Return of the Blob! Hands-on With the NEOTYPE LM-01 TYPE D (w/ Video)

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.


Return of the Blob! Hands-on With the NEOTYPE LM-01 TYPE D (w/ Video)

Matte Steel
Miyota 9039
Black Sandwich
3.5mm Sapphire
Rubber + Nylon
Water Resistance
40 x 50mm
Lug Width


It only takes an instant to register that the LM-01 isn’t an ordinary design. Though it has lugs, a crystal, crown, etc, the shape is striking, and the bezel is, well… quite odd. Rather than being your stand flat affair, or perhaps a vintage dome, it’s nearly vertical, with its numbers printer on the side. No teeth, rather an occasional nub protruding out, less like it was machined and more like it was grown.

The fluid form of the bezel flows down the case side as well, particularly on the left side and between the lugs, creating the essence of the blob shape I referred to earlier. It’s not just “rounded”, rather the radius is off-center, almost like gravity is pulling the mass down towards the wrist. The resulting form is 40mm x 50mm x 15.8mm. The diameter is to the widest point, which due to the shape is the sort of crest of the curvature. Typically, this would make a watch seem smaller, but because of the mass of metal present, and long lug-to-lug, it looks more like a 42mm. The 22mm lug width promotes this as well, as they are proportionally wide.

But, again, this isn’t a vintage-inspired dive watch, rather it’s a rugged modern tool watch. The size might not be what one prefers, but the watch looks and feels like a tank, which is clearly part of the goal. This is perhaps one of the most striking features out of the box. It’s hefty and very solid. You feel like you can hammer nails with it. The massive screw-down crown adds to this solidity, as do the crown guards that deftly protect it. These aren’t for show, they really do guard.

The height is perhaps the most daunting number here as 15.8mm is quite thick no matter how you approach it. The rounded shape does a lot to lessen the severity of the height, as soft curves just make it look less dramatic, but so does the bezel itself. Several millimeters of the height are from the bezel and 3.5mm thick sapphire crystal contained within. The split line where this bezel attaches to the mid-case breaks things up, and the curvature once again helps – but, it’s thick. That’s just a fact. It’s a cold, hard lump of steel on your wrist. Yet, somehow that works.

Coming back to the bezel, I can’t help but feel it’s the real star of the show. The strange shape isn’t just visually intriguing, it allows for the numerals to be visible from above, as well as from the side and other indirect angles. The lack of a typical grip almost makes it appear non-functional, but it in fact is a 120-click dive bezel. The nubs that act as part of the index also provide just enough additional grip to make turning it easy.


Matching a dial to a case like that of the LM-01 couldn’t have been an easy task (or perhaps it was the other way around?). Yet, I think NEOTYPE did a great job at not only complementing the exotic shape of the case, but making a dial that while more straightforward, doesn’t feel like a typical dive dial either.

The dial is completely flat and consists of an incredibly matte black surface over a lume plate with sandwich construction. The primary index features lines at the cardinal positions, doubling at twelve, with smaller circles in between, all cut out. The lines create a crosshair effect, which I find very appealing. Around the edge of the dial is a minute/seconds index of white lines with small dots at intervals of five. The dots are slightly larger and lumed at the cardinal points again.

The look is sleek, serious, and graphic. It’s quite simple, restrained, and balanced, which given the curves of the case is almost a surprise. I might have expected something bowl shape, or forms like the nubs on the bezel. Rather, it’s line and dots and very very flat. In this context, it feels like a dive watch, but the same dial could work in something more field or pilot-focused.

The hour and minute hands are fence posts in matte black with lume fill. The seconds hand, almost matte black, has a lollipop design. There is something about the matte paint they used on the dial and the hands that makes it very dark. The hands are barely visible, save the lume fills, giving them a floating effect.


Inside of the LM-01 TYPE D is the Miyota 9039 automatic movement. The date-free variation of the 9015, it has 24-jewels, hacking, hand-winding, a 40-hour power reserve, and a frequency of 28,800 bph. There isn’t much to say at this point about the Miyota 9XXX series that hasn’t been said. They are fairly common at this point and have proven to be reliable movements. They are also quite thin, though that isn’t at play in these watches.

Straps and Wearability

The LM-01 comes with a custom rubber strap and a nylon mil-strap. The rubber strap is nice looking, albeit quite simple. It feels more complementary to the dial than the case. With the 22mm lugs, it feels a bit wide as well. Given the case design, I would have loved to have seen a rubber strap with molded lugs and form, creating more of a bracelet style, which always has a modern look. The nylon mil-strap is straightforward but features a very appealing faded olive color.

On the wrist, the LM-01 is a solid and fairly large watch. It’s the biggest feeling 40mm watch I think I’ve put on. Part of that is appealing, in that it’s a rugged watch that looks and feels like a tank. Part of it is less so, in that it’s quite noticeable on the wrist. You’re not going to forget it’s there. On my 7” wrist, the biggest issue is really the lug-to-lug at 50mm. That’s long for me, but the lugs also don’t curve down to accommodate the shape of my wrist either. It’s not unwearable, but there is room for ergonomic improvements there as well.

The height, surprisingly, doesn’t really bother me. It’s tall, but the curvy shape takes the harshness out of it. The fact that half of it is bezel also, psychologically, makes it feel smaller. Like, because you interact with that part, it doesn’t count. Additionally, the case back has a very soft radius as well, allowing it to sit in the wrist, taking a bit of the height out.

Aesthetically, it’s a weird watch, but I like it. It’s not loud, or so weird as to draw attention, but it doesn’t look like anything else I’ve worn recently, save maybe an Ikepod. At the end of the day, it’s a modern tool watch with an organic shape. Nothing too crazy. It’s probably a bit chunky to wear with anything formal, but that’s not really its use case either. On a hike, for example, it would make a lot of sense, should you not mind the size/weight.



After doing this for 11 years, I can’t help but be a little jaded. I’ve seen so many dive watches, tool watches, vintage-inspired watches, modern watches, etc, that they’ve begun to blur together. When something comes along that is unique, but also tasteful, and thoughtful, I get really excited. The NEOTYPE LM-01 TYPE D is a weird watch that will likely not appeal to everyone. But, for those who do find it appealing, I think they’ll really like what they find.

It mixes “design” with tool watches in a way that doesn’t feel too weighted towards either side. Like the work of Mark Newsom or Ross Lovegrove but want your watch to still feel like a watch? Yeah, you get it. Sure, there is some room for improvement too. I’d love a version that was slightly smaller, also in titanium, but the general design direction and execution are all there.

The LM-01 ranges from 730 – 790 euros, including VAT. In USD and without VAT, that’s the mid $600s. That is a great price for this watch. It’s machined and built well, and everything has been designed from the ground up. Not to mention, it’s also assembled in France, should that be of interest. At the time of publishing, they also can be had for even less through the brand’s Kickstarter campaign, ending July 15th, 2022. NEOTYPE

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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