I've been looking around entry-level watches for some time. Recently, I answered a question in Zhihu (Chinese Quora), and I feel like to transcribe this collection in my blog.
Dress WatchRodina R005, $119 via Amazon
This watch is discussed in my previous blog post. It is a bit debatable as some people think it completely ripoff the NOMOS Tangente. However, considering there so many Rolex Submariner homages, this should also considered a homage. It uses a Seagull ST1701 movement, sapphire crystal, and display case back. At this price point, it is really a good deal. Get in on Amazon.Orient Bambino, $130 via Amazon
I've always like the ORIENT logo, much more than SEIKO's. This watch features Roman literals, blue hands and white classic dial. Amazon
This has been quite popular in China, due to their successful marketing campaign. It is a quartz (Japanese) watch with multiple variation, and looks really good. Get the best looking ones here and here.
Now moves to my favorite category. Rolex designed the true classic look of today's diver's watch. However, the retail price for a submariner is probably too high for lots of people. Fortunately, Japanese brands SEIKO and ORIENT provide some affordable options here.SEIKO skx007
A very popular one. Considered as a poor man's Rolex. You can get it around $180 at Amazon.Orient Ray
Also a very popular one. As I said, I really like Orient's LOGO. I find it far more interesting to see the lions and shields rather than just the word "SEIKO". $130 at Amazon.Orient Mako
Ray's brother, Mako. The watch face is slightly different, thinner hands, arabic numbers at 6, 9 and 12 o'clock. Also around $130 at Amazon.
One of my favorite. It's lume is fantastic and got countless compliments. Only $100 at Amazon.
This is my favorite style. Look at the beautifully designed digits! It's lume is also awesome: lumes at all numbers! When it's on sale you can get it at $125.SEIKO SNK 809
Bestseller in Amazon. Come with various colors (black, green, blue, beige). It's so cheap ($50) that people are getting all colors and rotate everyday. Also, since it's so affordable, it will become your workhorse. You won't treat it like million dollar watch that only put in your locker.
Skeleton WatchSeagull M182SK
Quite popular in watchuseek forum. Very nice seagull movement with a complete see-through design. That said, it might be too busy to see the hands. $135 at Amazon.Fossil Grant
This skeleton is cleaner than the Seagull's. Nevertheless, Seagull is more reputable than Fossil in watch making. Amazon.
So there you have it. These watches are very affordable and have the great quality that earn them reputation. You can see them in nearly every watch forums. If you just started watch collecting, consider getting one of them. Let me know if you have any other suggestions.