Right out of the box, the Apple Watch has always been one of the most customizable consumer tech products and earned its place atop T3's best smartwatch guide.
There are two sizes, three different versions - regular, Nike+ and Hermés - plus multiple case materials, a wide range of straps, and the option of adding a cellular connection.
If you're looking for more help in choosing an Apple Watch to buy, check out T3's guide to the best Apple Watch.
But, once you have left the Apple Store with your shiny new Watch, there are still plenty more options to help make your Watch truly unique. There are straps, of course, but also a huge range of chargers, stands, cases, and storage systems for your spare straps and the Watch itself.
How to choose the best Apple Watch accessories for you
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It almost goes without saying, that accessorizing an already very personal object like a watch - even a smartwatch - is going to be a matter of personal preference. The strap material, style, and colour you choose are going to reflect on your fashion taste, of course, and the kind of storage system you want will depend on how many straps you have.
When it comes to the charger, you’ve to factor in what other devices you may want to power up at the same time. Although Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat was canceled before it even went on sale, there’s a wide range of third-part options - some of which even claim to manage what Apple couldn’t, and charge a Watch, iPhone and AirPods wireless charging case, all at once.
The quality of these accessories is also an important consideration. You may be able to pick up a replica Hermés leather strap for a pittance. But its quality will be questionable, and when the downside could mean an £800 Apple Watch slipping silently from your wrists, never to be seen again, you might want to think twice.
It is also important to check the size of any strap you buy, firstly to make sure it fits your 38mm or 42mm Watch, but also your wrist. Most of Apple’s straps come in small/medium and medium/large, but other companies can use a different scale. It’s best to read user reviews on Amazon, where any major discrepancies in sizing are sure to be called out.
The best Apple Watch accessories to buy today:
If charging multiple devices at once isn’t for you, then we present Apple’s own Watch charger. This dock magnetically snaps to the back of your Watch and charges it up while you sleep. Sitting your Watch sideways means it can double up as a bedside clock through the night.
Available only in white, this charging dock has Apple’s trademark elegance and simplicity. It also carries the company’s high price, which is considerably more than most other options on the market.
Apple's own MagSafe Duo charger fills the batteries of both your iPhone 12 and Apple Watch at the same time, thanks to wireless charging. The charger comes with a one-meter Lightning-to-USB-C cable, but you will have to provide your own power adapter, as is the case now with some Apple products.
The MagSafe Duo has a smart folding design to take up very little space in your bag, or even a pocket, then folds out to charge your iPhone and Watch at once, with the latter sat up so that its night stand mode is enabled, if you so wish.
It's a neat design, but being an Apple product it's somewhat pricey at £129. And at the time of writing, November 2020, it remains at 'coming soon' status on the Apple Store. Let's just hope this one actually arrives, unlike the ill-fated AirPower.
This rugged case and integrated strap is designed for all 44mm models of the Apple Watch, from the Series 4 of 2018 up to the Series 6 and SE of 2020. The Spigen Rugged Armor Pro offers all-round scratch protection by covering the entire case of your Apple Watch, while leaving the display and Digital Crown accessible.
A raised bezel helps to protect the screen from knocks and scrapes, and the case is compatible with Apple's Watch wireless charger, so there's no need to take it off when charging the battery. The case is available in black, grey and green.
We really like this elegant dock from Belkin. It looks great, solid, and the charger comes integrated into the dock, so the one that comes with your Apple Watch can become your 'travel charger'.
We're currently using the integrated iPhone and Apple Watch valet charger - which is perfect for charging both devices at once.
This two-in-one charger is a favourite of our for being simple and completely unfussy. Where most try to wow with their design - or their wood, aluminium and marble construction - this just gets the job done.
It also takes up as little space as possible on your bedside table, while leaving both displays easy to see at a glance if you wake up in the night. Unlike many alternatives, the cables are completely hidden inside the device, so there’s just one to be plugged into the mains.
This leather case from Sena is perfect if you're a regular traveller. It can sit and charge on your bedside as a dock, or packed away with space for your watch and charger when you're travelling. It does use your charger though, so that isn't ideal.
Forté for Apple Watch is a luxury stand and charging dock carefully designed to match the timeless beauty of Apple Watch, from shape and standards, to fit and finish. Forte elegantly displays your Watch atop the brilliant chrome stand while protecting your band with a buttery soft, top grain leather wrapped base.
This may look like a regular watch storage box, complete with transparent lid and space for five watches, plus a hidden compartment beneath to accommodate six straps. But what makes this an Apple Watch accessory, is now the top shelf has space to neatly install the wireless charger of your Apple Watch,
That way, the Watch can be laid down across the width of the box, fully charged and ready to use whenever you like - no need to dig out the charger when you fancy parking the mechanical timepiece in favour of your smartwatch.
At 17 x 31 x 11cm, the box is going to take up a fair bit of space on your dressing table or chest of drawers, but we’re going to assume that if you have six watches (plsu straps!) then you’ve probably got the space for what is basically a luxury garage for your wristwear. You lucky thing.
This clip-on case from Griffin is perfect if you need to temporarilyadd a little protection to your Apple Watch.The Survivor Case protects your watch's casing, as well as the screen without impacting on Force Touch, which is super useful in a number of situations. It clips over the top of your watch, so it's easy to pop on and off.
We might have just described Apple’s own charging dock as the most stylish and expensive out there, but then we came across the DOCK by Native Union - and specifically, this version made from white marble.
You could always buy the regular version in midnight blue for £50, but where’s the fun in that? White marble is where it’s at, and we think this weighted charging stand looks particularly classy when paired with a gold aluminium Watch. As well as holding your watch neatly in place at night, the rotating cylinder it straps to has space for holding your watch’s wireless charger.
This handy two-in-one charge cable by Yoctuwi cab power up the batteries of an iPhone and Apple Watch at the same time, using a single USB-A connection. It has a tough, braided nylon design with metal connections between the three cables, and has Made For iPhone Certified, so has been approved for sale by Apple.
The cable works with all Apple devices that use a Lightning port, and all models of Apple Watch from the Series 1 onwards.
The Watch Valet may have a somewhat pretentious name, but there is no knocking the craftsmanship and classy design here. Made to order in Anden’s East London studio, then hand-finished with natural oils, the Valet comes in walnut and is designed to store four straps while charging your Apple Watch.
There’s no trick wireless tech going on here, as you simple slot your own Watch charger into the hole, and feed the cable out of the back. The only drawback here is the pain of deciding which of the beautiful finishes to go for.
Another answer to Apple’s AirPower, the Nomad Base Station Apple Watch Edition has a premium, padded leather finish, compact design, and the ability to wirelessly charge up to four devices at once. It does this by employing the use of wireless charging coils (for your iPhone and AirPods), plus an upright wireless connection for the Apple Watch.
That way, your phone and earphones top up their batteries, while the Watch is powered and sits in its landscape orientation, where it can double as a miniature bedside clock. Because there are three coils in the base, you can position your phone or other devices in different orientations, instead of ensuring they sit in exactly the right spot to charge.
We love the aesthetics of this charger, but just be warned that, because it ships from the US, UK buyers may be stung by import duties when their package arrives. There’s also a delay on orders at the time of writing (May 2019), with deliveries expected from June 20 onwards. Still, that’s a much shorter delay than buyers faced waiting for the Apple AirPower...
This is a wireless charging pad which can top up the batteries of your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods all at the same time. In this sense, the AirUnleashed does something Apple failed to achieve, but there is a small caveat.
Where Apple tried to cram up to 32 wireless charging coils in the AirPower, letting you charge devices placed anywhere on the mat, AirUnleashed has just three coils - one for each device. This means you need to be fairly precise with where you place each product, but the initial point still stands; this works and Apple’s (very similar) version did not.
This dock is a neat way to charge up your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPod earphones all at once. Thanks to clever cable management, wires are neatly fed into the back of the stand, then into place below your iPhone and AirPods case. Meanwhile, there’s a slot for the Watch’s wireless charging pad too.
The Kehangda dock shouldn’t take up too much space on your bedside table, and comes with two free gifts - an extra Lightning cable and a rubberised case for your AirPods, err, case.
For some sports and exercise, a wrist-worn device like the Apple Watch can get in the way. While wearing boxing gloves, for example, or when using wrist straps to aid with your weight lifting at the gym. That’s where this arm strap by Twelve South comes in, as it relocated the watch to your upper arm.
Here, the makers say, the Watch will track your heart rate more reliably (thanks to a tighter and more consistent fit against your skin). This strap also helps to keep your precious, an quite delicate, Watch away from potentially damaging weights and gym equipment, and stops the display from acting as a constant distraction.
For the Apple Watch owners who already has everything, we present the Cyber Watch case by Gray. Priced at £455, this particular example is made from lightweight titanium and comes with a black strap. The case promises and seamless fit and leaves your watch's buttons and Digital Crown accessible.
The Cyber Watch case is designed to fit the 44mm versions of the Watch Series 4, 5 and 6, as well as the Watch SE, and is also available in gold for £759 or a finish called Aurora for £987, of which only 500 will be made. A range of more affordable aluminium versions are offered in space grey, red, blue and purple, and priced at a still-considerable £303.
Perfectly timed for the Summer Holiday season this Apple Watch travel case is perfect if you're jetting off this season. Taking inspiration from a sunglasses case, the leather TimePorter holds your cables, spare straps, and of course, the watch. When you arrive at your destination the case converts into a charging stand.
As good as the Apple Watch is, its battery life means a weekend away from home without the charger is going to be a struggle. Thankfully, this charger with built-in charger offers a useful and compact solution for when you’re away from a mains plug, like on a camping weekend.
The battery is in the middle of the device, so you open it up, wrap your existing Watch charging cable around the battery, put the wireless pad in place, close it up and you’re good to go - just place your Watch on the charger to refill the battery. Available in grey or silver to watch your watch, the Nomad should provide four full chargers before its own battery needs a top-up.
Add some military grade protection to your Apple Watch, literally, with the Spigen Tough Armour Case.With this, you could take your stylish wearable into a war zone, and needn't worry about denting the precious device. It's also useful if you think the Apple Watch isn't stylish enough and want it a little more G-Shock-y.
- You'll love the best Apple Watch straps