This was not the launching pad Oscar Garcia would have envisaged to his Watford reign as Yoni Buyens condemned him to a losing start.
Garcia, the new Watford manager, promised to build on the work of predecessor Beppe Sannino. But they slipped up as Yoni Buyens’ third minute penalty proved the difference.
Jordan Cousins’ pass freed Igor Vetokele, who nipped between two defenders, before being hauled down by Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.
Buyens sent Gomes the wrong way and the hosts battened down the hatches to continue their impressive start to the season. Watford could not break an organised Charlton down, led by Andrew Bikey-Amougou and Tal Ben Haim. The pair repelled everything Watford had.
Troy Deeney curled against the post before Steven Henderson kept out Ikechi Anya’s long-range effort. But until the final ten minutes, the Charlton goalkeeper was rarely troubled.
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Henderson; Solly, Bikey-Amougou, Ben Haim, Wiggins; Gudmundsson (Wilson, 28), Buyens, Jackson (Harriott, 77), Cousins; Tucudean (Moussa, 56), Vetokele.
Watford (3-5-2): Gomes; Hoban (Paredes, h-t), Ekstrand, Angella; Anya, McGugan (Ighalo, 77), Tozser, Abdi, Pudil; Deeney, Vydra (Dyer, 61).
Referee: Andy Madley.
Man of the match: Ben Haim (Charlton)
Match rating: 7/10Reuse content