In September, Apple launched its latest batch of smartwatches, introducing the first-ever Ultra ($799) alongside the Series 8 ($399) and a new Apple Watch SE ($249). Each wearable has its own pros and cons associated with it, but the introduction of the high-end Ultra also means there are now more Apple Watch models on the market before than ever before — and a lot more deals to be had.
But with all of those options, which one should you pick? Generally speaking, you want to buy the newest watch you can afford so that it continues to receive software updates from Apple. The latest update, watchOS 9, launched on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer models in September, though no one can say with certainty whether the Series 4 will get the next big software update. Also, keep in mind that, unlike some Apple products, the largest discounts are typically reserved for the newest models, not the last-gen ones.
Picking up a watch from the latest (or a recent) generation ensures you’re getting a smartwatch with an updated design, a robust number of features, and plenty of sensors. And thankfully, now that the Series 3 is officially out of commission (it was long overdue), it’s harder to end up with a watch that will quickly feel outdated.
Now, let’s get into the deals.
The best Apple Watch Series 8 deals
The latest mainline smartwatch from Apple features watchOS 9 along with Crash Detection and temperature sensors that enable menstrual cycle tracking — something you won’t find on any other model.
The Apple Watch Series 8 doesn’t represent a drastic departure from the Series 7, but it does offer Crash Detection and a number of iterative improvements that will make it the go-to model for many.
The Apple Watch Series 8 represents the latest wearable in Apple’s flagship Series lineup. It brings a new chipset (that our colleague Victoria Song says isn’t faster than the previous iteration), new temperature sensors that enable menstrual tracking, Crash Detection, and a host of other enhancements. While the subtle improvements are welcome, the Series 8 isn’t all that different from the prior model, the Apple Watch Series 7.
We recently saw the starting price of the base Apple Watch Series 8 drop to $329 ($70 off), which is what the 41mm model with GPS is currently going for at Amazon and Walmart. As for the larger, 45mm model with GPS, it’s currently on sale at Amazon and Walmart for $359, which is $70 off and matches the watch’s lowest price to date.
If you’re looking to snag an LTE-equipped model, the 41mm configuration is available at Amazon and Walmart for $429 ($70 off). The same $70 discount also applies to the 45mm model, which is on sale at Amazon and Walmart right now for $459.
If you can do without Crash detection and other Series 8 exclusives, the last-gen Series 7 is also currently available at Walmart and Target in select colors and sizing starting at $299 — about $100 off its original list price.
Read our Apple Watch Series 8 review.
The best Apple Watch SE deals
The new SE for 2022 borrows a few features from the Series 8, including the same chipset and Crash Detection feature, but it’s an otherwise subtle upgrade from the last-gen SE.
Apple’s entry-level wearable represents a minor upgrade when compared to the prior SE, though it does introduce a faster chipset and make use of many watchOS 9 features.
Apple’s first-gen Apple Watch SE serves as a step up from the now-discontinued Series 3, with similar features and a design that’s more in line with the Series 6 from 2020.
The Apple Watch SE received a refresh in late 2022. It has the same chipset as the Series 8, which is great, but with fewer sensors, no always-on display, and a slightly outdated design compared to the Series 7 and Series 8. Those omissions might take this out of the running for some people, but it still may be exactly what you’re after. Best of all, it starts at $249 for the 40mm Wi-Fi / GPS model, which is $30 less than the previous generation’s baseline cost. Opting for cellular connectivity bumps up the starting price to $299 for the 40mm size (44mm adds $20 to each configuration).
Right now, the 40mm Apple Watch SE with GPS is available at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target for $249, which is its full retail price and $30 more than the wearable’s lowest price to date. The GPS-only model is also available in the 44mm sizing at Amazon for $229.99 ($50 off), or in the LTE-equipped configuration at Amazon for as low as $249.99 ($50 off). Note that, in the case of the latter two configurations, Amazon will automatically apply the discount at checkout.
If you’re cool with getting the last-gen model, which lacks an always-on display and some of the more advanced bells and whistles found on the newer Apple Watch models, Walmart is selling it in the base configuration starting at just $149, a total of $130 off.
Read our Apple Watch SE (second-gen) review.
The best Apple Watch Ultra deals
The Watch Ultra is the most rugged and capable Apple Watch available. It has a thicker, bigger build than the Series 8, precise GPS tracking, and sensors that can measure metrics for diving. It only comes in one size and configuration, and it supports both GPS and LTE.
Apple’s big, thick, and capable Watch Ultra launched at $799 with GPS and LTE support, and in case you aren’t in the know, it has the most features, sensors, and ruggedness of any Apple Watch model available thus far. Its 49mm case houses a screen that can get brighter than the Series 8, it has a longer-lasting battery and more precise GPS tracking, and it’s loaded with sensors that essentially turn it into a swimming and diving guide.
Earlier this month, we saw the Apple Watch Ultra drop to $729.99 (about $69 off), which is the watch’s current price on Amazon when you pair it with an Alpine Loop strap. That said, it’s the model with the yellow Ocean Band that is actually receiving the steepest discount on Amazon right now, where it’s available for an all-time low of $701.99 (about $97 off).
Read our Apple Watch Ultra review.
A note on the more premium models
While all of the Apple Watch models and colorways covered here are encased in aluminum (with the exception of the Ultra, which has a titanium build), Apple does make a more premium range built out of stainless steel and titanium. These offerings are functionally and aesthetically similar to their aluminum counterparts, with slightly refined colors and finishings — polished for the stainless steel and brushed for the titanium. However, they start at much steeper prices of $749 and above. They, too, can often be found on sale, but they’re never discounted as low as the standard base models, so we don’t include them here.