The Apple Watch SE is a safe buy in 2023

This year's Apple Watch upgrades won't include a new version of Apple's cheapest smartwatch

Apple Watch SE 2 review
(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)

Good news for anyone who's been putting off buying the Apple Watch SE 2 for fear it'll be replaced later this year: a new report confirms that it's a safe buy through 2023 and beyond. The second generation Apple Watch SE was only introduced in 2022, and it's not due for replacement for some time yet.

That's according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, who says that this year we'll see three new Apple Watch models: the Series 9 in the usual two sizes, and the Apple Watch Ultra 2.

That latter one is a surprise, because we’ve only just heard reports that the Apple Watch Ultra 2 was going to be ultra-delayed due to problems with its display. But it seems that Apple is planning an interim model that’ll get a significant upgrade inside but will retain the current display.

What to expect from the Apple Watch Series 9 and Apple Watch Ultra 2

According to Gurman, this year’s Apple Watch launches will be a 41mm and 45mm Series 9 and a second generation Apple Watch Ultra. All three models will get a pretty big speed bump thanks to a faster processor, the S9: previous versions have focused more on energy efficiency, and as Gurman says this is going to be the first performance-boosting chip since the S6 that came in the Apple Watch Series 6 three years ago.

Gurman also says that “there isn’t a new Apple Watch SE coming this year, which makes sense as that model is on a two-year upgrade cycle and was refreshed in 2022.” The other Apple Watch models are on an annual upgrade cycle.

If you’re already an Apple Watch user, the attractiveness of these new models is likely to depend on what version of Apple Watch you’re currently wearing: as with iPhones, the differences between one year’s model and the next aren’t dramatic – which is why I’ve still got a Series 7 on my wrist instead of the Series 8, which just didn’t add enough features to make it worth upgrading. 

I’m pretty sure it’ll be the same this year, so if you’re an Apple Watch Series 8 or Apple Watch Ultra wearer there’s no real need to get the newer ones: a lot of the Apple Watch excitement this year is around the software, not the hardware, with watchOS 10 making your watch feel brand new all over again.

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 (