The Apple Watch does have an extensive list of quality watch faces, but that doesn't mean you can't up the ante with something like Clockology.
This third-party app is a cult hit and one of the best options we've tried for downloading unique faces, giving you instant access to thousands of developer-designed options.
The implementation isn't quite as pure as you'll find with Apple's first-party offerings, though, which is why we've created this guide.
Below, you'll find some easy-to-follow steps for those getting started, as well as a couple of neat tricks to get the faces to essentially act as your default. We've also picked out some of our favorite faces - complete with links - to save you from scouring the library of options.
We should also note that there is a monthly subscription option for Clockology, but the steps detailed below and the faces we've featured only require a free download.
Beware: Clockology limitations
Before we dive into all the details below, it's worth covering exactly what Clockology isn't capable of - the most obvious being that this app doesn't properly replace your standard Apple Watch home screen.
While you can easily set the app up to act as your watch face - and we cover this in detail below - a press of the Digital Crown will still transport you straight back to your home screen just as it would with any app.
That's not the only limitation, either. While Clockology faces can feature great animations and neat integration with things like your activity, they're not especially interactive.
Complications aren't a thing you can tack on to a Clockology face, and you also can't access things like notifications or the control center with a swipe, meaning you're largely left with the version you download.
Unlike Apple's own watch faces, there also aren't true dimmed versions of these faces for when your wrist is idle. You may get a blurred-out watch face with a digital time in the top corner if your watch is capable of remaining always on, but that's about it.
So, think of Clockology faces as a fancy shop front, rather than a replacement for your standard watch face.
And with those caveats in place, let's get into it.
How to download Clockology watch faces
Given the fact that you're going to have to sync this watch faces over from downloads to the Clockology app and then over to your Apple Watch, things aren't as straightforward as you may be used to if you're coming from the Watch app.
That's why we've crafted these steps below to help you get started.
1: Download the Clockology app
The first step is a simple one. All you need to do is head to the App Store and download Clockology. Once you've done so, you should see it appear on both your iPhone and Apple Watch. If it doesn't, then head to the Watch app, select the 'Clockology' tab, and then turn 'Show App on Apple Watch' to green.
2: Discover watch faces you like
You're then ready to start exploring the thousands of watch faces available to you. Since there's no search function within the app itself, you'll have to scour social media platforms for some favorites (or check out our list below).
3: Download watch faces from your phone
So, you've spotted a watch face you like and want to download it. Easy.
Let's say it's from the list below. All you need to do is tap on the download link (from your iPhone) and hit the 'Share' icon in the bottom-left corner to get started.
From there, you'll see the screens shown above. Tap the Clockology app icon to be taken straight to the app, at which point you'll then see your downloaded face appear.
4: Sync over from your phone to Apple Watch
When met with the image of your downloaded watch face, simply tap the watch icon on the right side. You'll then be prompted to continue the action on the Apple Watch Clockology app. Open it, and then simply wait a few seconds for it to magically appear on your wrist.
Tip: You can download as many faces as you like. Change through them with swipes, or delete them through the menu that's accessible after a long press.
Keeping Clockology open on Apple Watch
Having all these fancy watch faces on your wrist is all well and good, but it's not an especially useful app if you keep the default setting of returning to the Apple Watch home screen after a couple of minutes.
In order to have these Clockology watch faces showing permanently, you're going to have to tweak the settings - and also make sure you raise to wake at least once per hour.
To change the settings, head to the Watch app on your iPhone. From here, go to 'General' and then 'Return to Clock'. You'll then have the option to select 'Clockology' from the list and then choose 'After 1 hour'.
Don't forget you can also tinker with the 'Wake Duration' under 'Display & Brightness', as well, if you want to make sure it sticks around after a wrist raise.
Does this drain the battery life quicker than usual, you might be wondering? After testing the Clockology app over the last few days, we don't think so - at least not enough to concern you.
Add a Clockology watch face complication
Another really handy thing to set up is a Clockology complication on your Apple Watch home screen. This means you can jump straight back into the comfort of those new watch faces if your watch does happen to return to type (or you press the Digital Crown out of habit).
You can create a Clockology complication from the Apple Watch itself, too. Simply long-press your standard watch face, tap 'Edit' and then follow the prompts to customize a Clockology widget into a place of your choosing.
We have a dedicated explainer for adding Apple Watch complications, should you need further guidance.
10 of the best Clockology watch faces
There are essentially endless options available through the Clockology app - but it can take a fair old while to sift through the less polished options and find some gems. Below, we've highlighted 10 of the top options we've downloaded so far - as well as their download links.
1. iPod view
Back in an age when the idea of an Apple smartwatch felt like the work of fantasy, there was the iPod. Fast-forward to now, and you can relive the beauty and simplicity of that monochrome display - personalized with your steps and distance for the day, as well as the current time and date. There's also a current heart rate reading, but you'll have to pay for a subscription to gain weather insights.
2. Swatch watch face
There was a time when rumors consistently swirled around the idea of a Swatch smartwatch. Years on from those whispers, the Swiss company still hasn't entered the space. However, you can get the next best thing with this imagined Swatch watch face, which provides a really nice ticking mechanism and not much else.
3. Apple throwback
If the iPod watch face shown above isn't enough of a throwback for you, try this retro styling on for size. Featuring the old-school Apple logo, the '1984' and 'Think different' details, your up-to-date activity stats, and the time and date, there's plenty to enjoy here.
4. Omega watch face
Forget about the hype of the Omega x Swatch partnership - install this crisp Omega Speedmaster recreation, instead. This one's available in plenty of different color backgrounds as standard, and you can also customize the layers yourself to change the basics. It also boasts a smooth second-ticking motion, as well as a neat moon phase complication.
5. A classic Pokemon battle
Another bit of 90s nostalgia here. We've seen plenty of clever types customizing the sprites on show here, but this Pokemon-themed watch face comes with Gengar and Nidorino as standard. Instead of the usual battle screen, though, the time, day, and date are neatly spread throughout the face, as well as battery details and your step count.
6. Apple Quartz watch
Before there was the Apple Watch, there was the Apple-themed Quartz timepiece - the original Apple Watch, really. While buying the real version of the vintage piece will set you back a considerable chunk of cash, you can instead blend the old with the new by employing this face. Its function is simple, but it's still brilliant.
7. Apple Watch Ultra lookalike
Who said that Apple Watch Ultra owners get to that fancy outdoor watch face all to themselves, hey? Not Clockology users, that's for sure. With this one, you get a really nice recreation of the Ultra's exclusive standard face, complete with up-to-date details on your Activity Rings, battery, the time, UVI and more. The coordinates appear to be pre-set for somewhere in California, mind.
8. Fallout Pip-Boy
Bring the fictional wearable to life with this Pip-Boy face - an amazingly detailed recreation of the original from the Fallout series. There are some really neat Easter eggs in here, and they sit alongside the time, day, date, steps and the same walking animation of Vault Boy seen in the games.
9. Nintendo 64 startup sequence
If you're a sucker for nostalgic startup screens, you'll be in love with this Nintendo 64 recreation. This one is super simple - only really offering you the time and date - but the rotating, iconic 'N' is more than enough to send you back to 1996.
10. Casio classic
Perhaps our favorite Clockology face we've downloaded so far - this is an excellent recreation of the classic Casio Alarm Chrono. Complete with the time, date, day, and battery percentage, the details are really complete here - right down to the de-illuminated parts of the digital time's 'display'.
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