I'm relatively new to the world of watches, though I have always been interested in them thanks to my Dad. Recently I started reading about vintage pocket watches and information regarding them. I decided to take the plunge and attempt to restore one. I didn't want to start with a $100 Hamilton or Elgin so I was keeping my eyes out for something a little less expensive. I came across this old "Lady Elgin" for a good price and decided to pick it up. It was advertised as not working, which I was perfectly fine with. I figured if I couldn't fix it my first try (I didn't really expect to) I would at least learn more about how they operate and eventually get it working in the future.
Upon inspection when I got it home I gave it a few turns on the crown to wind the spring in the barrel to see if it would work, it didn't. Then I opened the case back to inspect a little more, as I was fidgeting with it I could see the balance wheel acting like it wanted to turn. So I gave it a slight "push" with a screwdriver and I saw that it wanted to turn. It would spring to the other side then stop again, after a few rounds of this it would go for a couple rotations then stop again. I tried adding a touch of oil to the jewel that the balance staff was resting in and gave the wheel another push, it ticked for even longer this time and came to a halt. So I wound it a little more, sat and kept pushing the balance wheel when it would stop, each time running a little longer. Just another touch of oil and I watched it turn for 5 minutes.
After this I fully wound it and let her go. After leaving it tick away for a couple hours I saw that it was still going so I set the time and walked away and would periodically check whenever I would walk past it on my desk. It ran for 24 hours and was ahead 4 minutes. I don't know about all you watch experts, but I was and still am happy about this only being +/- 4 minutes per day. For it being my attempt at a restore I was happy at how it all came together. It wasn't a difficult job and I didn't have to take it apart but I got my toes wet in the world of pocket watch restorations. I fully intend to disassemble it in the future and try my hand at cleaning the insides. I gave the case a light polish and and going to still keep track of how well it keeps time.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and attached are a few pictures. They aren't the best quality due to lighting not being the best and not having a magnifying glass at my apartment at school.