Darker Apple Watch Ultra Prototype Shown in FCC Filing Images

Apple appears to have originally designed an Apple Watch Ultra with a dark ceramic back, according to documents filed with the United States Federal Communications Commission and spotted by @ParrotSWD on X, formerly Twitter (via 9to5Mac).

apple watch ultra prototype fcc
When releasing a new device, tech hardware companies must share details with the FCC, which Apple did for the Apple Watch Ultra prior to its release in September 2022.

In the document, Apple appears to have used an Apple Watch Ultra with a darker, almost black ceramic rear case – similar to Apple Watch Series models – and a plastic-looking Action button with no indent. These design attributes did not make it into the final release.

Often in filings of this type, external photos and other sensitive details are subject to a confidentiality clause with an expiry date, so it is likely that the clause in this one recently expired, hence why the images have only just come to light.

Apple currently offers the Apple Watch Ultra 2, released in September 2023, in the same natural titanium color as the first-generation model. Prior to launch, some rumors suggested Apple could release a new darker color option that was originally tested for the previous model but ultimately canceled. It didn't happen.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Ultra 2
Related Forum: Apple Watch

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Top Rated Comments

ixrated Avatar
27 weeks ago

Apple appears to have originally designed an Apple Watch Ultra with a dark ceramic back, according to documents filed with the United States Federal Communications Commission and spotted by @ParrotSWD ('https://twitter.com/ParrotSWD/status/1725358035004965129') on Twitter, formerly X (via 9to5Mac ('https://9to5mac.com/2023/11/16/apple-watch-ultra-black-ceramic-back/')).
“Twitter, formerly X”? ?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Skyscraperfan Avatar
27 weeks ago
As Marquess pointed put the reason for not making a dark version probably were possible scratches that would look bright, if they just applied a black coating. So before they release a dark model they would need to get the actual titanium dark. Not sure how that would be possible. Could you melt the titanium and than mix some colour into it?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
abatabia Avatar
27 weeks ago
Now THAT is pretty.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jamie0003 Avatar
27 weeks ago
This isn’t black, it’s dark grey. Same with everything else Apple calls space black. Very annoying, misleading marketing imo
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ugahairydawgs Avatar
27 weeks ago

The Ultra is meant to be used for extreme sports though, so the coating being damaged by scratches is just a non-starter.
I’d love to see the market research on how this watch is actually used. My very unscientific guess is that the number of people who use this with any sort of regularity for some of the prescribed “extreme” reasons (scuba diving, rock climbing, etc) is low.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steve-Jobz Avatar
27 weeks ago

“Twitter, formerly X”? ?
2023 Macrumors The Most Entertaining Article Award Winner

(Elon voted against this)
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)