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Tabletops: Time to stand

Michael Steeber
Michael Steeber
Time to stand
Two weeks ago, I said we’d talk about a new Apple Watch collection stand that’s starting to appear at more Apple Stores. It’s time to make good on that promise.
Apple Palo Alto
Apple Palo Alto
This, if you’re wondering, is the stand in question. Over the past few months, friends have spotted it at many San Francisco Bay Area Apple Stores as well as Apple Aventura in Miami.
Apple Watch cases and bands are suspended at staggered heights and angles on polished metal pedestals. One version of the stand accommodates nine watches and another fifteen. The design of the fixture pairs beautifully with the MagSafe iPhone risers introduced for iPhone 13.
2019 Apple Watch collection stand
2019 Apple Watch collection stand
I interpret the new stand as a natural successor to the original Apple Watch collection stand (pictured above), which stores merchandised from 2017–2019. It had one critical problem: each watch was glued down, and customers frequently pried one off to try on a band.
My local store doesn’t have the new fixture yet, so I haven’t checked if the watches are still glued down. But I don’t think it really matters. The pedestals address the perception of the display. The old stand was at grab level and difficult to see without bending. Watches were lined up like deviled eggs on a snack tray, free for the taking. The new stand elevates every watch to eye level and presents them like museum works. Look, don’t touch.
Sidenote: I’m still trying to figure out if this fixture will comfortably fit at stores with overhead table lamps, like Apple Tower Theatre.
The original vison for Apple Watch Studio
The original vison for Apple Watch Studio
Apple Watch Studio
And now to the crux of the matter: what happens to Apple Watch Studio?
When Apple Watch Studio launched in fall 2019, collection stands disappeared and were replaced by a delicious buffet line of cases and bands to sample. The salad days were tossed by the pandemic and never returned. Apple Watch Studio today more precisely resembles a workshop. Every store seems to have a different assortment of band trays and design ideas (like those rare Solo Loop trays).
Still, all of these experiments stay true to the original spirit of Apple Watch Studio: a place to choose and pair any case with any band to create exactly the watch that you want. The new collection stand is different. It is decidedly ornamental.
Apple Watch Studio is clearly still very important to Apple both online and in-store (it’s even trademarked!), so I don’t think it’s going away. Perhaps it’s best we think of it more like the Apple Watch bands themselves — changing with the seasons. I can’t wait to see the next collection.
CODA visits Carnegie Library
Cast members from the Apple TV+ film CODA visited Apple Carnegie Library last week. Apple Tower Theatre also updated its marquee to celebrate the film’s Oscar nominations.
via Apple/Forbes
via Apple/Forbes
In addition to these photos posted by cast member Marlee Matlin, Steven Aquino published a great recap of the visit on Forbes and highlighted the store’s connection to Gallaudet, a university providing education for the Deaf community. Don’t miss the store visit video Aquino shared:
Featured image
josie bird
Commission for a friend.
Apple store: Stanford
Gouache on watercolor paper
This week marks the tenth issue of Tabletops. Time flies.
I started this newsletter because I couldn’t stop reading and writing about Apple Stores even when it was no longer “work.” After I left my job in journalism last fall, I expected my interest in Retail to fade. It only grew, and I embarked on some of my most ambitious projects yet out of a passion for storytelling.
If you’re reading this, thank you for subscribing and giving me an outlet for my creativity. I have some cool projects in the works, so stay tuned.
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Michael Steeber
Michael Steeber @michaelsteeber

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