Apple took eight months to release a charging stand for the Apple Watch after launching the device back in April 2015, but that didn't stop accessory manufacturers from stepping in with their own dock offerings in the meantime.
And you'll be glad they did. Apple's plain white Magnetic Charging Dock costs $79 (£65, AU$129) and is decent enough, but if you've personalized your watch with a strap, why not go the whole hog and choose a stand that fits your style too?
We've compiled some of the best third-party docks below, ranging from handcrafted wooden designs to docks machined from aircraft-grade aluminum. So read on to check out the finest stands available for your bedside table. Just remember to bring your charging cable.
Note: we've ranked these from cheapest to most expensive according to prices at time of writing.
1. Fuse Chicken Bobine Watch
As flexible as it is affordable
Colors: Silver/White | Material: Metal
Most docks are rigid, inflexible things, but not the unique Bobine Watch from Fuse Chicken. The cable-like device can be twisted into all manner of shapes, meaning you can get the perfect angle for your desk or bedside table every time (to activate Nightstand mode, for example).
We managed to wrap this thing around pretty much anything - coiling it around a lamp, an iPhone stand, and even a bed post for some in-your-face screen interaction. Of course, flexibility is key to its adaptability, but crucially the stand holds position on its own and doesn't droop under the weight of even the heaviest metal wrist straps.
The only drawback is the lack of cable routing beyond a small plastic clip tucked behind the charging disc holder – ideally you'd be able to channel it through the inside of the stand – but to be fair you can wrap the cable around the neck pretty easily instead. The Bobine also comes with stabilisation clips for mounting in your car.
2. Griffin WatchStand
A Watch and iPhone stand all in one
Colors: Black, White | Material: Plastic
Your Apple Watch is a gorgeous thing to behold, so it's no surprise Griffin has designed this totemic stand to help you show it off when it's not on your wrist.
At the top of the plastic stand lies an angled cradle for your Watch's charging connector and a hole for the cable to wind around the detachable rubber inner core and slip out the rear of the base. The Watch sits securely on top with the band either buckled round the back or open and hanging down the front (hint: not the best look).
The weighted, non-slip base provides confident footing to the display and has a thoughtful lip at the front to rest your iPhone against lengthways; there's no power outlet for it, mind, but that's where Griffin's WatchStand Powered Charging Station (£41/US$60/AU$84) comes in - it takes care of your iPhone's power needs too.
3. TwelveSouth HiRise for Apple Watch
A premium finish without the price tag
Colors: Black, White | Material: Brushed aluminum
TwelveSouth has taken the same brushed aluminum of its mainstay HiRise for iPhone device and machined it into a wide-base stand that gives great stability if you like to interact with your watch when it's not on your wrist.
The charging disk fits snugly into a silicone recess in the reclining stand and the cable runs down a rear channel and underneath the base's band-friendly leather-lined platform, which raises for easy routing and storage.
Silicone padding on the cut-outs protects from any mishaps when placing and removing your watch, making for a solid, yet surprisingly lightweight, stand all round.
4. Just Mobile TimeStand
An artful option with a weighty feel
Colors: Black, Silver | Material: Aluminum
If you're not so taken by the idea of twinning your all-metal Watch with a plastic stand, take a look at this artful option from Just Mobile. Machined from a single block of aluminum, the cylindrical bar feels nice and weighty in the hand but stays kind to bedside cabinet surfaces thanks to its protective rubber-lined base.
The Apple Watch charger slots in to an angled recess in the top, which has a channel running out from the side and down to the base to route the cable neatly. And that sculpted cylindrical hole isn't just for looks - your Watch's buckled wristband tucks in here when you mount it on the stand (in portrait orientation at least). The price seems about right, too.
5. Mophie Watch Dock
A simple yet stylish way to show off your Watch
Colors: Metallic silver | Material: Aluminum
This aluminum stand keeps things simple from the moment you open the box. The included quick start guide explains how to place your Watch's inductive charger into the circular cut-out and feed the cable down a rubber channel inside the vertical arm, through the base and out the back.
Faux leather padding on the angled cradle provides a safe buffer between the metal and the back of your watch, while a rubber pad on the base provides protection for your desk/table. At four ounces, it's fairly light, but provides a stable mid-size mount for both sizes of watch. Some might find the price a bit steep though.
6. Proper WatchKeeper
A discreet, durable alternative to a conventional stand
Colors: Black, Tan | Material: Steel and leather
Stand-based docks are great for showing off your luxurious timepiece, but if you're after more discretion then check out this leather-lined protective steel case from Proper.
Your watch lies flat inside in a soft EVA foam tray. Leather band owners may find this a fiddle at first – and Milanese loops need to be detached at the clasp – but once your watch is in, it's protected on top by more foam lining in the case lid. The charging disc lies in a cut-out in the tray, while the cable runs discreetly underneath and out of a side port for connecting to a power source.
The case also doubles up as a hidden stash for your cable when it's not in use, making this case a fine travel accessory. It's also compatible with both watch sizes.
7. Native Union Dock
Display your Watch your way
Colors: Slate/Space Gray, Midnight Blue/Gold, Stone/Rose Gold | Material: Graphite silicone, plastic and aluminum
Native Union's minimalist dock comes in two parts: a heavy block base made of rubbery-soft matte graphite silicone, and a plastic/aluminum cylinder. The Apple Watch charging disk snaps into a moulded cradle on the cylinder, which has an elliptical groove inside where the cable feeds through and runs out of the bottom from a discreet well.
With the charger in place, the cylinder slots magnetically into the reversible base, where it can be rotated freely. Your Watch snaps onto it securely, buckled or not, while the base can be reversed and placed horizontally or vertically, depending on how you want to view and interact with the watch display. Nightstand mode works fine as well.
Apple's Midnight Blue wristband color really looks the part with this design. The dock works with both watch sizes, too. The price is a bit steep for something so simple-looking, but at 450g, the sheer heft of the dock feels like money well spent – unless you're packing it for travel, of course...
8. TwelveSouth Forté
A stylish dock that looks the part on any surface
Colors: Silver/Black | Material: Chrome and leather
The second TwelveSouth stand to feature in our roundup, the Forté goes one better in the style department and genuinely looks great from any angle, on any surface. The chrome and leather combination helps, but it's actually the open design of the curved stand that puts your watch's band front and centre.
The clasp goes over or through the curve, which is where your charging cable routes through (it has a rubber-lined open back). The chrome mount has a metal ring that pops off, revealing the rubber enclosure for your charging disc.
The 45-degree angle of the mount activates Nightstand mode in sideways orientation and provides ample support for interacting with the screen. And the leather lining of the base provides a soft rest for open clasps, for when you just can't be bothered to buckle up.
9. Pad & Quill Luxury Pocket Stand
A rustic wooden option that really stands out
Colors: American Cherry, Exotic Sapele, American Walnut | Material: Hardwood
This all-natural hardwood stand has a signature handmade rustic feel that's typical of most Pad & Quill products, and while an Apple Sport band might seem out of place on it, the sculpted look and smooth lacquer finish of the grain make a Hermès leather band look positively at home.
The adjustable-angle stand has a neat nook to house your Watch's magnetic charging disc, with a channel for the cable which then loops behind and runs neatly down into an inlet and out the back from beneath the base.
The horizontal cut-out for the buckled strap provides a secure fit for both sizes of Apple Watch, and when the stand's not in use it folds away into a compact, lightweight wooden block no thicker than a matchbox.
10. Boostcase BLOC Wireless Dock
A wireless charger in metal or wood
Colors: Silver Aluminum, Space Gray Aluminum, Bamboo Wood | Material: Aluminum or wood
This is different. The BLOC is not only the most Apple-looking dock we've covered, it's also the only one in our roundup that offers wireless charging, thanks to a 2000mAh battery inside.
It's not 'plug and play' though and comes in six pieces: an almost 10-inch long piece of metal (wood also available), a battery with micro-USB cable for charging, two rubber inserts for two sizes of charging disc, and a guitar-like pick.
Once assembled, your Apple charging cable winds through a series of labyrinthine turns inside the dock and connects to the battery, which snaps in magnetically at one end and has enough juice for (in our tests) three full charges. Three LEDs along the same end let you know how much power is left at a tap.
It's not too heavy, but it's a bit of a wrangle getting the cable in and out, so you might want to buy an additional one just to avoid the hassle. Otherwise, this is a neat alternative for minimalist desktops that lives up to its claims and also comes in a variety of colors.
These are ordered by price at the time of writing - however, some variation may occur over time!