We Are the Watchers on the Vue


What are watchers in Vue?

The Vue documentation describes watchers as a generic way to react to data changes through the watch option.

In other words when you want to perform an action based on a data change, using watchers are more appropriate. This would certainly be true per example if you are passing data from a parent to a child component where the data being passed is going to be part of a submit() operation that calls an api to do a POST.

Under the hood

“When you have some data that needs to change based on some other data” usually means you need a watcher or in server side programming this can also be refered to as an observer, the only thing is that in vue, the watcher is a property called watch, it doesn’t maintain a list of subjects to observe and notify another component when they change. Instead the observer and the observed have 1:1 relationship. The general rules are:

  1. The watcher has to have the same name as the data property being watched.
  2. the watcher has to perform an action such as calling a method that’s part of the component or an external operation.


In this example, there is a watcher setup which essentially observes the pageSelected property of the component. The pageselected property gets updated by the event on that search-pagination (the only html markup in the code example below) child component. When a new page number is a selected in the child component, the page number gets propagated to the parent component and then, the watcher detects the new value of the bound property, pageSelected, before calling the search(page) function and passing it the new page.


  <div id="search">
import searchPagination from "./SearchPagination.vue";

export default {
  name: "search",
  components: {
data: function() {
    return {
     stats: {
        took: Number,
        total: Number,
        totalPages: Number,
        maxScore: Number,
        resultCount: Number
watch: {
    pageselected: function(page){
      var that = this;
      console.log("watching page just turned to ", page)
      console.log("watching  ", this.searchinput)

This component was simplified, the full code and the searchPagination code can be found here