Okay, so you’re the proud new owner of an Apple Watch. Maybe you’ve even acquired a second band – something a little dressier than that sport band you got with the watch itself. When you’re traveling, you’ll need something to carry both the charger for your watch, as well as the extra band(s) you may need for different occasions, moods, or outfits. The craftsmen at Pad & Quill have heard this need, and answered with their Luxury Travel Kit for Apple Watch. I was sent the black leather rollup and the Sapele Wood stand to test. There are two other woods as options (American Cherry or Walnut) and brown leather as well.
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The first thing you have to understand about Pad & Quill is that they want to present their goods in an Old World fashion. Getting a nice modern FedEx package with a roll of bubble-wrap inside did nothing to prepare me for the surprise of getting a craft paper, wax-sealed package out of that modern casing, and finding more warm, rich, earthy pieces inside. The scent of the leather of the roll-up permeated the entirety of the room by the time I had everything unwrapped. The wooden Apple Watch stand was inside a drawstring velveteen bag that was sealed, I kid you not, with a disc of thin wood, embossed with the company logo. When you deliver this type of packaging to an Apple customer, you really understand your market! There’s a moment before you open it where you just absorb and appreciate the textures and colors and the care that went into presenting this piece to you.
The stand is a two-piece wooden assembly hinged on one end to allow a standing piece to sit upright, or to be swung around and folded completely into a chamber milled into the bottom of the base piece. In the standing part (which rises about 4″ off the surface), there is a circular hole for holding the Apple Watch magnetic charging puck, with a channel leading out of it.
Under this is a notch for bands that do not come apart, or for if you like to re-clasp your band while it’s on the stand. In travel mode, you swing the upright around with the charging puck in place, and the whole thing is swallowed by the base, with the cord running out of a precisely aligned slot in the base. The two short ends have slight concave notches to accommodate winding the cable around the whole unit. Bundled together like this, it measures about 4.5″ x2.5″ x 1″ with the two meter cable.
The roll-up is formed from a single 10.5″ x 6.6″ piece of smooth leather, bonded and stitched around the perimeter (with a nicely finished overlap) to a grey cotton twill. On the center third is stitched a 7.75″ strip of the same leather, with a loop inserted and sewn into the left-hand third at the same level. Inside, there is a pocket on the center level with a deep “V” cutout, and a gusseted pouch covered by a leather overlapping flap to the right.
In use, the wooden stand is folded closed and the cord wound around it, and then placed into the gusseted pouch on the right. The leather flap is allowed to close over it. Spare bands are placed in the center pocket, and the left side is then folded over it to the edge of the stand pocket. This is then folded again, and the strap slipped through the loop, keeping all the pieces snug and ready for easy packing. There is a very tastefully embossed logotype on the leather center under the outside strap’s anchor point.
Once packed for travel, the bundle is very manageable. At your destination, unfolding the roll-up will allow you to have the charging stand out for either bedside charging, or with your pocket items for dressing after your shower. When you’re ready to pack things back up, it’s very easy to make sure you’ve got everything and be off to your next destination. The only thing I feel is missing is a place for the charging brick. Perhaps future editions will include an elastic ring under the flap for it, or some other accommodation.
While I rarely leave my Apple Watch charging all night, you can do this with the stand and have the watch available in Nightstand mode, but it’s not exactly secure.
The stand sits at only 15º-22º off vertical, so only the charger’s magnetic strength holds the watch in place when you have the band horizontal (for nightstand mode). You can see how the Milanese band has nowhere to go, and tends to pull to one side. I don’t think this would stay on the stand all night. I don’t use Nightstand Mode, so this isn’t something that bothers me at all. Your mileage may vary.
More often, I allow the watch to charge when it’s below about 50% on my desk as I work. Since the launch of watchOS 2 and stand-alone watch apps, I’ve been wearing my watch all night with a sleep-monitoring app. Usually, the watch will charge in less than 2 hours, even if, as today, I let it get down to 25%. Charging while swimming and/or showering, as well as, say, a conference call is usually enough.
All told, the Pad and Quill Luxury Travel Kit for Apple Watch is quite nice for those who travel, and perfectly designed to hold all the pieces of your Apple Watch ensemble in one place. It may just fill that missing place in your travel gadget packing. And, if you have a traveling Apple Watch user on your gift list this holiday season, you may have just found the best gift for them.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Pan & Quill. Please visit http://padandquill.com for more info.