The "cvs watch" command really accomplishes two things: it can be used to prevent others from changing a file, and/or it can be used to be notified if someone else changes a file.
The "svn lock" command accomplishes the first.
There is no standard solution to the second in core Subversion. Integrated CM systems (version control via Subversion, plus issue/change/ticket tracking in some other system) generally offer the equivalent, though perhaps under other names. For example, CollabNet TeamForge allows you to "monitor" (subscribe to) a mail list that receives mail when there are changes anywhere in a given repository.
There are other tools that will allow someone to monitor repositories. I'm using SVN Notifier (http://svnnotifier.tigris.org/) to keep track of changes in my repositories, but I know there are lots of other tools that have similar monitor functionality. You can also add code to the server side post-commit hooks to send e-mail whenever a commit is completed to a repository.
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