The Apple Watch has quickly become the de-facto smartwatch for many. Its blend of design, capability and simplicity make it a hugely useful device whether you want to stay organised, monitor your fitness, or simply have Mickey Mouse tell you the time.

But how can you make sure that you don't buy one only to find a new model is announced the following week? In this article we explain when to make your purchase so you don't get a nasty surprise.

For advice on which model to buy, read our Apple Watch buying guide.

When are Apple Watch models usually released?

It's nearly always September. Apple has stuck to that schedule since the second-generation models were announced in September 2016.

The only exception was the original model, which was made available in April 2015 and went on to become an instant success. But all the rest have appeared in September.

Apple Watch model Release date
Original April 2015
Series 1 September 2016
Series 2 September 2016
Series 3 September 2017
Series 4 September 2018
Series 5 September 2019
Series 6 September 2020
Series 7 September 2021

In other words, you should always work on the basis that new Apple Watch models will make their debuts in September, usually at the same time as new iPhones are announced.

It was no surprise that the Apple Watch Series 7 was announced at Apple's California Streaming event on Tuesday 14 September 2021 - however, Apple hasn't yet revealed when that watch will go on sale.

Should I buy an Apple Watch now or wait?

Wait! You should definitely wait for the Apple Watch 7 to go on sale.

As mentioned above, Apple has just announced a new Apple Watch model, which means you can either buy the new version - with its larger screen and revamped design, as well as a faster processor chip and other new features - or buy a Series 6 at a reduced price.

Apple has kept the older watch on sale at a lower price - at least for now - but it's unlikely that Apple will be the only one offering discounts on that model. You can expect lots of third-party resellers to start discounting the Apple Watch 6 as they will be eager to get rid of their old stock.

Check out our roundup of the Best Apple Watch deals and don't forget to visit the Apple Refurbished store to find the best offers on second-hand kit.