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.

Peter Cohen