Apple’s Far Out event kicked off with the announcement of the new Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE and the Apple Watch Ultra. A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, describes the latest lineup as “the best Apple Watch lineup yet.” Well, you would say that, wouldn’t you, Tim? We’ll be the judges of that.
Apple Watch Series 8
First up, the Series 8 has improved sensors which allow for the addition of crash detection. That’s exactly what it sounds like. Imagine you’re taking a drive, and something unexpected takes you off the road. The Series 8 detects as soon as a crash happens, and automatically calls out for help. It broadcasts your location and sends out an SOS message to get you help as soon as possible. Or you could stop the notification if you happen to be okay, a feature that’s also available with fall detection. Yes, that’s still present.
Apple has included new body temperature sensors, the main perk of which is improved tracking of women’s menstrual cycles. It’s able to notify you when you’re late, both temporally and in your cycle. There’s an added privacy layer where cycle tracking is concerned, keeping your data private to the user behind the watch. The feature’s designed for the States and, well… things aren’t great over there.
The new Watch 8 sports a narrower, brighter, always-on display. It’s also swim-proof, more durable, and crack-resistant. It features an 18-hour battery life, with up to 36 hours in the new low-power battery mode.
The Apple Watch Series 8 is available for pre-order now in the US and is releasing on 16 September, although we’ll have to wait to see it in SA. To get your hands on the GPS model, you’ll be paying $400 (around R7,000) and $500 (R8,600) for the cellular option in the States but you can expect to pay slightly more when they land here.
Apple Watch SE
The SE model is the Apple Watch for beginners (according to Apple). It features a new back-case and crash and fall detection. It’s 20% faster than the previous SE and can survive a dunk in the pool. It won’t include the same advanced sensors as the Series 8 but should have enough to keep you satisfied.
Apple’s got several new watch faces, and a 30% larger screen to see them on. It’s brighter than the previous model and features a design that’s… well, designed to withstand more than your average watch. It’s a more basic upgrade this time around.
The Apple Watch SE is available for pre-order now, releasing on 16 September in the US with its big brother. Price-wise, you’ll be paying $250 for the GPS model and $300 for the cellular edition if you’re American. If you’re South African, you’ll need to wait the usual few weeks before they’re within reach.
Apple Watch Ultra
This is Apple’s Watch magnum opus – the Apple Watch Ultra. It features a new design, making it the most rugged and capable Watch ever. The body is made of aerospace-grade titanium, with enough weight to feel ‘premium’.
One of the best additions is the new physical button – dubbed the ‘action button’. It’s customizable, letting you do whatever you want with a simple touch. Next to it is an improved scroll wheel, jutting out slightly to give users a better grip.
Battery-wise, the Ultra is looking to have the best Apple Watch battery we’ve ever seen. On standard mode, it’ll reach 36 hours, with an extra 24 tucked away once you turn on low-power mode.
It seems that the Watch Ultra was designed for people performing every sort of sport the crazies do. Specifically aimed at the adventuring type, the Ultra can survive even deeper underwater for the scuba divers out there.

If you get lost, you can enable the integrated siren — yes, a siren — to call out to anyone within a range of 180m. It’ll also keep track of the route you took, and provide a simple map to help you retrace your steps. This feature turns on automatically if you head off the grid.
To get your hands on the Apple Watch Ultra, you’ll need to be willing to whip out a massive $800 wad of cash. Or just swipe your card like a normal person. When they eventually get here, they aren’t going to be cheap. Expect to pay at least R14,000. All Ultra models come standard with cellular, so you won’t need to fork out extra to have the best of the best. The Apple Watch Ultra is available for pre-order now in the US, with a release date of 23 September. We’re eager to get our hands on one of these to see how ‘Ultra’ it really is.
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