Despite the apparent simplicity of the Apple Watch charging docks, there are several factors to consider. Those include practicality, protection, stability, possible ways the charging cable can be damaged when installed and removed, adjustability of presentation angle, use for both Portrait mode and Nightstand mode, and so on. The Twelve South Forté is exceptionally beautiful, and has a good design, but it doesn't score 100 percent on all counts.
In several respects, the Twelve South Forté Apple Watch Charging Stand is like the Just Mobile Lounge Dock. It has a beautiful, stable base and an arm that supports a platform for the watch and the charging disk.
However, there are several differences. The Forté platform for the Apple Watch isn't adjustable in angle, but the design of the arm, with a U-shaped segment better supports the use in either Portrait or what Apple calls "Nightstand mode." That's because the ring that holds the magnetic charging disk is symmetrical.
However, that doesn't mean the Just Mobile Lounge Dock can't be used in Nightstand mode as well—especially since the presentation angle is adjustable.
Another difference is that the Forté has a real leather surface on the top side. covering heavy-duty chrome plated metal alloy. Of course, like most all these docks, there is a soft pad on the underside to protect any surface you rest the stand on. The idea there is that it's safe and convenient to place an iPhone on that soft leather surface while charging and keep it off the surface underneath.
The weight is what I'd call intermediate. While the Lounge Dock weighs 4.22 ounces (120 grams), the Forté comes in at 12.5 ounces (356 grams), so it feels hefty, but not so much that you'd automatically dismiss its use for travel. However, I recommend other types of charging stands for travel: Either the Native Union Anchor or the Just Mobile TimeStand.
The height is 3.35 inches (85 mm).
Notable with the Forté is its heft, leather platform and a polycarbonate chrome ring that protects the back of the Apple Watch from the metal ring that holds the charging disk. (Because it's plastic, that ring is also very light.) The U-shaped section of the arm allows the Apple Watch band to be fastened and not get in the way.
One thing I always examine and am fussy about is the contortions one must put the cable through. For this dock, one does have to insert and press the cable into the gutter of the arm, including its U-shaped segment, and that didn't please me. On the positive side, the rubber O-ring inside the disk that holds the charging disk makes it easy to push the charger disk out without strain on the cable. Any dock that avoids the bending and pulling on the cable where it connects to the charging disk, like the Just Mobile Lounge Dock or the Forté has a warm place in my heart.
Frequent pushing ths cable into the U-shaped gutter is always an invitation to electrical failure.
Physically, the Forté is the most beautiful of all the Apple Watch charging docks I've seen or reviewed. The rectangular, leather covered base, the chrome arm, and the support ring, at a 40 degree angle, all make for a pleasing and aesthetic product. Apple seems to approve because it's going to be available in its retail stores.
Packaging & Warranty
The Forté comes preassembled in a box that's almost a cube. The box is nicely padded and includes a small pamphlet that explains the use of the detachable polycarbonate ring, etc. Included is a URL on the last page for those who have other questions.
The warranty policy of Twelve south is spelled out nicely.
The Forté is especially designed for Nightstand mode.
I like this charging dock a lot. It has some strong positives in its design, but it isn't perfect. The presentation angle is fixed, and one still has to snake the charger cable into the gutter of the arm, Plus, it's US$20 more expensive than the Just Mobile Lounge Dock which, for $40, has few negatives.
However, if you don't travel much, want the ultimate in beauty with a hefty feel, need a soft place to rest your iPhone while charging and can afford a little more money, the Forté is a handsome product, specially designed to present your Apple Watch in any clockwise orientation.
- HiRise Apple Watch Stand is Beautiful, Well Engineered May 26
- 2 Apple Watch Charging Stands for Travel Compared Jul 7
- Griffin’s WatchStand for Apple Watch is Beautiful, Full of Features Aug 3
- Just Mobile Lounge Dock for Apple Watch Brilliantly Sidesteps Typical Problems Aug 24
- Native Union Apple Watch Charging Dock Goes Both Ways Oct 6