Roberto Pereyra's stoppage time effort sealed a comfortable 3-0 Premier League victory in a bottom three battle against a beleaguered AFC Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium, to heap further misery on the Cherries.
Goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and Troy Deeney had given the Hornets a stranglehold on events on the South coast, as the visitors win their fourth league game in five outings.
After the Hornets took the lead three minutes from time in a tense first-half on the South coast, the visitors took full control against Eddie Howe's relegation-wracked hosts, who find themselves now two points from safety in 19th spot.
Watford meanwhile, move out of the bottom three for the first time this season, continuing the the Hertfordshire side's rejuvenation under Nigel Pearson.
Give the fillip of early return from injury of Nathan Ake, the Cherries were however enforced into a change in goal to add to their recent injury malaises, with Mark Travers drafted in for the injured Aaron Ramsdale, who had played every league game for the Dorset side this term.
With both sides retaining two very different runs of form in the build up Sunday's game, the newly-relegation threatened Cherries began on the foot, however Dominic Solanke was unable to control Adam Smith's scuffed shot from the edge of the area in the early going, subsequently smothered by Watford 'keeper Ben Foster.
The Hornets stopper was again forced into action minutes later from Harry Wilson's 25-yard free-kick, before the visitors then looked to gain a footing in the game.
As a side who have conceded six times in the last two outings, Bournemouth's worries in defence began to grow as Simon Francis conceded possession on the edge of his own box, only for Gerard Deulofeu to see his Etienne Capoue-fed effort saved from close range, low at the near post by Travers.
Vitality nerves on show
After a bright start on the South coast, nerves began to take hold on, with the league predicament faced by the duo in increasing evidence as the opening half wore on.
With the hosts having scored just two goals in the last seven league games, the Cherries again struggled to to create any openings against a resolute Watford back line.
As Callum Wilson again ploughed a lone foray up top, Ryan Fraser was again finding little space to operate in the wide areas, with Watford happy to stay compact and force the hosts into shying from distance.
Pearson's side appeared content in biding their time having won three of the last four games, looking to break at pace with Bournemouth's play becoming increasingly disjointed.
Doucoure breaks tension
Indeed, as the half-time whistle approached, Watford's first period efforts had a sting in the tail.
Watford had began to press higher up the field as the game had progressed and as Howe witnessed his charges retreat further down the pitch, goalkeepers Travers was forced into a hurried clearance from danger, finding Ismaila Sarr.
The Senegalese raced into space on the right and crossed into the area for the central Doucoure, who took a touch and fired into the far corner of the net with three minutes remaining of the opening half, as the mood again dropped at the Vitality in all too familiar fashion.
In the knowledge the hosts had taken just a single point this term after finding themselves behind at the break, the feeling with grim for the Bournemouth, as referee Mike Dean blew for half time.
Ragged Cherries picked
Doucoure's strike before the interval was in hindsight the pivotal moment in the game, as Watford dominated the remainder to the game, with Sarr having Deulofeu both having chances to double the Watford lead before the hour-mark.
Callum Wilson rather summed up Bournemouth efforts with a shot that failed to trouble Foster in the opposing goal, before skipper Deeney made it two in the 65th-minute.
Again the industrious Doucoure was on hand, with the Frenchman suppling to Deeney after the Cherries again failed to deal with a ball in the area, as Doucoure rolled the ball across to his captain, who lashed home from an angle, 12 yards out.
Deeney Almost doubled his tally but his shot was straight at Travers, and as Deulofeu looked to notch in consecutive league games, the Bournemouth defence was creaking badly, with the gaps in midfield appearing at an alarming rate.
As Howe looked desperately for a way back into the game the recalled Sam Surridge was brought on to form a front three, but by then Watford had snuffed the life out of the hosts, who conceded a third in stoppage time via substitute Pereyra, who netted a rare goal this term.
The win for Watford sees the Pearson movement gain momentum in seeking to avoid relegation, with what would be a hugely unlikely survival act given their position only a month ago, now out of the bottom three.
As one side begins to the look up the table, the scenario for Bournemouth is looking bleak, with goals failing to materialise, coupled with the inability to keep them out. it could be a winter of discontent on the South coast.