I spent two and a half years restoring and researching this watch, it is one of my favorite timepices I have ever owened...
I came across this watch on an online auction in 2015. The original posting suggested that the watch might need a "new battery" to run. It looked terrible, the case was tarnished with years of neglect, and appeared to be a loss altogether. I knew otherwise when seeing the engraving on the back from the low quality photograph taken of it and decided to purchase. The next three months were spend dismantling the movement and delicately removing the filth that was inside. This watch looked like it had lived in the ground for a few years, there was so much stuff inside it that shouldnt of been there. To my astonishment, after all of that cleaning nothing was in dire need of replacement other than the mainspring. When wound it roared back to life after lord knows how long and the damn thing was accurate to the minute! I had equal amount of luck with the dial spening almost two weeks lifting the first off of it, and eventually it revealed it original self. Finally after straightening out and giving the case a good cleaning the little dirty Elgin was alive and running again.
The next part of this process was the mystery person on the back of the case and what happened to him. After some online research
1917 Elgin Pillow Case Trench Watch
Diameter: 1 inch
Case: Elgin Silver Case "Pillowcase" Style
Production Run: Unknown
Dial: Metal - Original Condition
Numbers: Arabic with luminescant markers
Hands: Spade Style
Movement: Nickel Finish