Strike out the bands: Apple tipped for "major" Apple Watch redesign

Apple is reportedly planning a massive Apple Watch redesign to mark its wearable's tenth birthday

Apple Watch series 1
(Image credit: Apple)

We've come a long way since the first Apple Watch (pictured) was unveiled in 2014, and to mark its imminent tenth birthday Apple is reportedly planning the biggest makeover in the wearable's decade-long history. What may be called the Apple Watch X could be a very significant upgrade to one of the best smartwatches you can buy.

The news comes via Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, whose latest newsletter  describes a "splashy" upgrade that's very different from the minor refresh we're expecting next month, a refresh Gurman describes as "arguably the most minor upgrade in the product's history". The Apple Watch X, however, could be a lot more exciting.

What is the Apple Watch X?

The Apple Watch X could be the tenth generation of the Apple Watch. We're saying "could" because, ironically for a watch, the timing isn't certain: the Apple Watch's tenth birthday depends on when you consider its birth date, because while it was launched in late 2014 it didn't actually ship until 2015. 

A 2024 release date would certainly be tidier, but according to Gurman the X might not make it until 2025. 

Launch dates aside, what can we expect? Apple's designers are apparently working on a thinner casing – which fits with Apple's ongoing obsession with thinness, and which is particularly obvious on such a small device – and a new kind of band connection. Instead of the current design, where your bands slide into a notch and then lock mechanically, Apple is reportedly experimenting with a new magnetic attachment system. However, it's unclear whether this is for the Apple Watch X, or if it will happen at all: it would break the backwards compatibility that Apple Watch wearers have enjoyed since the Apple Watch Series 2.

Gurman concludes his report with a list of other expected technologies for the Apple Watch, but again it's unclear whether all or any of them will make it into the Watch X: a microLED display and a blood pressure monitor have been rumoured for some time now, with the latter previously predicted for the Apple Watch Series 8. The most recent rumours suggest that microLED is coming in 2025 but will be limited to that year's Apple Watch Ultra.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (