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In a nutshell: Apple’s second-generation Watch Ultra could be noteworthy not because of what it adds, but because of what it takes away. A Weibo leaker with a proven track record claims the new Apple Watch Ultra will be lighter than its predecessor. The leaker didn’t go into specifics, but anything weighing less than the current version will likely be welcome.
The first-gen Apple Watch Ultra arrived in September 2022 and tips the scales at 61.3 grams, or 2.16 ounces. For comparison, the 41mm aluminum Apple Watch Series 8 weighs just 32 grams while the larger 45mm variant checks in at 38.8 grams (or 51.5 grams if you want a stainless steel body).
Renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said he believes Apple is actively adopting 3D printing technology and could utilize it to create titanium-based mechanical components for the upcoming second-gen Apple Watch Ultra. 3D printed parts would still have to go through CNC machining for back-end processes, Kuo added, but it would still cut down on manufacturing time and reduce overall production costs.
It’s unclear if the 3D printed components will help contribute to making the watch lighter.
Elaborating further, Kuo said IPG Photonics is the exclusive supplier of laser components for 3D printed watch parts, with printers coming from Farsoon and BLT.
Apple is widely expected to announce its new Watch Ultra alongside the Watch Series 9 in the coming months. Last year, Apple unveiled its new Watch lineup during the keynote for the iPhone 14 but we’ve also seen the company introduce new wearables separately. It’s still too early to know if this year’s Watch family will share the stage with the iPhone 15.
A rumor from earlier this year suggested the Apple Watch Series 9 will utilize a processor based on the A15 SoC from the iPhone 13. Not much else is known about the wearable at this hour but that’ll likely change in the coming weeks as we inch closer to the eventual reveal.