GT&FQ M001 Rider automatic review

Rider-M001-GTFQ

A few months ago when Sea-Gull Watch Store got in touch and asked us to take a look at their Rodina (see our updated review), they included the GT&FQ M001 Rider automatic as well. A completely new brand, the M001 Rider automatic (from now onwards just the M001) is their first in house watch and we were keen to take a look.

 

UPDATE: We are giving this watch away now. Enter for free on our competition page. Good luck!

Initial thoughts

The M001 comes in a substantial PU leather box. It feels solid, has some good weight to it, and opens nicely. It is miles ahead of the box that the Rodina ships in, and for a watch at this price point it’s as good as you could hope. It’s nice to see a low cost brand making the effort.

Rider-M001-GTFQ-Unboxing

The watch

At first glance the dial feels a little cluttered. As well as the hour and minute hands, there is a small seconds sub-dial, a date sub-dial and a power reserve meter. However the finish of the dial itself is a triumph. A silver sun ray style, it catches the sun (and the eye) in such a way that I kept wanting to look down at it.

Unfortunately the hour markers are rather inconsistency placed, with some noticeably closer to the edge of the dial than others.

Rider-M001-GTFQ-Dial

The case is in parts brushed and polished, looks great and wears incredibly well. It feels far thinner than its 12mm thickness, looks great with formal wear and fits well under even a tight shirt.

Rider-M001-GTFQ-Case

The hands themselves are silver, basic, a little wide and to be honest a bit cheap looking to my eye. It’s not an expensive watch and so some tiny imperfections have to be expected, however it would benefit greatly from an upgrade here.

The front of the watch has a slightly domed sapphire crystal, while the exhibition back (again with the exhibition back on a watch with an uninteresting movement. Who is asking for this?!) has a mineral crystal which at this price seems a perfectly valid compromise.

On the side is a perfectly nice if uninspiring crown with the Rider “R” embossed on the end, and a pusher for changing the date.

Rider-M001-GTFQ-Thickness

The strap

The strap is genuine leather, with a matt finish and the Rider branding on the back. It’s not perfect and the watch would benefit from an upgrade at some point, but it’s far far beyond the monstrosity of a strap that ships with the Rodina and many other low-cost Chinese brands. It’s wearable, comfortable enough, and looks smart.

Rider-M001-GTFQ-Slate

The movement

The M001 contains a Sea-Gull ST1780 which is a Chinese made automatic movement that beats at 21,600 beats per hour. With a small seconds sub-dial this is perfectly good enough to give a smooth sweep. It has a 42 hour power reserve which is displayed on the dial. In general use I found that it ran within 10 seconds accuracy each day, with the exception of one day where it lost about 2 minutes. I wasn’t able to reproduce this so am comfortable writing it off an an anomaly.

Rider-M001-GTFQ-Case-Back

Final thoughts

I liked the M001 far more than I expected to. I don’t generally wear smart watches as I try to avoid being in a suit whenever I can, and so I wasn’t sure that it would fit in to my routine. However I found that it was incredibly comfortable, the brushed/polished case combination looked great, and it got noticed positively a few times by friends which is rare. With the obvious exception of sports gear when going to the gym, it went with everything I wore and I’m sad to be getting rid of it. I think probably I’ll buy one for myself soon.

Rider-M001-GTFQ-Wrist

Key statistics

Make: GT&FQ
Model: Rider M001
Case diameter: 41mm
Case thickness: 12mm
Lug width: 22mm
Movement: Sea-Gull Automatic ST1780
Crystal: Sapphire front, mineral back
Strap or bracelet: Leather
Water resistance: 5ATM
Price: $140 USD from SeagullWatchStore.com

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