Apple's never been terribly generous with the accessories that it supplies with its products, and we reckon that the elegant design of the Apple Watch (and its GPS-equipped successor, the Apple Watch Series 2) deserves something a bit smarter than the plain white charging cable that comes in the box. Fortunately, there's a wide range of stylish and practical stands and docks that you can use to show off your latest Apple gadget.
Here, we round up some of the Apple Watch accessories we've seen so far, and we'll continue adding to this article as more become available.
Lewis Painter contributed to this article.
Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Dock
- Buy from Apple
If you're rich enough to buy one of the Watch Edition models - starting price £1,249, thank you very much - then it arrives in a plush little leather-clad box that also doubles up as a charging dock.
The rest of us peasants just get a bog-standard cable with our Watch, and it was only recently that Apple got around to producing a dock for the rest of us - albeit one that's only available as an optional extra costing a further £79.
The Magnetic Charging Dock is a typically smart piece of Apple design, looking like a little silver-and-white flying saucer. Right in the centre of the disk is a magnetic connector that holds the Watch in place while it's charging, and is designed to work with both 38mm and 42mm versions of the Watch.
This connector can switch between flat and upright positions, so if you come home and need a quick top-up you can just slip the Watch off and lay it flat on the charger, and then grab it again when you're ready to go out. At night, you can lift the charge connector up and wrap the strap around it, so that the Watch lies on its side. That will automatically tell the Watch to go into its special Nightstand mode so that it can act as an alarm clock while it's charging overnight.
The design is neat and efficient, but doesn't do a lot to justify its hefty price tag. There's plenty of interesting competition from the many rival docks and chargers that we've rounded up here.
Twelve South TimePorter
One of the newer docks on this list is this, the TimePorter from Twelve South. It's a cool little case for storing and charging your Apple Watch whether at home or on the go and costs $49.99 (not including shipping outside the US).
Using the Apple Watch charging disc that comes with the Watch, you clip the cable into the case where you can store the plug, extra straps and other accessories. This is great as it tidies everything away; having the Watch and all its bits charging on your nightstand can otherwise be a cable-twisted nightmare.
Your Watch attaches to the charging disk on the outside, and if you lift the lid it acts as a stand in a viewing position like an alarm clock. You can pack everything away and chuck it in a bag, too.
Native Union DOCK for Apple Watch
- Buy from Native Union
Most of the docks that we've seen recently make an effort to mimic the smooth, curved edges of the Apple Watch, but Native Union prefers to do its own thing with the chunky, rectangular design of its Dock range.
At first glance, the Dock simply looks like a rectangular lump of aluminium, with a large cylindrical charging arm sticking out on one side. They have, however, put a little more thought into it than that. Left-handers like me will appreciate the fact that you can keep the Dock standing upright and switch it around so that the charging arm is on either the left- or right-hand side. The charging arm rotates too, so you can adjust the angle to keep the screen visible no matter where you place the Dock. Alternatively, you can just lay it flat and use the Apple Watch in Nightstand mode when you're charging it overnight.
The best part of the Dock is the sleek aluminium rotating arm, which can be smoothly turned to control the precise angle of your Watch for 'optimum viewing', according to Native Union. This is a simple idea, but one that works terrifically well, especially when laid horizontally to activate Nightstand mode. The circular design of the arm and magnetic charger come together to create a dock that can be used whether your Watch is buckled or unbuckled, with no fear of it falling off.
The dock itself is comprised of only two components with no visible seals, and are attached using strong magnets, which adds to the overall premium look and feel of the Dock. The magnetic charging cable is fed into the dock where it’s locked into place, eliminating the frustration of fumbling around for your charger late at night.
There are actually two versions of the Dock available. The standard aluminium model is priced at a relatively affordable £49.99/$59.99, and is available in a number of different colours. But, taking aim at the people who can afford the luxury pricing of the Apple Watch Edition, Native Union also makes a model called the Dock Marble Edition, which as the name suggests is made out of a weighty little slab of marble. That costs a hefty £129.99/$129.99, but it's available with either black or white marble, and I have to admit that the white marble version does look rather classy.
You can also buy the Dock Collection, which is a two-pack containing docks for both the Apple Watch and iPhone, priced at £79.98/$95.98.
Native Union Anchor Apple Watch Charging Pad
Native Union recently released the Anchor for Apple Watch to sit alongside Dock in the company's ever-expanding dock line-up. Unlike many other Apple Watch docks in the market that are quite bulky and (in our opinion) demand attention, the brushed-metal ANCHOR takes a slightly less in-your-face approach.
In fact, the dock itself isn’t much bigger than the body of the Apple Watch itself, providing an ideal option for those of us that enjoy an uncluttered desk/bedside table. It's also weighted with a non-slip silicon base to 'anchor' the dock in place, even when the Apple Watch isn’t on charge.
It's precision engineered without the need for screws, and is made from two components for a truly simple, understated design. The Apple Watch magnetic charging cable (not provided) fits between the two components securely, providing a premium feel without a premium price tag. If you're looking for an understated but stylish Apple Watch dock on a budget, this is one of our favourites.
- Buy from MAGFAST
This neat little dock for your Apple Watch can be used as a plugged in wall charger or as a charged, portable power bank.
The Watch charges wirelessly, but you can also charge the unit via USB-C and USB-A. The trick up the TimeCharger's sleeve is that it's part of Magfast's larger ecosystem of charging blocks, that clip together magnetically and aim to stop that horrid tangle of wires you've no doubt got at the moment.
The full set is called the Magfast Family, and you can get as many or as few as you like. They are on pre-order now.
Belkin Valet Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone
- Buy from Belkin
It's probably safe to assume that anyone who owns an Apple Watch also has an iPhone as well, so it might be worth looking at a two-in-one dock such as Belkin's Valet, that will allow you to charge them both at the same time.
The Valet has a rectangular base with a power cable at the back, and a Lightning connector that can be used to charge an iPhone 5 or later. There's a T-shaped rod that projects up from the base and has two arms. One arm acts as a stand for your iPhone, while the other has an induction charger for the Apple Watch.
The charger also has a couple of little magnets built into it, which grab the Watch and hold it in place, as well as keeping the screen upright so that you can still check the time or your apps while it's charging. The Valet uses its own built-in power supply, which provides charge for both devices at the same time and cuts down on the clutter of using multiple cables.
It's a bit pricey, but we like the space-saving convenience of the Valet, and it does have some nice extra touches, such as the ability to adjust the height of the Lightning connector so that you can charge your iPhone while it's still in a protective case. And if you don't want this two-in-one option then there is also a less expensive version of the Valet that just works with the Apple Watch on its own.
Boostcase Bloc Wireless Dock for Apple Watch
So you’ve got a wireless Apple Watch, now how about a wireless way to charge it? Remember you have to charge the charger (still with us?), but if you enjoy the clean, no wires approach then this affordable charger is a good idea.
When fully charged, the Bloc has enough juice to recharge your Watch about four times, so it’s the ideal weekend charge solution if you don’t want to take your wall charger, or you won’t be near a plug.
Twelve South Forté Charging Stand for Apple Watch
- Buy from Apple
We reckon that Twelve South could teach even Apple a trick or two when it comes to designing elegant accessories, and the Forté is one of the smartest Watch Docks we've seen so far. The chrome and leather base looks smart and classy, and its gently curved gleaming edges mirror the shape of the Apple Watch itself. The stand is also weighted to provide a steady base on a variety of surfaces.
To charge up your Watch you simply insert Apple's charging cable into a groove in the back of the supporting arm, and we like the way that the arm curves up and behind the body of the Watch so that it looks as though the Watch is simply hovering in the air. It's designed to hold both sizes of Watch, with any type of open or closed-loop strap, and you can rest the Watch in the upright position or on its side to use Nightstand mode when you're charging overnight.
You can also rest your iPhone on the soft leather base if you want to keep your devices together, although there's no charging option built into the Forté for the iPhone.
Travel Power Bank Backup Battery for Apple Watch
- Buy from Griffin
We're a little surprised that there haven't been more mobile charging devices released for the Apple Watch, given the widespread concerns about its battery life.
With that in mind, Griffin's Travel Power Bank looks like a good option for people who need a quick top-up when they're on the move. It's a compact little battery pack that measures just 38mm wide, 114mm long and 9.5mm thick, and it comes with a key-ring attachment so that you can just slip it into your pocket when you're travelling, or attach it to a backpack or carabiner when you're hiking around the countryside at weekends.
There's a circular charging connector built into the upper side of the Travel Power Bank, so you can just drop the Watch onto the connector when you need a top-up without having to use Apple's normal charging cable. The rechargeable battery has a capacity of 1050mA, which Griffin says should provide 3-4 full charges, depending on which size Watch you own, so it'll see you through a long plane flight, or a weekend in the great outdoors, with no trouble at all. When you get back home you can recharge the internal battery using the bundled micro-USB cable with a standard USB mains adaptor or USB port on a laptop.
If you're looking for charging dock that doesn't cost a fortune, then Griffin's WatchStand will fit the bill. It has a simple pedestal design that allows you to rest your Apple Watch on the top of a thin plastic column that stands almost eight inches tall on your desk. You can place your Watch either upright with the strap open, or sideways so that you can use Nightstand mode when charging it up overnight (although sideways will be your only option if your Watch has a closed-loop strap).
The height of the WatchStand does make it look a bit bulky, but that's partly because the pedestal column is designed so that you can wrap longer cables around the inner core of the column to reduce clutter. The mostly plastic construction has something of a cheap and cheerful feel about it too, but you can't really expect the gleaming chrome or aluminium of more expensive rivals at this sort of price.
The base of the WatchStand angles slightly upwards and has a protruding lip on the front edge that allows you to rest an iPhone there if you want to charge the two devices together. However, Griffin has launched another version of the WatchStand that has a larger base with some extra room for the iPhone, and also has its own power supply so that you can plug your charging cables into the underside of the stand and keep them hidden out of sight.
Twelve South HiRise Apple Watch Stand
Twelve South has added to its HiRise line-up by introducing the new HiRise for Apple Watch, which works with the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging cable and holds the Watch at a height and angle designed to allow you to interact with it while it charges.
The new HiRise for Apple Watch is available in black or silver, and is compatible with all of the Apple Watch sizes, designs and straps, with the price varying slightly depending on the colour you want.
Just Mobile TimeStand for Apple Watch
Just Mobile shares Apple's little fetish for carved aluminium, and many of its accessories for Macs and iOS devices look like little pieces of sculpture that add a touch of style to your desk.
The TimeStand is another smart addition to the Just Mobile collection, with an elegant pedestal design carved out of a single block of aluminium. The weight of the metal ensures that the TimeStand provides a steady base for the Apple Watch, and it uses Apple's own magnetic charging cable to hold the Watch in place atop the pedestal. The charge connector is also angled upwards so that the Watch screen is always visible on your desk.
There's a circular cut-away in the body of the stand that adds to the sculpted look and feel, while also giving you somewhere to dangle the wrist-strap while it's charging.
The only problem here is that the TimeStand was released before Apple came up with the bright idea of Nightstand mode in WatchOS 2.0 in October 2015, and the decidedly vertical design of the stand isn't ideal if you want to sneak a peek at the Watch while you're hiding under the duvet. However, Just Mobile does make another stand, called the HoverDock, that goes to the opposite extreme. The HoverDock has a low-profile horizontal design that is much more suited to Nightstand mode, and there's a version of the HoverDock for the iPhone as well, so you can have matching accessories for all your devices.
Nomad Pod for Apple Watch
There are also portable battery packs emerging that will help make your Apple Watch last longer if you're not going to have access to a plug socket to charge the device.
The Nomad Pod is a small gadget that has a 1800mAh battery inside, which the company claims will provide up to four full charges of the Apple Watch. You can also charge other UBS powered devices by plugging in to its USB or USB-C ports.
The Nomad Pod is available in in Silver or Space Grey.
Nomad Stand for Apple Watch
Nomad also makes an Apple Watch charging stand, simply called 'Stand'. It's a sleek piece of kit, made from a single piece of curved aluminium that fits nicely with Apple's design approach and looks great with the Apple Watch, which rests on the stand at an angle and is held in place by the magnetic charging cable.
TechLink Recharge 1000
TechLink normally makes big chunky battery packs for the iPad and iPhone, which don't look particularly elegant but do provide plenty of power when you need it. The company's new Recharge dock for the Apple Watch is a nice change of direction, and manages to combine style and practicality with a really competitive price.
The Recharge is available in both black and white, and comes in two parts. There's a cylindrical stand that acts as an ordinary dock when you're at home, and allows you to charge your Watch using the standard charging cable. But, inside the dock, there's also a rechargeable battery that you can use to keep the Watch going when you're travelling. The battery has 1000mAh capacity, which TechLink says is enough to provide three complete recharges for the 38mm Watch, or 2.5 charges for the larger 42mm version of the Watch.
There's also a padded travelling case included with the dock for when you're on the move. There are some nice touches here, such as the ability to charge the Watch while it's still in the case, and to wind the charging cable inside the body of the dock to save space. TechLink also says there's room for the longer 1m and 2m cables that Apple sells, so you can carry all your Watch kit around in one neat little case. And to top it off, it's cheaper than Apple's stay-at-home Charging Dock and a lot more versatile.
The Timber Catchall Stand for Apple Watch
- Buy from Pad & Quill
Another stunning Apple Watch accessory is The Timber Catchall from Pad & Quill. It's a charging station/organiser that provides a neat, convenient place to charge your Apple Watch as well as your iPhone, and there's also a space for keys, change or any other small bits and bobs that you might want to add.
It's handmade from a single piece of hardwood, and you can choose from American Cherry, African Mahogany or Premium American Walnut. They're available to buy right now and will set you back $99.95 (around £80).
Calypso Timeless Moment
- Buy from Calypso Crystal
The Timeless Moment is a handcrafted Italian leather Apple Watch charging system. Available in four different colours, the Moment's arch shape allows every Apple Watch and strap combo to fit perfectly and is held in place using magnets. The Apple Watch charger itself is hidden within the Moment, making it a very stylish charging system - simply place your Apple Watch on top and it'll start charging automatically.
It's one of the more expensive charging systems in our roundup, costing €149 (around £127).
Elago Apple Watch Vintage Stand
- Buy from Elago
Here's one for the Apple enthusiasts that have been following the company since long before all this fancy touch-screen malarkey started. Elago's W3 Stand (a.k.a. the Apple Watch Vintage Stand) turns your Apple Watch into a teeny tiny original Macintosh while it's charging. It even sits at a slight angle to match the original Mac, and uses Nightstand mode to make sure the screen is aligned correctly.
X-Doria Defense Edge Apple Watch Case
- Buy from Mobile Fun
Here's a slightly different type of Apple Watch accessory before we finish: a protective case from X-Doria. If you've chosen a gold Apple Watch that cost you £8,000 you're not going to want to cover it up with one of these, but for those with the £299 aluminium model it could be appealing. The Defense Edge snaps on to your Apple Watch to protect it from bumps or scratches.
It comes in gold, silver, blue or red and is available for both Apple Watch sizes at a price of £18.99.