Best gifts for Apple Watch fans [Gift Guide 2018]

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Don’t leave your holiday shopping until the last minute. With Cult of Mac’s handy gift guides, you can find the perfect presents and get them all early for a stress-free December.

Gift guide 2018 bugOur guides are filled with fantastic gadgets and accessories that Apple fans will love. We’ve handpicked only the best — things we’ve used, reviewed, and would recommend — so that you can be sure your money is being well spent.

This guide focuses on the Apple Watch owners in your life, and it features something to suit every budget.

proper
The silver and black version of the Proper dock looks … proper.
Photo: Studio Proper

A truly beautiful Apple Watch charger

If the person on your list owns an Apple Watch and loves Cupertino’s sleek style, the beautiful Proper Apple Watch Dock will get them buzzing. With an elegant design that holds the watch in Nightstand mode, the substantial aluminum dock is small enough that it takes up minimal space on a desk or nightstand. Available in silver or gold. — Lewis Wallace

Buy from: Cult of Mac Watch Store

Zens Apple Watch Power Bank
Cool, compact, and incredibly useful.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

A charger for Apple Watch road warriors

Charging an Apple Watch on the road can be a real drag. If packing light is a priority for the world traveler on your list, the Zens Powerbank is a true boon. With a built-in, MFi-certified Apple Watch charger, this 4,000mAh battery pack will charge the wearable several times. Or, if they’re in a pinch, they can bust it out and charge up an iPhone on the go. — Lewis Wallace

Buy from: Cult of Mac Watch Store

AirPods in case
AirPods are for everyone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

AirPods should be on everyone’s shopping list

Apple’s on a mission to eliminate the headphone jack entirely, which means wireless headphones are the way forward. And they don’t come much better than AirPods for those who use iOS, macOS, or watchOS devices.

AirPods offers super-simple connectivity, great sound and reliability, and terrific battery life. They also come in a handy charging case that keeps them safe while they’re rolling around in the bottom of a bag.

No matter who you give AirPods to, or what they’ll use them to listen to, they’ll be delighted. — Killian Bell

Buy from: Amazon

Strapple Crocodilus Apple Watch strap

Go mock-croc with Strapa’s Crocodilus band

The Crocodilus Watch Strap is a beefy Apple Watch band that looks exotic but costs a fraction of real reptile hide. It’s made of Italian calfskin leather that is stamped to look like crocodile skin by Strapa, an artisan Apple Watch band-maker based in the Netherlands. The Crocodileus looks just like real crocodile leather, but costs a lot less (real croc bands go for $400 and up).

The band is hefty (see our review) but breaks in nicely with daily wear. It has a polygonal buckle, available in black or silver, that looks distinctive and is totally solid. — Leander Kahney

Buy from: Cult of Mac Watch Store

batik
Clessant’s blue Batik strap.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

Clessant’s Batik bands are beautiful

Clessant’s Batik straps are some of the most distinctive Apple Watch bands you can buy. The French company teamed up with Indonesian designer Ryan Verbeek, an Apple Watch superfan to create a line of straps that combine ancient Indonesian art, batik and French leather-making.

Available in red or blue, no two Batik bands are the same. They are all handmade and cut from Batik fabric, so the patterns vary from band to band. The Batik fabric is wrapped around a soft and supple calfskin leather core, so the bands are hard-wearing as well as beautiful. Check out Cult of Mac’s review more detail. — Leander Kahney

Buy from: Cult of Mac Watch Store

Shift lets you maintain form, spend less time looking at your wrist and more on the trail and traffic.
Shift lets you maintain form and spend less time looking at your wrist.
Photo: EdgeGear

For runners, this unusual strap is essential

The new Apple Watch is great for improving your running form, but its placement on your wrist is less than ideal: it’s too difficult to lift your arm to see what’s key alerts or workout data. The solution is EdgeGear’s SHIFT — a distinctive strap that moves your Apple Watch to the top of your hand, just below the point where your thumb and forefinger meet.

This placement makes it much easier to see key stats, like pace alerts. It’s good for cycling too, and lots of gym workouts. The Shift is a great tool for any runner, cyclist or anyone who interacts with their smart watch during their workout. — Leander Kahney

Buy from: Cult of Mac Watch Store

Speidel Twist-O-Flex
You can’t go wrong with the Twist-O-Flex.
Photo: Lyle Kahney/Cult of Mac

A classic band that’s fit for everyone

One of our favorite Apple Watch bands is one your dad or grandad might recognize: the classic Twist-O-Flex from Speidel. In fact, your dad or grandad might want one for Christmas!

The stretchy stainless steel band is a mid-century design that’s been updated to the smartwatch era. Thanks to its stretchy links, the Twist-O-Flex is dead easy to put on and take off, and is surprisingly comfortable. Because it’s made from steel, it’s hard-wearing but looks good. It’ll match a business suit while withstanding the toughest workout. And it’s relatively inexpensive at just $50. — Leander Kahney

Buy from: Cult of Mac Watch Store

Skydio
The R1 flies all by itself.
Photo: Skydio

A drone you can control from your wrist

What the hell is a drone doing on an Apple Watch gift guide? Well, this is the one drone in the world you can fly entirely from your wrist. Skydio recently came out with an Apple Watch app for the R1 drone and its one of the most futuristic things I’ve played with in the year 2018.

You can select a person to follow and choose between cinematic video modes all from the watch app. It’s like putting a film production crew on your wrist. You can just put the drone in the air, set it to follow you and then take off mountain biking into the woods and it will dodge trees and keep you in the frame the entire time. The future isn’t cheap, but R1 is worth every penny if you’re into action sports and are tired of your friends missing your shots. — Buster Hein

Buy from: Amazon

Belkin PowerHouse
Every Apple Watch owner wants one of these!
Photo: Belkin

A bedside must-have

Charging your Apple Watch and iPhone every night means a messy bedside table with too many cables. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Belkin’s brilliant PowerHouse Charger Dock tidily tops up an Apple Watch and iPhone at the same time.

The PowerHouse has a Lightning connector for the fastest possible charge to your phone, and a built-in wireless charging module for your Watch. It makes it easy to see both devices at a glance when you want to check the time or notifications, and because it’s made by Belkin, you know it’s going to be reliable and built to last.

The PowerHouse is compatible with all Apple Watch models, and all Apple handsets up to iPhone X (does not support iPhone XS, XS Max, or XR). — Killian Bell

Buy from: Amazon