The Six Pips Chronicles

Every week at 8:15 PM we send out an email; five images and a little text to keep you in the loop. If you would like to sign-up to receive the Six Pips bulletin please click here – Schofield news bulletin sign-up. The content of these pages contain an archive of observations and forecasts, watchmaking, British commentary, Sussex beauty, manufacture, engineering, design, poetry and amusement. Schofield executes all it does by thinking and the Six Pips is no exception. We are proud to be a very British watch company.

Why The Six Pips?

The Greenwich Time Signal (GTS), popularly known as the pips, is a series of six short tones broadcast at one-second intervals by many BBC Radio stations.

The proposal for a time signal came from one Frank Hope-Jones in a radio talk in April 1923. It was agreed that broadcasting the Greenwich Standard Time with a chronometer at the Royal Observatory tripping a switch at five seconds to the hour to create those iconic pips – using a 1kHz oscillator. The time signal was first broadcast at 9.30 p.m. on 5 February 1924.

There are six pips (short beeps) in total, which occur on the 5 seconds leading up to the hour and on the hour itself. Each pip is a 1 kHz tone (about halfway between musical B5 and C6) the first five of which last a tenth of a second each, while the final pip lasts half a second. The actual moment when the hour changes – the “on-time marker” – is at the very beginning of the last pip.

Our weekly bulletin is made up of five short posts and a snippets section outlining minor news.

  • Schofield raw Bronze Beater


    Here it is! The new Bronze Beater B2 with the raw case, raw meaning untouched with the stew of chemicals reserved for oxidising and colouring the force-patinated version. It is now down to you to apply the stuff of life (grime and grease) and watch how it changes over time…
  • Bumpy Lizard S+C strap


    It is a new variant of the bumpy lizard, the last one was a sort of nude/beige, this is black with silvery dimples. Super special and super rare (only a small amount of raw materials procured). Visit Schofield + Cudd to grab one.
  • Custom Beater watch


    We thought you would like to see this specially commissioned brutalist Beater. A full B2 spec in a steel case finished in our proprietary brutalist way. Shown here on the Grey OMI strap – What a stunner!
  • Shoreham Houseboat


    • Schofield at SALONQP 2017! Showing many watches and accessories. Get tickets here.
    • Schofield + Cudd at SALONQP 2017! Showing straps and buckles – many very limited.
    • Fish Guts fountain pen ink, buckles and new straps online.
    • The Schofield telephone number 01273 494878 is up and running.
    • Bronze Beaters B2s are selling very well with a 50% split between force-patinated and raw finishes.
    • BBB2 has still not made it to the website as we are fulfilling Pips subscribers orders first.
    • We celebrate one year of Toots! coffee by drinking some.
    • The pic of house boat rentals in Shoreham.
    “It is to be noted that when any part of this paper appears dull there is a design in it.” – Richard Stee
  • Bronze watch cases


    One case, two finishes and you can choose. The raw case has been meticulously blasted with quite a coarse media that creates a wonderful slightly sparkly finish. This will not last long as the rough surface with its increased surface area will oxidise and stain quickly. These cases are designed for those that want the grease of everyday life to change the character of the case over time. Generally in the West we consider patination to be akin to dirt, therefore we polish our doorknobs. In the East especially Japan, patination is looked upon with reverence, it is history, charm, age, grace and human. We keep these cases in airtight bags for as long as possible to slow down the oxidative process between manufacture and delivery.
    The other variety of bronze case is just the same as the raw but has undergone a couple more processes. We chemically treat the case in baths of acid and dye, Giles’s special concoction. After this process of dipping and washing the cases are burnished to reveal the raw metal in select places – bezel, sides, and the edges of the lugs. This variety is a little more stable. It will look this way for longer with your own patinations adding to its character.
  • Bronze watch crown


    A classic Schofield design detail, a winding crown in a contrasting metal. The Beater crown for the B2 is no different from the B1, stainless steel, matt finish with a polished dome. The same dome geometry as the crystal. This surface is engraved and filled with 8 concentric circles resembling a Fresnel lens found in lighthouses. The exposed screw heads that fasten the strap to the case are in a matt finish stainless steel to match the crown.  
  • Bronze watch case back


    The case back is a marvel, of this there is no doubt.The design is complex, but still contains the word Schofield, BE of Beater, B2 for the Batch number and the Beam of Light logo. A full bleed design deeply etched and textured. Here you can see a stamped monogram. You can have this too. 3 alpha/numerals of your choice. If not we will numerically serialise them. Deliberate, wonky hand stamping. Perfect Beateriness.