The 23-year-old joined the Latics during the January transfer window, completing a £2million move from Crystal Palace.
While he was heading north from the capital, Palacios was heading the other way after securing a big-money switch to Tottenham.
Watson has been forced to bide his time as he looks to fill the Honduran's boots, with injuries curtailing his progress, but he can count on the full support of his manager who believes he has the potential to become one of the Premier League's top midfield talents.
Bruce has full faith in the former England U21 international's ability and has revealed his delight at snatching Watson from under the noses of top-flight rivals Middlesbrough.
OpportunityBruce told the Wigan Evening Post: "You'll have to ask Ben the exact reasons he chose us over Middlesbrough, but our position in the league obviously had a bearing.
"We sold him the club the same way we did to Wilson Palacios the year before.
"Here was his chance to come and play in the Premier League and prove himself at this level of football.
"Can he do what Wilson did with us?
"We always try to sell the club to potential signings by offering them the chance to show their talents here and then move on.
"It's sad when the time comes for a player to move on, but I think our supporters understand how we have to work.
"I would have loved to have kept Wilson but it just wasn't possible when we got the bid from Tottenham."