Review: Studio Proper's minimalist aluminum Apple Watch dock

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We've seen our fair share of Apple Watch charging solutions, but few are as eye-catching as the Studio Proper Apple Watch Dock.

For the past couple weeks, we've been testing out the Studio Proper dock. You may have seen it pop up in much of our Series 4 coverage. It has a simple appearance that fits any Apple Watch finish and blends in with any home decor.

Minimalistic design

There aren't a huge list of details or features to cover with this dock. It's a simple device, crafted from a single block of aluminum, anodized in either a matte gold or silver finish, and fitted with a rubberized front to hold your magnetic charging puck. If you opt for the silver model, the rubber is black. On the gold, it is a dark navy blue.

Studio Proper Apple Watch dock
Studio Proper Apple Watch dock

Setup only takes a few moments. Studio Proper uses the same technique as most other Apple Watch docks that require your own charging puck. Fit the charging puck into the rubber, then feed the cable through the back of the dock, pull it tight, and press the rubber into place. Easy enough procedure, though removing the charging puck can be another issue altogether. As we tested it out, we tried to remove the charger, but it turned out to be quite difficult, though we were eventually able to make it happen.

On the bottom of the dock is a border of slightly tacky micro-suction or rubber, meant to keep the dock in place. It was just the right amount of hold, preventing it from sliding, but easy enough to move when we needed to.

Studio Proper Apple Watch dock
Studio Proper Apple Watch dock

Your Apple Watch sets down horizontally, which means it will support Apple's horizontal Nightstand mode. The magnet within the charging puck isn't super strong, but we found it held out watch securely, even when using heftier metal watch bands.

A well-suited charger

The biggest hesitation we had while using the Studio Proper dock wasn't so much about our Apple Watch as it was about our iPhone. Many manufacturers (Studio Proper included) have started developing great multi-device chargers that either utilize Qi charging for the phone or the usual Lightning cable. They can be even more convenient because it is only one item on your desk and handles both devices you charge each night.

Studio Proper Apple Watch dock
Studio Proper Apple Watch dock in Nightstand mode

After using this for a while, there are two use cases that came to mind. First, I already had a great wireless charger I loved for my bedside, so having a separate Apple Watch dock was an easy choice. Second was my desk, where I don't usually charge my phone but have charged my watch when I sleep with it on. If you are looking to reduce clutter, maybe an all-in-one charger may better suit your needs.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Where to buy

Studio Proper's excellent Apple Watch dock is available to order for $69.95 in either silver/black or gold/navy direct from the manufacturer's website.