Review: HiRise for Apple Watch

Twelve South stands apart from many peripheral vendors for their singular focus on making products designed to complement Apple's aesthetic. They make cases, stands and other accessories that look beautiful with Apple computers and mobile devices. I've used their gear for a long time and I love almost everything I've tried.

When Twelve South announced plans for an Apple Watch stand, I was all in. In fact, I got my HiRise for Apple Watch long before Apple shipped me an Apple Watch. Now that I've had a chance to try it out, I really like it.

The HiRise for Apple Watch follows the same design philosophy Twelve South uses in its other HiRise products: It complements—but not overshadows—the products it's designed to work with. I've reviewed the HiRise Deluxe for iPhone and iPad, and the HiRise for Apple Watch looks great right next to it.

The HiRise for Apple Watch arrives in two pieces: The base and the stand are separate; you assemble them yourself using a provided screw (a spare is included too) and one of the smallest hex keys I've ever seen. Getting the screw to line up with its hole and working the key took me a bit of work: Because the stand is at an angle, getting the screw in place was an exercise in frustration. It's an incentive for me to never take it apart for any reason, that's for sure.

Put together, the HiRise is less than four inches high and less than four inches wide, and almost five inches deep. It doesn't quite weigh half a pound: It's compact, solid, and sturdy. It also sports a cutout for the Magnetic Charging Cable included with the Apple Watch.

The stand itself is pitched at a high angle (just like the HiRise Deluxe), so if you have it perched on your nightstand (as I do), you can see the face of the watch easily. A cutout gives you room to loop whatever band you're using. The Apple Watch stays firmly in place thanks to the magnet in the charging cable itself.

The charger fits snugly within the cutout, and the stand has channels in the back to snake the cable down to the base. The base sports a rubber pad on the bottom to give it some grip, and it's wide enough that it stays in place firmly, even if you're fiddling with the watch while it's charging.

A cover clips to the base to keep the cable and base looking clean; the cable runs out the back. Unlike actually assembling the HiRise, running the Magnetic Charging Cable took only a few moments, so it isn't a big deal to remove it as necessary (taking off for the weekend without a spare cable? Pop it out.). I'd love to get a black Magnetic Charging Cable to match the HiRise, because the white stands out a bit too much. But that's on Apple (or perhaps an enterprising cable maker), not Twelve South.

Both the top and the cutout of the HiRise are lined with silicone, so your phone never touches bare metal. Even the cover on the base is lined—with leather, no less—so if your band drapes across the back, you can be assured it's not going to get scratched up.

The angular lines of the HiRise are minimalistic and a bit austere; the only decoration is the distinctive diamondlike Twelve South logo on its front. Twelve South offers HiRise for Apple Watch in different colors to complement the Apple Watch and its other offerings: Black and silver.

Obviously a stand isn't necessary for the operation of your Apple Watch, but if you appreciate Twelve South's design sensibilities and if you've already invested in a HiRise for another product, you'll love what they've done here.

  • $49.99 - Buy now (opens in new tab)
10 Comments
  • I love the look of this stand, but I'm holding off because of the new alarm clock feature in Watch OS 2. I might want to have the watch be horizontal to take advantage of this feature.
  • Exactly.
  • Is this stand's usefulness affected by Apples new nighttime mode in 2.0, that only kicks in when the watch is on its side? Also
    > I'd love to get a black Magnetic Charging Cable to match the HiRise, because the white stands out a bit too much. But that's on Apple (or perhaps an enterprising cable maker), not Twelve South. For that price it wouldn't be too unreasonable to expect a thin black cap to cover the charging disk.
  • Price is all I need to know... For an apple watch I can't see spending more than $30.... All these companies are taking advantage. Pad and Quill are charging $70-80 I think for a piece of wood I can make myself. I know they are coming out with their on leather apple watch band.... I'm assuming $200.. I'm good, my wife would probably murder me! I got my watch for free so besides that I couldn't see spending $600 on it. Sent from the iMore App
  • Yea 50 bucks for this tiny piece of metal is a joke. You will be able to get a plastic one on eBay for 3$ and it will do the exact same job. I wonder how much imore was paid to review this because for me I would have noted that it's not even remotely worth this ridiculous price tag.
  • iMore was paid a whopping $0.00
  • Yeah but do you really want to have a cheap POS plastic stand, that's ugly, on your nightstand or dresser under your beautiful Apple Watch?? That's one thing I don't get. It's not about the stand costing X, it's about the fact that it's a decorative object sitting on your nice furniture. I mean, if your bedroom looks like crap than I guess it doesn't matter, but it probably doesn't. So why put some garbage on there? $50 or $60 is a nice dinner for two and that's done in an hour and turned to poop, lol. Somehow we do that and don't bat an eye.
  • For the reasons stated above by others, this stand (and most other stands) are obsolete right out of the box. I'll wait for the horizontal version.
  • Some companies, like Apple, choose to aim for the "high end" of the market. 12 South is one such firm. They choose to produce the finest products for a given market at a price that market will bear. Sound familiar? Yea, it's Capitalism. Hopefully you don't consider that a dirty word, as some do.
    Your statement that its 'just a piece of metal' sells short the entire concept, design, manufacturing, marketing and delivery processes required to produce such a product. For example, I imagine multiple concepts were drawn and rendered before a selection was made. Then detailed drawings (most certainly CAD, these days) were produced. On a product where hundreds or thousands are anticipated, a pre-production or prototype model is made, to further weed out any unforeseen issues. This prototype will be scrutinized for fit, finish, and aesthetic qualities, and will be judged for ease of assembly by the end user (Peter-they may have skipped this step-lol). Then there's manufacturing of all the various metal, plastic and leather pieces, each of which requires its own subset of tasks, performed by knowledgeable people.
    In short, don't sell short the process simply because the product doesn't appeal to you at the given price. And, just to be honest, I do not own any of 12 Souths products, but I have been involved in the design/manufacturing field for some years. OK. Rant Off!
  • Exactly... people have NO IDEA what goes into making something and selling it. Not a clue. You can't directly compare the cost of something like this to the Apple Watch, it's a totally different ball game. 12South, Pad& Quill, 10Design.us, Nomad, are tiny companies. Apple is a monster. Apple can make stuff WAY cheaper than a tiny company because of their clout, their economies of scale ordering capability, and general supplier network control system. A small company making a nice product has no way to make a quality charging stand for what one might imagine should be the percentage of the cost of the Watch itself. The two are not comparable in terms of pricing, if that makes sense. Making things out of metal, finishing them, assembly, packaging, all this stuff costs.