Here are 5 watches under $500 that I really like (and don’t own):
This one is just calling to me. I know it is a Rolex Submariner homage, but it is a pretty one.
It is an Orient 2ER00004D, a hair over $100, just $110 on Amazon. It looks remarkably like the Rolex 16613.
As you can see, on the wrist, they look almost identical. For your bank account, the Rolex list price is $9300, on-line price is $7626. The list price for the Orient is $220, most on-line sellers have it for $120 to $130, saving you about $7500. Both have in house movements. The Rolex is a true diver’s the Orient, just 100M water resistance. It is about as close an homage can be without being a ‘replica’ aka fake watch. It has a bit of bling, but I like two tone watches.
By the way, the photos of the Orient are from this site. Very nice blog about Orient watches.
Alba Riki AAAA101
It’s the Riki AAAA101. The lines are so simple, yet elegant. It is also powered by Seiko’s 7S26m which really makes it a very fancy Seiko 5. Modern, but not to big 37.5mm across. It is modeled after Riki’s industrial clock designs, with rectangular hands and easy to see across a room markers. It also comes in black and a rose gold face. About $200.
Seiko Alpinst SARB017
The Green Seiko Alpinist
Just an amazing looking watch in my opinion. Looks much more expensive than the $425 asking price. It has the 6R15 movement. The 6R15 is a cousin of the bullet proof 7S26, but it can be hand wound and it hacks. The power reserve is rated at 50 hours vs. 40 the 7s26. Though, it is probably better than that. My 7S26’s usually get about 44 hours. This model comes on a dark, leather strap. It also has a compass feature like the Land Shark, but much less obtrusive. A 200m water resistance rating is nothing to sneeze at either. Dress looks with diver’s type water resistance.
This is my grail watch. Someday I will have this pretty.
It also comes in Black and White, but none are as stunning as the emerald green.
Simple, easy to read design combined with a reasonable 38mm diameter case. It has the new 4R16 movement, which is a decorated version of the 7S26 with one more jewel. All three have a display back to show off the finished movement. About $170 on eBay, almost $250 elsewhere.
It’s an Orient CEX0P002, automatic with power reserve indicator. It has a nice, classic look, 39mm across (not too big) and even comes on a nice leather strap with a signed deployant clasp! It has a tachymeter scale as the chapter ring, which is a little pointless, but I think it adds to the overall look. Prices seem to range from $100 to $150 on eBay, which is quite a spread. It also comes in black or white, with a brown leather strap.