Three British players exited the Aegon International at Devonshire Park on Monday.
British No.4 Tara Moore was the first to bow out as she lost to former champion Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-4 in one-hour, 34 minutes.
British number two and world number 50 Watson, 23, lost 6-2 6-3 to Russian Elena Vesnina while Naomi Broady went down to Puerto Rican Mónica Puig 6-1, 6-1.
It could have been so different for Moore had she converted one of five opening set points - three of which were on her serve.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Moore playing against the experienced Makarova who won the title in 2010 and is 190 places above the British player in the world rankings.
Moore said, “I put up a good fight she is not No.37 in the world for nothing. It is definitely a positive and something I can take forward.”