The October issue of Wired just landed on my desk (their third annual "design issue"), and as I started flipping through it, I noticed a couple full-page watch ads.1 In all, I counted seven watch ads, mostly in prime positions, including the two-page spread inside the cover and the back page.

This being the first issue after the Apple Watch was announced, I was curious if this number was higher or lower than usual, so I also went back and looked at the previous three issues, which I had close at hand.2

Here's how the counts broke down, in reverse-chronological order:

  • October: 7
  • September: 4
  • August: 0
  • July: 2

Most of the ads were in valuable locations,3 and most of the brands were high-end (though there was an appearance from Swatch).

August, which is a thinner issue than September or October, didn't have any watch ads, but did include a watch in editorial content.

I tried to track down the October 2013 issue for a year on year comparison, but I wasn't able to locate it. I did, however, find the January 2014 issue on wearable tech, which had a big feature on smart watches. The only ad in that issue was a back-pager for Cartier.4

My question is: with the arrival of the Apple Watch in 2015, will next year's October Wired issue have more (traditional) watch ads, or fewer?


  1. The first one to catch my eye was for Movado's Derek Jeter watch, The Captain

  2. I work at a PR firm. We have lots of magazines.

  3. It's possible your issue of Wired will have different ads in different placements, because certain ads are sold on a regional basis through targeted ad-buying companies like MNI

  4. Ad copy excerpt (all-caps sic): "THE 1904-CH MC, THE NEW AUTOMATIC WINDING CHRONOGRAPH MOVEMENT, WAS CONCEIVED, DEVELOPED AND ASSEMBLED BY THE CARTIER MANUFATURE IN THE GREATEST WATCHMAKING TRADITION."