So, let’s get back to functionality. I mentioned that the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 was all about accuracy, but I haven’t really explained how accurate Morgenwerk claims their watches are. Traditional quartz watches are accurate to about 10-15 seconds per month. High-accuracy thermo-compensated quartz watches (such as Breitling’s “Superquartz”) are accurate to about 10 seconds per year, which is a big jump over standard quartz. Again, remember that even at their best, mechanical watches are only accurate to a few seconds per day.
For the Satellite Precision M3, Morgenwerk claims an accuracy of plus or minus 0.75 seconds per year. That is really impressive, and I believe has to do with the “learning engine” where the watch becomes “self-aware” of its own accuracy deviations. This accuracy is dependent on the watch being synced with the satellite signal when you first use the watch, and to retain this accuracy, Morgenwerk suggests receiving at least one satellite signal each two months during the watch’s “training intervals.”
Morgenwerk has promised that once their website is more fleshed out there will be a lot more information about how the watch works. Other basic functionality includes the time, calendar, alarm, 60-minute chronograph, and countdown timer. Of course, the screens have a backlight as well. Given the environmental sensor in the watch, there is also a compass, barometer, and altimeter similar to other “triple sensor” timepieces. These features work nicely, but aren’t fundamentally different from what you’d get in a Casio or T-Touch with similar functionality.
With GPS functionality and a charging dock, the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 is certainly more “techie” than the T-Touch, and with high-end watch features such as a sapphire crystal, analog dial with luminant, and a titanium case, the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 is a lot more “watch lover friendly” that Casio ProTrek models. It is really the type of product that has carved out its own niche among the breed of watches that exist with overlapping or similar functionality.
Build quality for the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 case and strap is very high despite the large proportions inherent in the design. It wasn’t easy to design a package like this with the GPS functionality according to Morgenwerk – which is why the watch is so large. With that said, the company’s other watches such as the M1 have smaller cases. For me, when considering a product like this, one should go for broke and opt for all the functionality you can get. Then again, the more discreet “analog-only” Morgenwerk watches do have a sort of “design appeal” to them. With that said, given the negative color nature of the LCD screens, they aren’t very prominent unless you look directly at the watch, so from an aesthetic standpoint the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 gets high marks.
Overall, the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 is a unique limited edition product with a lot of good ideas from a new company with a lot of promise. Germany-based Morgenwerk has their work cut out for them when it comes to continuing to develop the brand, but they are off to an amazing start that would have had most other people fall flat on their face years ago. That the M3 delivers on its core promise of being a hyper-accurate go-anywhere watch is impressive, and for customers interested in these elements, the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 will not be a let down.
To truly make the watch offer as much universal appeal as possible, Morgenwerk should optimize the user interface and offer as many features as the competition does in order to justify what is currently probably the most expensive product of its type – even when considering competition such as the Seiko Astron – which is another GPS-powered watch collection that commands “premium prices.” To be honest, GPS watches are really good right now, and it is just a matter of choosing the one that matches the particular lifestyle expectations of the user. There currently is no one-size-fits-all solution that I can think of.
The Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 is also part of a limited edition of 300 pieces, which for now means it will also enjoy the benefit of being a bit more exclusive than the competition. A cool timepiece if you are a watch or tech lover, the Morgenwerk Satellite Precision M3 also has a relatively lofty price of 2,400 euros. morgenwerk.watch
>Model: Satellite Precision M3
>Price: 2,400 euros
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Absolute accuracy lover who travels (and has large wrists).
>Best characteristic of watch: Slick design and easy-to-use interface despite a few issues and missing features. Well-made case and quality GPS signal reception.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Large case size makes it hard for some people to wear. Notably missing features that ideally will be available in future models. Instruction guide isn’t detailed enough to explain what is inherently a complicated product.