not slouch in the lume department either.
As is obvious, the rubber strap is proprietary, meaning you will not be changing out the strap for anything else. The rubber, as they call it on their website, is a Fluorocarbon-rubber, which they say is oil and gasoline resistant, along with temperature resistant, among other things. While that is all well and good, how is the comfort level? I feel it is right up there with other high end rubber straps, if not better. Another great feature is the cutout at the end of the strap which the keeper slides right into, meaning your keeper will not move from where you put it. And if rubber is not your thing, they have metal bracelet versions as well.
There is no denying that there might be some sticker shock when it comes to the price of the Morgenwerk M1-3. And being honest, $1500 is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to a brand you might not have heard of. As I always say, I am not here to sell you a watch. I am here to present my findings, and of course, everything is subjective, even though I try and be as objective as possible. When you look at the watch as a whole, its components, materials, movement, and of course its functions and accuracy claims, it’s much easier to understand the price. Of course if you just say it’s a quartz, then $1500 sounds extremely high. But as I have tried to show, this is no ordinary quartz watch. And when comparing to some $700 Apple Watches, it starts to make even more sense. Of course you are not going to get message alerts or apps on the Morgenwerk M1-3, but I still very much consider it a smart watch. A smart watch for watch enthusiasts. It wears a little large than its specifications state, but not massive, and if you are someone who wants what might be one of the most accurate watches in the world, but in a design that is much closer to the analog mechanical watches you normally wear, this might be a watch to look into further.
Thank you for reading, be sure to check out the YouTube video above if you already haven’t, and leave your comments in the field below the picture gallery.