Watch Review: Morgenwerk M1-3


COMPANY: Morgenwerk



Observing the last 200 years of horological history, great things have been accomplished. Micromechanical miracles have emblazoned our wrists and vest pockets. Quartz oscillators have managed the more robust tasks of timekeeping, and some even now keep their time over the internet. But despite these innovations, one thing is apparent: None of the watches we use day–in and day–out actually run accurately. Even top–of–the–line mechanical watches have an off–set of two seconds at the end of the day. If they are not reset weekly, by the end of the month, you might miss your
train. Quartz watches are more reliable, yet achieve far from what is technologically possible. And the internet connection for time verification becomes much less reliable in most parts of the world as soon as we leave the urban space. We believe a watch should measure the time as accurately as possible. Therefore, we have equipped our M–Series watches with everything that is necessary to ensure precise timekeeping, and incidentally created a world–timer that does not let you miss a moment anymore (and also not the train).


Model: M1-3


MOVEMENT: Morgenwerk Satellite Caliber 1, bi-directional
CASE: titanium carbide coated, titanium two-part case, saphire lens, hardened (K1) mineral glass for antennae covers, brushed, stainless steel case-back with four inserted nuts, water resistance 5 atm
DIAMETER: 43.8 mm
THICKNESS: 14.0 mm
WEIGHT: 122g
DIAL: galvanised dial, SuperLuminova on index and hands
STRAP: black, high-endurance fuororcarbon–rubber strap
FUNCTIONS: time, date, timezone, daylight saving time on/off
POWER RESERVE: up to 110 days, (eight months in power save mode). Contains rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Separate USB charger and cable (max. charging time 2.5 hours)

Price: $1550

Today’s world is a tech filled world in which it’s all about the gadgets. For a lot of people cell phones have replaced their watches for telling the time. For those of us who know better still rely on our watches for telling time and for those of us that want the best of both worlds, Morgenwerk has given us that. Horological background meets today’s tech world in the M1-3. It’s simply not just a “smart watch” which basically is a cell phone on the wrist. Morgenwerk M1-3 watch has retained the analog design of traditional watch making, but incorporated the technology of today’s world.

Because of the dark grey color of the case it has a military/stealth feel to it. The case is titanium carbide coated, titanium. Titanium is already a solid case material that’s stronger than the traditional stainless steel cases watch. But this case toughness is on steroids due to it’s carbide coating. Morgenwerk uses a stoichiometric pure titanium carbide that is applied through an ion–plating process (condensation of a material vapor in a partial vacuum) onto the case of the M1-3.
The gross hardness grade of the surface exceeds 1000 HV (Vickers) and protects the M1-3 against traces of everyday usage. The case is very, very strong but the base material is softer therfore extreme impact can cause occasional spalling or chipping of the coating.


Though it appears that there is a traditional crown and button pushers on the M-1 watch, it doesn’t function like a traditional crown. Instead it operates but pressing like a button as do the two other button pushers. These are used for setting the time, date display, etc..


The bezel on the M1-3 is fixed which means it doesn’t rotate at all. The bezel is quite useful in a different sense. It makes the M1-3 a true world clock that is able to display all time zones. Originating from UTC, the time zone of the Greenwich Observatory near London, the desired time zone is added or subtracted by the push of a button. This is where the bezel comes in handy because the required scales to accomplish finding the time in different zones are engraved directly on the watch’s bezel. It is extremely convenient and also cool to look at.


The case itself is a two-part case with a flat saphire crystal. The case back is brushed stainless steel and features a city time zone scale. The case back is held in place by 4 inserted hex head nuts. Above the 12 o’clock and below the 6 o’clock you will notice what looks like two windows. These are actually antennae covers for the satellite antennae connectors that are hardened K1 mineral glass.


The matte black dial is really beautiful and minimalistic in appearance. Nothing pops more on a dial than the combination of black and white. It’s probably my personal favorite dial combo, a matte black dial with white indexes and white hands. Looks so good. I really like the hands on the M1-3, squared edges with hollowed out centers in which you can see the dial through. Very sexy. The hands can be used obviously to tell the time, but the hands can also be used to display the date by a push of a button. Along the inner chapter ring is where the numbers are printed that the hands point to numbers that represent the month and day. It’s pretty cool feature because this elimates the need for a date window. Something dial purest can truly appreciate.


What makes this dial even better is that everything that is white is coated with Super-LumiNova. For those of you that don’t know, Super-LumiNova is a nontoxic substance that is made from strontium aluminate, a phosphorescent based on an alkaline-aluminate. Everything glows nice and bright, and it does last through the night on a bit of a charge from a strong light source.


The M1-3 is equipped with a passive GPS antennas that receives signals from up to six satellites the strongest signal is chosen to calculate the current reference time. Sometimes when you are indoors GPS reception is inhibited, that’s when the specialized quartz movement kicks in to keep the time precise until the next available signal is picked up by the M1-3.  This eliminates the need to set the M1-3 manually. That’s pretty freaking awesome.


The movement inside the M1-3 is a combination of complex architecture and technology. Morgenwerk produced a completely custom–developed movement for the M1-3 which is a complex work of high–tech components that Morgenwerk hand assembled into it’s own unique drive. Each movement inside Morgenwerk watches are always one–of–a–kind and is only manufactured by them.

The strap on the M1-3 is my next favorite detail of this watch after the dial. This strap feels like it can handle quite a lot of abuse. The strap is made of carbon–based terpolymers which has a high chemical durability and can handle extreme temperatures. This strap can remain flexible at temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F). But even at the other end of temperature spectrum this strap remains strong at 200°C (400°F). This strap has a long list of substances that it can fight off, that list is as follows: mineral oils and oil–based lubricants, aliphatic, aromatic and particularly chlorinated hydro-carbons, gasoline, diesel fuels, silicone oils. Due to it’s engineering this strap has age resistant properties. Another awesome detail is how the keeper fits to the end of the strap like a puzzle piece. See the picture below.


The M1-3 has a technology filled heart, with a tactical soul and the shell of a tank. I really enjoyed reviewing this watch from a technology and design perspective. I love the matte finishing on this case it’s absolutely bad ass. It reminds me of a stealth bomber, sleek and deadly. Let me get what I don’t really like on the watch out of the way since it’s only one thing that I think could make this watch look better appearance-wise. The antennae covers aren’t exactly pleasing to the eye. They are quite large and distract from the flow of the case. Now Morgenwerk did make the lugs angle down pretty sharp to allow the watch to hug the wrist despite how the extra length has added to the case to allow the space for the antenna. It would have made more sense in my opinion to mount this on the underside of the case or even incorporate them into the strap somehow. Everything else about this watch is a hit.


The dial is my favorite part of this watch. The shape of the hands  are perfect. The square shape works perfectly with the tatical theme of this watch. I love how the cut out hands a detail that I am finding to like more and more. Another thing that is perfection on this watch is the strap. I didn’t think that my love affair with Isofrane straps could ever be tainted. But Morgenwerk has achieved that. This has to be the nicest “rubber” strap I have ever experienced. It is so flexible yet feels like it can withstand any amount of abuse that you can dish out. Hats off to Morgenwerk for the technological advance strap. This strap can withstand everything, even kryptonite.


The toughness doesn’t stop at the strap, the case is rugged military tough. I put this watch through some heavy duty use during this review. I wore it in seawater during some shallow diving, rock climbing, hiking, at the gym, and it handle itself without fail. This is a great adventurer companion.


It’s battery life on a full charge is pretty impressive. To fully charge this watch on the included charger only takes a max of 3 hours and that charge can last up to 8 months. The lithium-ion battery can handle 500 charges which will last over 100 years. That’s damn impressive.


Traditional watches will always have a place in my heart, but these tech filled watches are gaining a place there as well. Morgenwerk put in a lot of research and science into the M1-3 watch. It’s a great watch that I completely and thoroughly enjoyed reviewing. I want to personally thank Morgenwerk for this honor.

Thank you so much for reading!




















Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s