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Request for information as to the history and cost of repair for an inherited Elgin pocket watch

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Good afternoon,

I am new to the forum and after much googling, have joined here to ask for your advice on some recent inheritances as this seems the nicest and most knowledgeable site I could find.  I have just posted another topic about my mothers Dad's watch that was found in a drawer. 

I would really appreciate any information you could provide on the below:

Pictured is a second watch that I recently inherited. Again, similar to the first (seems to be a common story!) it was found in a box by my Dad when he was going through some of his fathers things. He has been dead for many years and the watch has just been in the back of a drawer in an old desk in a shed.

Unfortunately, it's history is totally unknown. 

From googling it looks like a WW2 era US military Elgin but I haven't been able to find anything more about it's history.  Do the numbers on the back mean that it was allocated to someone in the military ie: is that an army number for an individual? Obviously I would check with my Dad but I would like to see if it belongs to a family somewhere and perhaps try to track them down to see if it should be returned to them.

It's clearly been opened and serviced before as there is dust on the inside of the the glass but beyond that, I can't see any obvious signs it has been opened. 

Assuming it doesn't have a historic owner it should be returned to, what I would like to do as a surprise for my Dad would be to get the watch repaired, serviced and cleaned to present to him to wear on my wedding in August as a returned gift.

Could anyone let me know if they could give some information as to it's history and if they think in their opinion it might be worth getting repaired and what I should expect (roughly!) to pay for that in Birmingham UK?

Please let me know if any other images would be useful.

Thanks in advance for your help




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So following on from a bit more digging around this, I saw a youtube video of somebody removing the back of a watch that looked similar. The back case is removed by turning it - I had been looking for a small part to pry up. 

I had assumed that this was a WW2 watch like a few others out there that I have found - however, the mechanism is distinctly different looking from any of the other examples. To my untrained eye it looks like a few parts may be missing but despite that, the differences in set up are quite distinct. 

I found this website here - https://www.elginnumbers.com/index.php which let me run the serial number - 19997565.

It suggests that this was made in 1917 which explains perhaps why the numbers stamped on the back are so different from the ones I have found online previously.

Unfortunately this watch doesn't seem to work - I can adjust the time by turning the crown, and the crown will turn like it is winding, but there seems to be a piece missing that would turn the spring. 

With the mechanism on display, can anyone tell me anything else about the history?

Kind regards




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I can’t really add much but you might struggle finding anyone to repair it. 
The regulator is missing and it looks like it deeply scratched the plate near the barrel.  


It is a strange one as the movement is much earlier, in age, than the case. 

There was a shortage of pocket watches and maybe that’s where this came about. The Brits buying old stock from the US. 

There are plenty of people on here who know more than me about this. 

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