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 Strap Kit with Drivers-1


    Some details;
    • 14 pockets for straps
    • 3 pockets for Schofield Drivers (as seen)
    • Lug Protection included
    • Large embroidered patch
    • Over-sized handmade horn button
    • Hand-stitched hidden poppers
    • Fusing used in construction for a tailored feel
    • Moon Mill’s woollen tweed used inside and out
    • Sold with or without Schofield Drivers
    • £432 including VAT with Drivers
    • £360 including VAT without Drivers
    • £360 excluding VAT with Drivers
    • £300 excluding VAT without Drivers
  • Bare Bones Blue Dial


    We had a lovely visitor to Schofield this week. A true Viking of a man who made an interesting observation. He said “The Bare Bones Signalman is made for designer types like you”. He is right because I made them for me as I do with all Schofield products. But is a minimalist design exclusive to designers and those that are overtly focused on design? Do you have to be in the design club to be permitted to the right to get minimalism? I think not. Let’s change the word minimalism to stripped back or pared down or… bare bones. Now, like poetry that you cannot explain away – we just get it. 
  • Blacklamp Watch sold out


    We must say good-night to the Blacklamp. They have all sold and the limited run is done. What a ride! What a trip! A journey we have thoroughly enjoyed. We say thank you to all those involved in its development. We say thank you to the lighthouses that lent their lights and coordinates for the case back engraving and we thank James Thompson AKA Blackbadger for his input and machining of the glowing ring. 
    We hear you say are you doing another? The answer is… maybe.
  • Worthing Pier


    I found a book called Manual on the Use of Timber in Coastal and River Engineering by Matt Grossman and Jonathan Simm, inside this excerpt.
    … In coastal situations timber is used among other things for breastworks, groynes, piers, steps, ramps, boardwalks and as stepped reinforcement or fencing protection to dunes. In river situations timber is used for bank retention/reinforcement, ramps, steps, boardwalks and fishing platforms.
    Weathered timber is an important component of beaches, harbours and rivers where it often reinforces the traditional landscape character. The painter John Constable wrote of his native River Stour: “the sound of water escaping from mill dams,… willows, old rotten banks, slimy posts and brickwork. I love such things… They made me a painter and I am grateful”. Similarly, timber groynes, sculpted by the sea and part buried in sand are a classic element of many beach scenes…
    This photo was taken on Worthing pier and the above passage captures it perfectly.
  • Lighthouse


    The Point of Ayr Lighthouse, also known as the Talacre Lighthouse, is a Grade II listed building situated on the north coast of Wales, on the Point of Ayr, near the village of Talacre. Mr M took his Bronze Beater Bare Bones there and took this terrific shot. Built in 1776 and abandoned in 1883 but always occupied by a ghost that walks the balcony.

  • Strap Kit Patch


    Do you remember our Strap Kit? It was not another copycat leather tool roll but a soft tweed thing like no other. We have made a new one and the above image shows the embroidered patch that adorns the front. The Strap Kit will remain a customer only product – you have to be in the club! This time around it has been redesigned to fit 16 straps and three of our drivers. It is bigger, bolder and utterly wonderful in every way. The Kits will be up on our website and ready to deliver very soon. Watch out for the official launch in a forthcoming Bulletin!
  • Ferris Wheel Blues


    I got the Ferris Wheel Blues

    An excerpt from the poem “The Ferris Wheel” by Wyatt Prunty from Unarmed and Dangerous. With a Signalman in the fore.

    Since the genius of the wheel was accident,
    The always-almost that hadn’t,
    A minor agony rehearsed as fun
    While the lights came up and dark replaced the sun,
    Seeming to complete their going round all day,
    Paying to be turned that way.

    Later, standing off, he felt the wheel’s mild dread,
    Going as though it lapped the miles ahead
    And rolled them up into the cloudless black,
    While those who rode accelerated back
    And up into the night’s steep zero-G
    That proved them free.