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Neotype LM02 Type C Chronograph

A Robust and Stealthy Multipurpose Tool Watch

This is just my opinion but I would say it’s quite neat whenever an up-and-coming watch brand creates its own visual identity and pairs it with an attractive spec-for-dollar ratio which lives below the $1,000 anxiety threshold. And whether we’re looking at century-old established Swiss giants or the youngest of the microbrands currently on the market, the trend today is to increase the price of collections with each new release. So seeing a brand lower the price tag of its second model is a welcome change, even more so when the said second model comes with better specs than the brand’s debut release. 

Today, therefore, it is my privilege to talk about the Neotype LM02 Type C Chronograph, the newest creation from the French brand. I had written a profile story on Neotype a while back and reviewed their first collection for other outlets. (Shame on me.) So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get my hands on their new baby which is, both visually and mechanically, superior to the first one—the already quite handsome LM01 Type D diver—and offered at a significantly reduced price—$578 USD down from $700 USD. There is therefore a lot of good stuff to talk about here. 


At first glance, the LM02 Type C commands a certain wrist presence, yet one which is offset by the lightness inherent to the mechanics we find underneath the hood. In other words, a Seiko VK64 Mecaquartz chronograph caliber which comes with a 3-year battery life and a stated monthly accuracy of +/-20 seconds. One of the obvious advantages of such movement is the fact that it will tick accurately for three years regardless of how much time it spends on your wrist. Two other advantages are, therefore, being light (which also comes with a higher resistance to magnetism compared to mechanical watches) and superior shock resistance. Being a hybrid caliber, the chronograph functionality is indeed a mechanical one which makes actuating the pushers a true pleasure—a pleasure which would have been non-existent on a full quartz movement. 

In terms of dimensions, then, we find a diameter of 41mm, a lug-to-lug of 48.50mm, a total thickness of 13.80mm (including a 3.5mm-thick double domed sapphire crystal,) and a lug width of 22mm. The Type C comes on both a two-piece black FKM rubber strap (the latter being a synthetic rubber that is more resistant to sweat, chemicals, and heat compared to natural rubber,) as well as a NATO-style nylon strap. I would add that the rubber is equipped with a solid stainless steel buckle and two large floating keepers, one of which being destined to be securely anchored near the buckle. So, actually, the Neotype LM02 Type C is not that big and is comfortable to wear thanks to being light (113g on the supplied rubber strap.) This matters because a mechanical version of this model would have weighed twice as much and be much less comfortable to wear on my 6.50”/16.5cm wrist. 

The first model from Neotype, the LM01 Type D diver, came with a sandwich dial construction which we also find here. In other words, the LM02 Type C doubles as a torch when the light goes down, where the BGW9 or Old Radium SuperLuminova (which one you get depends on which version of the Type C you opt for) glows brightly on all three hands as well as on the recessed hour markers. That is the inherent beauty of the sandwich construction as it means that a fully-lumed disc lives underneath the dial. (This process also guarantees and even application of lume on all markers.) I further appreciate how even the lume application on the hands and bezel is as they relate to the dial, which is not always a given. 

Lastly, when it comes to specs, I would be remiss not to mention the 200 meters of water resistance (screw-down crown and case-back,) as well as the screw-down chronograph pushers which means that you can safely run the chronograph in wet environments, whether it be caught in the rainstorm hiking one of the tallest summits of the world or diving the Great Barrier Reef. What this all means is that the Neotype LM02 Type C chronograph is a multi-purpose tool watch which is comfortable to wear and ultra legible. 


As I said in the introduction, there are a lot of things to cover in this review. Now that we’ve gone over the specs of the LM02, let’s talk about its design. Personally I very much liked how the LM01 Type D diver looked and I love the design of the new model even more. Neotype transferred over the general dial layout from the first collection—a mix of circular and baton-style hour markers and sign-post hands—and did a great job incorporating the chronograph complication. The dial is, again in my opinion, well balanced and easy to read, especially on this version of the watch (ref. LM02C1A) where we find old radium lume superbly contrasting with the matte black dial. Yes, there are three other versions of the LM02 Type C chrono: black dial/white lume/stainless steel case (ref. LM02C1N,) black dial/white lume/black sandblasted PVD case (ref. LM02C2N,) and black dial/old radium lume/black sandblasted PVD case (ref. LM02C2A.) 

Whichever version you look at comes with a stealthy, black-ops appearance, an effect created by the juxtaposition of the black-surround hands on the black dial. Neotype further opted to paint the majority of the seconds hand (except for the lumed tip) and lower portions of the hour and minute hands black, which makes all three appear to be levitating above the dial. Being equipped with a Seiko VK64 mecaquartz caliber, we find a 24-hour indicator on the right sub-register and a 60-minute totalizer on the left one. I love how both registers were designed—simply and effectively—and how well they integrate within the over dial layout. The two sub-registers come with fully lumed hands, and the fully graduated 60-minute counter with matching old-radium paint makes reading the elapsed time a breeze. 

Should you choose—or have a use for—the tachymeter scale, you could easily do so given that the markings are also painted with the same old radium hues. Of all four versions of the LM02 Type C I could have reviewed, I was the most attracted by the LM02C1A as I am mesmerized by the contrasts in colors between the stainless steel case, the black dial, and the old radium accents on the hands, hour markers, and bezel markings. The utilitarian nature of the LM02 is further emphasized by the fully brushed case (minus for the polished underside of the fixed bezel) and the FKM rubber or nylon strap the watch comes with. 

Lastly, I want to point out the myriad of tiny visual details Neotype endowed the LM02 Type C with. For example, the gorgeous side profile made up of the angular case design, the raised domed sapphire crystal, the downward sloped bezel insert (which is, by the way, made of sandblasted ceramic) and how it meets with the angled base of the bezel and the top of the case sides. I mean, look at the photo below and you will see what I’m talking about here. 

The Heart of the Matter

At the heart of the matter, therefore, is the fact that Neotype followed the success of its first release, the LM01 Type D diver—which was launched by way of a Kickstarter campaign—with a better-spec’d, more affordable, multipurpose tool watch. Since this is the second time I reference the affordability of the LM02 Type C, you should know that the stainless steel versions retail for $578 USD and the black PVD case versions for $623 USD. That is what I would define, in my book, as being a solid price for a robust tool watch that comes with the right stuff. Granted, mecaquartz chronograph movements are not for everyone—as there are still many watch snobs in our niche world of horology—however we can all agree that these movements come with many benefits which outweigh the hybrid nature of their mechanics. 

Things evolve and improve, so get on with them. 

Furthermore, I applaud the duo behind the brand for taking a big gamble by releasing the LM02 Type C in an immediate-purchase format. No Kickstarter campaign, no pre-ordering period. If you like what you saw here today you can actually go on Neotype’s website right now to purchase one of the four variants of the LM02. This is in itself something rare in the micro/independent watch world, and Neotype decided to release the new model in this way so that you can readily equip yourself with a proper tool watch for the summer. That is how tool watches—whether looking at divers, field, or pilot watches—used to be offered to those who needed them the most: available right now. So we find ourselves in a situation which we can call a “no-brainer” if, of course, you fancy the looks of the new Neotype LM02 Type C chronograph. 


In the introduction to this article I mentioned the fact that brands, big and small, tend to increase the retail price of each of their new collections. Neotype functions differently as the brand wanted to offer a lower-priced, better-spec’d tool watch, that is of course compared to their first model. There is roughly a $130 USD price difference between the two collections which is quite significant for many of us watch enthusiasts. A mechanical movement made way for a mecaquartz one, the fit and finish have been widely improved (compared to the first one,) and the offering for the second collection has been simplified, going from six versions for the LM01 Type D to four versions of the LM02 Type C. This means Neotype is narrowing down what constitutes their ideal vision of a proper tool watch, instead of trying to please the masses. 

That is how I like my micro/independent brands. So again, if you liked what you saw here today I encourage you to visit this page to learn more about all four versions of the LM02 and, why not, purchase one? 

Thanks for reading. 


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