There’s no bad time to buy an Apple Watch, but there are better and worse times. Apple releases new Apple Watch models (called “series”) on a yearly cadence, and the price rarely changes by all that much. So to avoid buying an Apple Watch that is outdated after just a few weeks, you want to time it right.
Here’s what we know about Apple Watch release dates and when you should or should not buy.
Updated 01/28/23: Now that the Apple Watch series 8, Apple Watch SE, and Apple Watch Ultra have been released, this is a good time to buy. It will be months before the next models land.
Apple Watch: Pricing and specs
Most recent release: September 2022
Apple released the Apple Watch Series 8 on September 16, 2021. It’s mostly identical to the Series 7, with the minor addition of new accelerometers (to detect when you are in a car crash) and a limited-use temperature sensor.
At the same time, Apple introduced a new version of the Apple Watch SE. It, too, is only slightly updated from the previous model. It has the new accelerometers for crash detection and a brighter display, and shares the same S8 processor with the Series 8, but it otherwise gains no new capabilities. It starts at $249 for 40mm and $279 for 44mm, with cellular options costing $50 extra.
Apple Watch Ultra shipped a week later, on September 23. It’s big, heavy, durable, and made for extreme conditions and activities. It comes in only one model (Titanium, 49mm, with cellular) and costs $799.
Apple Watch Series 8
Apple Watch: Why you should buy
The only reason to wait is if you insist on holding out for a sale, which you probably won’t see for at least a few months. Apple is not expected to release any new Apple Watch models until the fall of 2023.
Apple Watch: Why you should wait
The best reason to wait is if you have an Apple Watch made in the last couple years. The Series 7 and Series 8 each offered only very minor incremental improvements, so you’re not missing out on a whole lot if you don’t have the very latest model.
Macworld recommends: BUY
It’s going to be quite a while before Apple releases a new Apple Watch, and the lineup is better than ever–the Series 8 is a minor upgrade but still the best Apple Watch yet, the SE got a small price reduction, and outdoor types or extreme athletes can opt for the Apple Watch Ultra. For more advice read our Apple Watch buying guide.