When Apple released the Series 7 in the fall of 2021, it was the first time it gave an Apple Watch the ability to charge faster. Specifically, it could charge 33-percent faster than any previous Apple Watch. You could charge its battery from 0-to-80-percent in just 45 minutes.
Since then, Apple has released a couple of new Apple Watch models. There's the Series 8, the Ultra and the SE 2. All of them support fast charging except the SE 2, which charges at the same speed as every Apple Watch that's Series 6 or before.
However, there are a couple important caveats to these fast charging abilities. The reason the new Apple Watch models are able to charge faster is due to their new charging architecture, which is built right into each smartwatch, as well as the new charging cable-and-puck ($29) that comes with them.
The third piece of the puzzle is a USB-C wall adapter that are 5-watts or higher and supports Power Delivery (PD). This is important because the Series 7, Series 8 and Ultra don't ship with any wall adapter in the box, so you'll want to buy one (if you don't have one already) that's powerful enough to fast charge it. The minimum wall adapter that Apple sells that will deliver these fast charging speeds is the 20-watt USB-C wall adapter ($20).
Without one of these pieces — a new Apple Watch, a new charging puck and USB-C wall adapter — it won't fast charge to it's true potential.
Which Apple Watches support fast charging?
There are only three Apple Watches that support faster charging: the Series 7, Series 8 and Ultra. The second-generation SE does not support faster charging.
Can the Ultra charge as fast as the Series 7 and Series 8?
The Ultra supports the same fast charging ability as the Series 7 and Series 8, but it takes a little longer to charge because it has a bigger battery. Apple claims that it can charge up to 80-percent in one hour or to 100-percent in 90 minutes.
Will my old charging puck fast charge my new Apple Watch?
You need the new USB-C charging cable that comes with the Apple Watch Series 7. You can also buy this USB-C charging cable-and-puck ($29) separately from Apple. The last option is to buy a recently-released charger that has been optimized to fast charge the Series 7, but there really aren't many of those yet.
Are there any third-party USB-C wall adapters that are capable of these fast charging speeds?
In the past three years, Apple has stopped shipping many of its products (including iPhones, Apple Watches and AirPods) with the required all adapter to charge them; it's part of an environmental initiative to fight climate charge. This has sparked a thriving ecosystem of manufacturers of third-party USB-C chargers: you can check out the best options, here.
But my old charging puck will still charge my new Apple Watch, right?
Your old Apple Watch puck will still charge the Series 7, Series 8 and Ultra and it'll charge it at the same speed that it's able to charge the Series 6, which is 33-percent slower than what the new models are capable of.
Will third-party 3-in-1 chargers fast charge my new Apple Watch?
If your 3-in-1 charger was released before the Series 7 was released (September 2021), then it will most likely not support the fast charging speeds for the smartwatch. The reason is that most of these 2-in-1 or 3-in-1 charging systems only deliver 5-watts of power to the Apple Watch puck, which is not enough.
However, a lot of these third-party manufacturers are released new — or upgraded — versions of existing wireless chargers to take advantage of the new charging speeds. For example, Belkin has released a couple of new-and-improved wireless chargers, like Boost Up Charge Pro 3-in-1, which can output 40-watts of power and simultaneously charge your iPhone 13, Apple Watch and AirPods at their fastest possible charging speeds.
Will Apple's MagSafe Duo charge my new Apple Watch at its fastest speed?
The MagSafe Duo ($129) is Apple's innovative and foldable wireless charger for the iPhone (12 or later) and Apple Watch. However, its Apple Watch charging puck only is able to deliver 5-watts of power, which is not enough to fast charge the newest Apple Watches. Apple is likely going to have to come out with an updated MagSafe Duo to support these fast charging speeds, but it's not here yet.
In fact, at the time of writing this, many of the Apple Watch chargers that Apple sells don't support the new fast charging capabilities.