Review: Sena's Leather Apple Watch Case Easily Transitions From Home Dock to Travel Accessory

by

Though there are now hundreds of Apple Watch chargers and stands on the market, Apple is only selling a handful in retail locations - those that are designed with a clean aesthetic that matches the feel of the company's products. The latest Apple-endorsed Apple Watch charging solution comes from Sena, and will be in Apple Stores in mid-November.

Sena's Leather Watch Case, which is actually available from Sena's website beginning today, is a hybrid stand and case product that can be used for charging, storage, and travel purposes.


The Leather Watch Case is designed to look like a traditional watch case that might come with any luxury watch. It's similar in size to the box that comes with the stainless steel Apple Watch, with a round exterior covered in a quality black European leather and a microsuede-covered interior for the Apple Watch to rest on. It only comes in black, which might not be appealing to all users, primarily those with silver, gold, and rose gold Apple Watches.


As with most Apple Watch charging accessories, the Leather Watch Case requires you to supply your own Magnetic Charging Cable, but it does include a cord wrap to keep the cable hidden from view. There are four pieces to the Leather Watch Case, which snap together magnetically: a leather-covered bottom base, a plastic cord wrap that fits inside the base, a microsuede interior piece that houses the Apple Watch charging puck, and a leather-covered lid with a padded microsuede interior that fits over the whole thing to protect the Apple Watch when on the base.


Assembling the Leather Watch Case was a simple enough process that consisted of fitting the charging puck into the microsuede holder, guiding the cord through the cord wrap and out the base, and fitting all of the pieces together.

senacasebase
From there, the Apple Watch sits on the base in landscape orientation, allowing it to be used with Nightstand mode. The lid of the Leather Watch Case can be placed over the Apple Watch to keep it safe or it can be placed under the bottom base to raise it up higher for use in Nightstand mode or to display the Apple Watch.

senacasetall
Both closed and open-loop bands work with Sena's Leather Watch Case, but as someone with a small wrist, I noticed that not all bands fit comfortably. I can put my stainless steel Apple Watch with a Sport Band on the stand when it's open, but when it's closed up, it has to be on the very last loop to fit over the base of the charger. I have some third-party bands that don't open up will not fit, so that's something to keep in mind.

senacaseopenloop
That's an obscure use case though, and the Apple-designed bands should fit well on the base of the stand. Design wise, it's especially well-suited to closed-loop bands like the Milanese Loop, the Link Bracelet, or the Leather Loop.

senacasecloseloop (1)
The Leather Watch Case can be used on a desk or a nightstand at home, but it also doubles as a way to safely travel with an Apple Watch and charge it when at a destination. When transitioning between use cases, the Leather Watch Case is going to need to be disassembled to change the length of the cord.

senacasecordwinding
When traveling, it's ideal to have the cord completely wound up, which requires removing the bottom piece of the base and winding the cord. To use it for charging again, it's necessary to take it apart and remove a length of cord. Sena's installation instructions mention that users should not tug on the cord when it's in place because there's no automatic winding mechanism, and I can't help but think that would have been a fantastic addition to this case.

As Sena specifies, all winding and unwinding must be done manually, which is an annoyance, but it's still handy to have a way to hide all the excess cord of the 2m Apple Watch cable.

senacaseinteriorwithapplewatchcharger
Because of the circular shape of the Leather Watch Case, it's an odd fit inside a bag, backpack, or suitcase when traveling, but it's small enough that it doesn't take up much room and light enough not to add a lot of weight. An expensive leather travel case is a bit of a curious choice, as I'm worried that I could cause damage to it by carrying it in a bag with other items.

Most travel-oriented Apple Watch stands and cases that have come out so far also include a built-in battery, but Sena has not included that in the Leather Watch Case despite its premium price tag, so this is not the case to get if you need power for off-the-grid use.

Bottom Line

Sena's Leather Watch Case is undeniably elegant on a desk, and it's a good option for those who are looking for a way to keep the Apple Watch out of sight and out of harm's way during travel or at home while it's charging. This has the potential to be a solid charging solution for people with pets or children because it's one of the only chargers that comes with a cover.

It's not inexpensive, but it does meet a specific use case that some people are bound to have, and it also doubles as a solution for keeping the Apple Watch protected during travel, albeit a bulky one. Most people are going to wear their watches while traveling and won't need to use the Sena Leather Watch Case as a travel solution, but for people who own multiple watches, its versatility will be appealing.

senacaseopened
I do wish there were an easier way to transition between travel accessory with the cord wound and home accessory with the cord available for charging, but the pieces come apart easily enough that it's not too much of a hassle to deal with.

This isn't going to be a case that meets all needs due to its price tag, but for those who like the aesthetic and have a use for a stand that serves multiple functions, the Leather Watch Case is worth checking out.

Pros:

  • Quality build
  • Versatile
  • Protects Apple Watch

Cons:

  • Expensive for the no frills functionality
  • Requires disassembly to wind/unwind cord
  • Landscape-only orientation
  • One color option

How to Buy

The Leather Watch Case can be purchased from the Sena website for $79.95. It is also available for purchase from Apple.com and in Apple retail stores.

Note: MacRumors received no compensation for this review.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
65 months ago
Another ugly, ridiculously expensive Apple stand. I suppose the redeeming quality is that it's also a case? Pro tip: the best way to travel with your Watch is to wear it on your wrist. Take it off and put it in your bag when going through airport screwity and then put it on again.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
65 months ago
Totally agree with you. I wear mine on my wrist while traveling. Isn't that the point?? Love having my boarding pass readily available on my watch.

Why would you put your Apple Watch in a suitcase? Do people not need a watch when they're traveling? These stupid cases are made for fools to purchase. It's like buying a "travel case" for your shoes instead of wearing them on your feet.

Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
65 months ago

I would be surprised if when you turn the box upside down the MagSafe charging puck is strong enough to keep the watch in place. Especially when placed in a suitcase and subjected to airline travel.

Why do none of these cases have a cable built in with a female lighting port on the back similar to Apple's case that comes with the Apple Watch Edition?

Why would you put your Apple Watch in a suitcase? Do people not need a watch when they're traveling? These stupid cases are made for fools to purchase. It's like buying a "travel case" for your shoes instead of wearing them on your feet.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...

Reliable Leaker Suggests AirTags 'Coming Soon' in Two Different Sizes

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Apple's rumored AirTags Bluetooth tracking devices could launch imminently and will be available in two size options, based on new tweets from cryptic-but-reliable leaker L0vetodream. In typical enigmatic style, the leaker first tweeted this morning that a "big one" and a "small one" are "coming soon," but withheld what they were referring to. However that was followed an hour later with the ...