Accessory maker Twelve South announced the Forté last week, and we already got our hands on one of them for a review. It’s a well-designed stand that looks great with your Apple Watch.
The shiny new stand is everything you would expect — it’s an expensive, beautiful stand. If you care about beautiful things like the Apple Watch, you might want to get one. After all, you may have just spent more than $1,000 to get an Apple Watch Hermès.
It all starts with the box. Instead of a cheap cardboard box, the Forté comes in a solid box with a ribbon and a cushion. It shares the design vocabulary of high-end watchmakers with a watch-like box. And it doesn’t just look like a premium item, it feels like one as well.
You untie the ribbon and take the stand out of the box. It’s a heavy single piece of metal and leather. You can be sure that it won’t break. At $59, I didn’t expect anything less from Twelve South.
The Forté doesn’t come with an Apple Watch cable. Like other stands, you need to provide your own cable.
The end of the cable fits right in the middle. You put a small metal-looking polycarbonate ring on top of it to make it look better, and also to prevent any possible contact with the metal body. Over the past few days, I haven’t had any issue with the dock. It charges the watch as expected and is supposed to work with any model.
There are two things to like about the Forté. First, it doesn’t move at all. Weighing 0.77 pounds (351 g), it’s more than your average Apple Watch stand. Compared to the somewhat similar looking Mophie stand, it doesn’t tilt when you remove the Watch from the magnetic charger.
Second, you can also use the Watch in nightstand mode by rotating the Watch. I don’t think it looks as good, but I’m not sure there’s a way to make a nightstand mode dock look good. I will also probably need to buy another Apple Watch cable as I don’t want to have to remove it and put it back in the stand every time I travel.
The black leather square is top-grain leather with a sanded surface. I understand why the company used top-grain leather as it’s much easier to put a thin layer of leather on such an object with this kind of leather — it’s much more versatile. It feels good although I would have loved a bit of grain but the sanded treatment doesn’t allow that.
I’m quite impressed with the overall look of the stand. Sure it can be expensive, but nobody is forcing you to buy one if you’re perfectly satisfied with your cable. Nobody even forces you to buy an Apple Watch. But if you’re into good-looking things, the Forté could be something for you.