Wilson scored on debut in Saturday's win over West Ham United following his summer move from Bournemouth.
Asked why he turned down players like Watkins - via theChronicle - Bruce said: "A lot of forwards?
"I'm not sure there were. Like who?"
When Watkins was put to Bruce he then said: "Well yeah, look I tried to take Callum from Coventry a few years ago.
"But I have watched his career. There is something about the lad that I enjoy watching.
"He moves well. He is a goalscorer and works tirelessly for the team.
"I am delighted to have got him. More importantly Callum wanted to play for Newcastle and that always helps.
"That was the situation."