Troy Deeney denied Nottingham Forest victory in an emotional first home game since the death of owner Nigel Doughty.
The day began with a minute's applause for Doughty, and the Reds deservedly went ahead in an entertaining game through Gareth McCleary's 25-yard shot.
But Deeney equalised moments before half-time with a header from Sean Murray's free-kick.
Chris Gunter hit the bar for Forest and John Eustace did likewise for Watford in the second half.
Forest had the better chances but were forced to settle for a draw that, while ending their six-match losing run at home in the league, leaves them firmly in the relegation zone.
Ishmael Miller and Adlene Guedioura threatened early on for a Forest side featuring new loan signings George Elokobi, Danny Higginbotham and Scott Wootton.
The pressure told as McCleary netted Forest's first goal in eight home matches in all competitions with a long-range effort that went in off the post.
Gunter almost added a second when he chipped goalkeeper Scott Loach, only to see the ball cleared.
Forest's failure to add to their lead proved crucial as Watford levelled through Deeney.
Marlon Harewood went close to restoring Forest's advantage with a free-kick from 30 yards, while Gunter's powerful volley came back off the woodwork.
Watford also looked dangerous, Adrian Mariappa having a near-post header saved by Lee Camp before Eustace hit the bar.
Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cotterill: "We scored a goal for Nigel Doughty but we would like to have kept a clean sheet and won the game for him.
"It's been a tough week but I like to think I am an honest manager and I thought we had enough opportunities to have won two games.
"We played really well, created an abundance of chances, didn't take them an are left feeling slightly disappointed.
"But we've got 17 matches left and if we give the same kind of performance at Middlesbrough on Tuesday I will be very pleased."
Watford boss Sean Dyche: "We are happy with a point. It would have been tough for any side coming to Forest with the emotion and also new players in the side.
"We have to accept that Forest had better chances overall but, although we weren't quite there, we did very well to respond to going behind with what was a resilient performance.
"We played quite well in patches and even had a couple of chances to nick it in the second half but had we taken one of them we would have been nicking the result."