The winger lasted for the entirety of the game which ended in a 1-1 stalemate at Vicarage Road.
His 13th league appearance and sixth start of the campaign, Atsu returned to Rafael Benitez's line-up after being completely missing from the matchday squad for Wednesday's 4-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool.
Atsu started all four consecutive games prior, earning praise for his performance except in the last match. It was thus unclear why he was not used at Anfield.
However, there was a quick comeback on Saturday as he did not only return to the matchday squad but also made the starting XI.
Arguably Newcastle's best player on the day, the 26-year-old played a big part in his side's opener with a delicious turn and run to outwit his marker and setting up Matt Ritchie's for a cross which was ultimately headed into the net by Salomon Rondon on 29 minutes.
Eight minutes to full-time, Abdoulaye Doucoure headed home the equaliser to make it 1-1.
The result leaves Newcastle 15th on the table while Watford hold the ninth spot.
Atsu will hope to have Saturday's good showing rewarded with another starting berth when the Magpies host Manchester United on Wednesday.