Apple Watch Stands – 2015 Holiday Shopping Guide

Whether you have an Apple Watch Sport with a silicone band, or the premium Apple Watch with a leather or metallic band, chances are good you’ve found a need to top off the battery every night while you sleep.  If you’re buying a new Apple Watch for someone special this holiday season, or for yourself, don’t forget to pick up an Apple Watch Stand.  Here is our 2015 Holiday Shopping Guide to some of the best Apple Watch Stand options on the market right now.

If you search for Apple Watch Stands you’ll find that everyone, their brother, and their cousin, has begun to offer a product in this segment.  The selection is just downright HUGE!  There is absolutely no way we could test ALL of the stands available, so what you’ll find here instead is a curated selection of what we felt were some of the best, coolest, or perhaps just most interesting options on the market right now.

Testing was performed by myself (38mm Apple Watch Sport), my wife Beth (42mm Apple Watch with both Milanese Loop and a silicone sport band), and my friend Holly (38mm Apple Watch with both Milanese Loop, and Link metal band).  We compared how all of the stands worked based on this variety of both watch sizes, and various bands.  Opinions definitely varied, but there were a few stands nobody wanted, and a few we all got excited about.  There was no clear universal winner, though perhaps a few clear losers, and each of us have a personal favorite.

Below are the various stands we tested, presented in no particular order.  If you have any questions about the form or function of these devices that we don’t cover here, please visit our comments section at the bottom of this post.  In the future we’ve heard that the Apple Store will start to carry more stand/dock options, though right now the Elevation Labs is the only option they carry.  We’ll also test 3rd party Apple Watch Bands, once those become more readily available.  Enjoy!

Griffin WatchStand Charging Dock

Right out the gate I’m going to start with a personal favorite, but not for good reasons.  The Griffin WatchStand Charging Dock was a bit of a joke amongst the three of us, because of the shape of the unit.  We quickly nicknamed this unit “the phallus” for obvious reasons.  As is typical from hardware by this manufacturer, the Griffin WatchStand was a solidly built, quality item.  But the unit still wasn’t really a winner in our book.

With its towering design this stand is uniquely different from the others on the market.  The long, slender body provides a place to hide your charging cable’s excess wire.  This does reduce clutter on your night stand or desk compared to the other stands, but it also means you’ll not be as able to quickly remove your cable, say for an extended trip away.  And given the size/weight of the device, you’ll probably not want to lug the whole thing along, forcing you to perhaps purchase an additional charge cable for your Apple Watch.  (This is the case with a few of the stands we tested, honestly)

Still, even with the watch displayed at such a precariously high elevation, we found the Griffin WatchStand was solid enough that it never toppled over, and never felt uneasy on a flat surface.  For my black Apple Watch Sport, the black base looked adequate, and with a sport band (or any other non-loop type band) you have the option of placing the watch vertical or horizontal.

Although they do offer a white color option, both of the ladies felt that the unit wasn’t quite classy enough, and sadly looked more like an adult “toy” on their nightstand, instead of a classy place to rest their time piece.  It didn’t look cheap, but as Holly said, it just felt more “furniture” and less like the artwork we desire.  Overall I would say the stand was felt too much like an appliance, and didn’t blend in enough with the surroundings.

Quality was indeed superb, but style and function gave way to a unanimous “no thanks” when we reviewed the Griffin WatchStand.  We’d steer clear of “the phallus” … unless you like that sort of thing. 🙂

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Mophie Dock for Apple Watch

Next up is the Mophie Dock for Apple Watch which, as far as those reviewed here, is a bit on the pricey side.  You can get into a cheap watch stand/dock for under $20, but this unit currently tips the scales at nearly $60.  With premium leather surfaces and aluminum trim, this stand looks the part, but is it worth the price?  Overall, we didn’t really think so…

Setup was easy, and the cord stays nicely hidden.  However, the magnetic disc felt overly snug in the opening, especially with the provided rubber piece to secure it.  This unit wasn’t too high, and as such it always felt very stable even with some of the heavier watches on it (such as a 42mm with a Milense Loop).  But when your watch is positioned on the charger, it can sway back-and-forth slightly, and made this unit feel a bit cheaper.

Overall we found this stand is unique, classier than most of the others, looking more premium.  But the function of it wasn’t worth paying twice or thrice the cost of the other stands.  Would we suggest the Mophie Dock stand?  Sure, but it landed somewhere in the middle or towards the bottom of our test, getting just an “eh” from the three of us.

Still, the metal bands had a nice soft area to rest, and the size was modest and potentially portable.  We just had a hard time getting over the poorly fitting charging magnet, the high price, and the only mediocre build quality.

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Moxiware Apple Watch Dock Duo

One of the more unique devices in our testing is the Moxiware Apple Watch Dock Duo.  When we acquired it a few months back it was truly the only dual-charger option for both watch and iPhone.  Since then there are a lot more options on the market today.  I suspect that if you searched the usual places (such as Amazon), you’ll find many options especially in the dual-charging (phone & watch combo) realm.  This is what we had available to us when testing began, so this is the only dual-charger we will review.

This particular unit from Moxiware is a gorgeous mix of aluminum and wood.  Holly fell in love with it, and appreciated the ability to easily have one home for both her devices.  She also came to realize that when listening to phone audio, it did a nice job slightly amplifying the sound.

We found the packaging was sparse, and the lack of instructions was a hurdle as it did take a few minutes of scratching our head to understand how it all went together.  But once we figured it out, it was “pretty spiffy” (in Holly’s own words).  For a first generation product, it really does a great job showcasing your Apple hardware.

We found that the metal bands/bracelets would droop onto your table, but if you clasped them tighter or have smaller bands/wrists, this might not be an issue.  I personally wasn’t a fan of the metal “facade” piece that goes across the face of the unit, and even the girls admitted it had a little less “polish” to it than they might desire.

But in truth the overall display was pretty, and worthy of these gorgeous devices.  The wife/I appreciated this unit, but weren’t particular smitten with it.  But as a testament to her happiness with it, Holly continues to use this dock still to this day.  There may be other/better dual charging options out there, but of the only one we tested, the Moxiware definitely gets a thumbs-up from all three of us.

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Twelve South HiRise Stand for Apple Watch

When Twelve South started offering an Apple Watch stand, I jumped on it instantly!  As you’ll see in the gallery below, I was already using their hardware for my MacBook Air as well as my iPhone, so their unit sort of “completes” my collection.  Although I think both Holly and Beth appreciated the Twelve South HiRise Stand for Apple Watch, nobody loves it as much as me.  I’ve been using this stand since I got it, and never once looked back.

Packaging of the unit is professional, and comes with great hardware, instructions, and the allen key needed to assemble it all.  As Holly said, “you could tell they put a lot of thought into the Twelve South HiRise Stand” — and it shows.

What is nice about this unit is the low slung height, and large platform.  This provides a very stable environment for your device, which never wobbles.  Our only real complaint with the Twelve South HiRise Stand was that the hole for the magnet was snug, but not as tight as it could have been.  We’re splitting hairs here, as it hasn’t moved much on us anyhow.  But an extra half millimeter of snugness there wouldn’t hurt.

Both the ladies, with their metal bands, found that placing their watch into the opening for the lower band area was never an issue.  It is a white rubberized material (felt almost like a combination of nylon or rubber), that provides a safe haven for your watch.  And the Twelve South HiRise Stand looks like something a jewelry store might have to display their time pieces.

This stand (like many others we tested) forces you into a vertical placement.  If you want to use the new Night stand mode that Watch OS 2.0 offers, this is not the stand for you.  Still my personal favorite is the Twelve South HiRise Stand for Apple Watch, not just because it nicely matches the rest of their hardware I use for my Apple products, but because it has good form/function, looks classy, and works without much worry.  I did purchase a spare charging cable, since packing this stand for vacation is a bit bulky and a headache.  Though that could be said about most of the stands in this list save for the three remaining ones below.

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Elevation Lab Night Stand

A few years ago I had an Elevation dock for my iPhone, so when I found out they were coming out with the Elevation Lab Night Stand, I pre-ordered it right off their website.  Color options tantalized me, so I went with a fun blue color.  That may have been a mistake, as I think that detracted from making it as classy as it could have been.  Still, if you have an Apple Watch Sport, you can buy these direct from the Apple Store, available in all of the sport band colors.  If you like to match your watch to your stand, this one may be a great option for you.

Beth didn’t mind this stand, but complained about the lack of a “rest” for the watch (check out the next stand, she likes that one better!).  Holly complained that her watch, due to the weight of the bands not being even side-to-side, would rest cock-eyed (at an angle) which messed up her mojo.  And both the ladies felt the color wasn’t their thing, as I said.

I felt the stand was just “okay” — I said I liked it, but never quite fell in love with it.  There was a strange protrusion (by intent of Elevation) for the magnet, which might have made it easier to place your watch on, but looked funny when it wasn’t on the stand.  Thanks to the friction bottom (which the next stand here in this list also has), it did a fine job staying in one place.

Included with the stand is a double-sided adhesive pad that allows you to potentially place it vertically, on the side of a test or night stand.  This might be a cool spot, and for those with such a need, a great option that no other stand we tested really offers.  On their website Elevation Labs shows this on the side of a desk, for example.

Overall we found this to be a nice, small, low-profile stand.  And the color selection really sets it apart from the rest.  However, if you’re looking for a minimalistic approach, you can spend half as much as the Elevation Lab Night Stand and get the Spigen shown in the very next review.

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Spigen Apple Watch Night Stand (S350)

In total we tested two stands from Spigen.  And while this unit, the Spigen Apple Watch Night Stand, was the second of the two we tested, it turns out to have been a favorite for Beth.  It is quite similar to the Elevation unit tested (above), except that you don’t have any color options.  Our favorite thing about BOTH the Spigen units is definitely the hole for the magnet, which was the perfect blend of snugness and easy-of-install.

Where the Elevation stand leaves your watch sort of hanging in space, which caused Holly’s watch to sit crooked, the Spigen Apple Watch Night Stand solves this by way of a bottom protrusion.  If you are using a smaller watch you have the option to install the included pad, which isn’t necessary, but helps assure your watch sits level.  Setup is otherwise very simply here, just as the other Spigen (next review) was to get going.

Where the blue Elevation unit looked like “a ball of playdoh” (Holly), the Spigen Apple Watch Night Stand has a more chiseled design, that nicely matches the watch.  It is definitely simply, sparse, and functional.  It lacks some of the glitz and glamour of the more elevated and pronounced stands.  But that simplicity is what some people want, and what the wife liked most about this stand.  (It also meant the cats couldn’t knock it over, thanks to its sticky friction bottom).

If you want the smallest stand of the bunch, this one takes the cake.  It isn’t the lightest (the next Spigen wins that award), but it is perhaps the least intrusive on your desk or night stand.  And overall, we liked this one a lot.

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Spigen Apple Watch Stand (S330)

Last but hardly least is the Spigen Apple Watch Stand.  Funny thing, when we first purchased Apple Watch devices for myself (and the wife), we ordered up two of these with no real anticipation of doing this review.  Then a few weeks later, as more stands came to market, I worried I had rushed to order this affordable unit, thinking something better would come to market.

Having tested ALL of these stands, I can honestly say that the Spigen Apple Watch Stand, one of the VERY first to reach market, was actually probably the best bang for the buck of all the units we tested.  There are units that are cheaper, but most are the same price or even more expensive.  This one is low-slung enough to be stable, but with the heavier watches can fall over if you’re not careful.   Still, it is simple in design, useful in function, and very clean-looking.  This unit had the longest run on our night stands, until we all found something we liked better.

One pro for this unit is that it is so thin and so light, you wouldn’t be afraid to just take it in your bag on vacation.  However, a con for is that the light weight makes it slightly unstable when placing your watch on/off the stand.  Another pro is the quick ease of install, so even if you left the stand at home, removing your charge cable is a 5-second affair.  And as I noted in the prior review, the opening for the magnet on both Spigen Apple Watch Stand units is perfect!

The only other negative about this unit is that your band does drape down and rest on top of the aluminum base. Though we saw no damage to the stand nor the watch during our testing, we do expect that over a longer period of time, this could induce wear-and-tear.  Only time would tell.  Still, we all approved this stand with a smile, and would recommend it as a great entry-level, simply stand, with a great price point.

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Although our photos don’t show EVERY watch on EVERY stand, rest-assured we tested them across all platforms and the varying bands.  Overall just about all the stands tested would work great, and we’d dare say you should shop based on style more than anything else.  That being said, those noted that lacked sturdiness (heft) or such might be considerations you can make when shopping.  And of course, price is often a factor worth considering.

In the end, the Twelve South HiRise Stand for Apple Watch was the stand that I’m still going to keep using, and overall our favorite single watch-only stand.  Holly landed on the Moxiware Apple Watch Dock Duo, though I suspect down the road she’ll find nicer dual-charger systems that woo her over to their design (perhaps something more polished looking).  And the wife landed on one of the minimalistic style stands, specifically the modern-and-simple Spigen Apple Watch Night Stand which works great with Watch OS 2.0 in Night Stand mode.

No matter what stand you get, we recommend picking something that you enjoy the look and styling.  Try to find one that is easy to place your watch on/off, as you’ll do this task every morning, and every night.  And stay within a budget you desire.  Happy shopping this holiday season!

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