In the 90s there was a design phenomenon called “blobism.” The name gives you a pretty good description of what defined the aesthetic. Smooth, rounded forms, somewhat organic in nature, trended in design and architecture. Fueled by advancements in CAD software, the objects were usually plastic, bright, and colorful. With all things the 90s seeming to be making a return, it was only time before blobs would rear their soft, non-descript heads once more. With this historical context, I’m excited to introduce the subject of this hands-on: the NEOTYPE LM-01 TYPE D.
Admittedly, “blobism” might not seem a positive way to start, but I don’t mean it as a pejorative. No, in the case (literally and figuratively) of the LM-01, the blob aspect is part of what makes their inaugural release so surprising and exciting. This isn’t a cookie-cutter watch. It doesn’t look or feel like other dive watches currently coming out. The vintage nods that are so common just aren’t there. But, it’s also not weird for weirdness’ sake. The LM-01 is a unique take on the modern tool dive watch that feels a bit like a nod to the organic forms of the 90s.
Before getting into the watch, it’s worth noting that NEOTYPE is a new brand based out of France, founded by a pair of industrial designers. Their brand story reads a bit like a manifesto for a new watch aesthetic. “A brand that uses design as an evolving creative process, not motionless, and which advocates constant questioning to move forward with time.” Certainly, at the very least, their goal is to focus on contemporary concepts and avoid the pastiche that has, arguably, overcome the industry. With the LM-01 TYPE D, they certainly have planted a bold first flag.