Watchsmith is a useful new app from developer David Smith (best known for his sleep-tracking Apple Watch software, called Sleep++) that lets you customize more than three-dozen dynamic watch complications which can change throughout the day. Given Apple doesn’t permit third-party watch faces, it’s the closest thing to being able to create your own watch faces.
The sophisticated, powerful software makes it a cinch to customize your complications. You get a wide collection of highly customizable, polished complications to boot, ranging in function from date, time and calendar to weather, tides, activity, astronomy and beyond.
You can even use time zones and your battery status in the Watchsmith complication. Each complication can be adjusted precisely to best fit your desired function and appearance.
As noted in the MacStories review of Watchsmith by Ryan Christoffel, several stock Apple Watch faces already offer significant room for customization.
The Infograph face, for example, contains eight different complication slots; if a rich array of third-party complications were available, you could build a highly customized watch face using the existing faces provided by Apple.
As you may have suspected, Watchsmith exists to provide rich set of complications.
The app offers 37 types of complications, each adaptable to different watch faces and complication slots, and all fully customizable so they can look exactly the way you prefer. Additionally, Watchsmith offers scheduling functionality to cause different complications to appear on your Watch at different times throughout the day.
Scheduling is where Watchsmith truly shines.
Its ability to change the complication every hour (up to 24 times per day) lets you assign different complications to specific hours of the day, with rules you define. As an example, one time slot may show the weather first thing in the morning. Then as you start your work, it could show your calendar before switching to your Activity ring progress as you wrap up your day.
What that does is allow you to take full advantage of each available slot on your watch face without having to constantly switch back and forth between faces.
This schedule works really well for my weekday routine. If I wake up before sunrise, I can know when it’s safe to go for an outdoor run. When I’m waking up my kids at the usual time, I can know how to dress them for the day.
When work begins, I can see how many appointments I have on the calendar and see how soon until the next one starts on the schedule. The time-zone complication is most useful on Thursdays when I record 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast in central time with my colleague Benjamin Mayo in the UK.
After work hours, I can glance at my activity data and know how much movement is required to meet my fitness goals. I don’t mind seeing this throughout the day, but it always starts at zero, and you often can’t act on the exercise goal until after-work hours.
While the Siri watch face provides relevant data throughout the day, its algorithm isn’t predictable so you never quite know what you’re gonna get, and when. With Watchsmith, you choose which piece of information is displayed on your watch face, and precisely when.
It offers plenty of utility for free. If you’d like to unlock all of its capabilities and customization options, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid subscription at $2 per month or $20 per year.