The Apple Watch Ultra was originally going to look quite different

Apple Watch Ultra
(Image credit: Future)

The Apple Watch Ultra has a very distinctive design, with its chunky titanium case and extra large digital crown, but recently unearthed documents have revealed that it was originally going to look a bit different.

Documentation submitted to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) shows a prototype of the watch with a much darker ceramic back than the version that ultimately went on sale in September 2022. In the pre-production images (which you can see on Wareable), the watch's Action button also looks different, seeming to be made from plastic rather than the metal used in the final design. 

All devices capable of transmitting wireless signals, including smartwatches, have to be submitted to the FCC for testing before they can go on sale in the US, to make sure that they comply with laws on the use of radio bands. The agency publishes lists of recently approved devices, but details like pre-production photos are usually restricted (often for years) to avoid giving competitors an unfair advantage.

Back of Apple Watch Ultra and Apple Watch Ultra 2 without straps

The Apple Watch Ultra (left) and Apple Watch Ultra 2 both have a light gray back, but an early prototype for the Ultra showed a much darker color (Image credit: Future)

We don't know why Apple decided to make these changes, but as you can see in my photos above, Apple stuck with the light gray color and metal button for the Apple Watch Ultra 2. I'm currently testing the Ultra 2, and will bring you a full review very soon.

Black Friday discounts

If you're thinking of picking up an Apple Watch Ultra for Black Friday, you're in luck – particularly if you're in the UK where it's down to a record low price of £649 at Amazon. The deal applies to the version of the watch with the Alpine Loop band in either green or starlight.

Apple Watch Ultra:£699£649 at AmazonSave £50

Apple Watch Ultra: £699 £649 at Amazon
Save £50 This is the cheapest the Apple Watch Ultra has ever been, and an impressive saving for Black Friday. This offer applies to the watch when supplied with the green or starlight (off-white) Alpine Loop band, which is the version secured with a G-hook.

If you're not in the UK, here are today's best deals on the Apple Watch Ultra near you, with prices updated daily.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.