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 and this is our history of watchmaking.

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.

  • Blue Signalman Bare Bones


    “It is to be noted that when any part of this paper appears dull there is a design in it.” – Richard Steel
  • Porters Barbers


    Long-time friend of Schofield and creator of SalonQP (circa 2011-2016) – Lucy Cheesewright, approached us with an idea for a pop-up in partnership with Porters Barbers – how could we resist? Porters, possibly the coolest barbers in London (no-one goes near my beard!) have shops with baristas and a gentlemanly vibe.
    So please pop in and stay awhile on Thursday 7th December at their flagship shop in Dulwich Village. 
    Why would you bother? Well if I need to say… special coffee and Simon and I will be there! Schofield watches and accessories, Schofield + Cudd straps and bits, //9h7b leather goods with some new unseen pieces too. Porters are our hosts and are graciously offering 20% off their wash and cut service. More info next week…
    PORTERS, 78 Dulwich Village, London SE21 7AJ, 11:00-18:00.
    Lucy launched her business Langstroth this year – it’s a creative consultancy for luxury and technology brands – check it out here… LANGSTROTH
  • Schofield ETA movement


    Keeping it simple. Mechanical movements are complicated, really very complicated, even in their most robust and basic forms. What better way for a watch company to keep it simple other than using un-altered Swiss movements from ETA? The ETA 2824-2 is not the most attractive movement in the world, far from it, but to me the beauty is in the bedrock stability, trustworthiness, ease of maintenance, consistency of quality and the very fact that it starts here, every complication added and every concept watch has it fingers in these base models. It is the Geneva Rock of movements.

  • Pendeen Lighthouse


    For those of you wondering what the holiday period meant for lighthouse keepers, the following festive account is reproduced from Trinity House’s Flash magazine of 1987.

    By Principal Keeper Handel (‘Andy’) Bluer, Pendeen Lighthouse 1987.

    It is the middle of December and a gale is blowing. The sky is dark although it is mid-day and the sea is the colour of lead with long white streaks of windblown spume scarring the surface.

    The sort of day to put some more coal on the fire and curl up in front of it with a book if you do not HAVE to go out.

    But there are people who DO have to go out and the keeper returning to the Lighthouse is one of them.

    His period of leave is over and he huddles in the shelter of the buildings at the tiny airfield waiting for the sound of the approaching helicopter above the howling wind.

    Eventually the helicopter comes into view its navigation lights flashing and twinkling in the gloom. Lower and lower it descends, facing the buffeting wind until it lands, not too far, from the waiting Keeper and his trolley loaded with boxes of stores.

    This year he will be spending Christmas at the Lighthouse with two colleagues already out there and the boxes contain all the food they will need for the next month together, with some ‘extras’ for Christmas Day.

    Once all the boxes are stowed into the cargo space of the helicopter the Keeper climbs in through a side door and sits on a bench seat behind the pilot and engineer. The rotor blades spin faster and faster and the tiny helicopter is in the air once more and is immediately blown sideways with the force of the gale but the pilot skilfully corrects the course and heads for the “Tower” some six miles further out in the Atlantic Ocean. After a few minutes flying they see it.

    It looks very like a tall factory chimney standing all alone in the sea but with a lot of scaffolding around the top. As they get nearer the ‘scaffolding’ is revealed as a strong steel structure supporting a platform on which the helicopter will land. The platform doesn’t look very big but as they approach they see that it is quite large enough for their helicopter…. FINISH READING HERE

  • Mr C With Daymark


    • The new Telemark watch is ready to go! Yes, we have stock, still early numbers!
    • The Signalman Bare Bones has very nearly run out, never to be made again. Get in touch if you are tempted. We have one of each colour left. A true Rare Thing.
    • Schofield culls Facebook, Google+ and The Fancy! And boy we feel good about it.
    • Christmas specials coming soon. Look out for our awesome stockings and crackers!
    • We are planning a meet n greet in London mid-December – Let us know if you can come.
    • The pic is of Mr C who came for a visit today, picking up a new strap for his Daymark. Thank you Mr C – nice to see you 🙂
    “It is to be noted that when any part of this paper appears dull there is a design in it.” – Richard Steel
  • Telemark watch TM


    The Heroes of Telemark describes the exploits of the Norwegian resistance which sought to prevent the Nazis from developing an atomic bomb. This drama frames the heroic deeds of these men and women against a visually stunning backdrop of cliffs, fjord, ice, snow and stone. At the same time it refuses to be pigeonholed by terms as simplistic as “war film” or “love story” as it takes elements from both and crafts a tale which compels the viewer to think, just as much as it tugs at the heartstrings.

    It was off piste for Schofield to design a watch influenced by a movie. However, the romance of the rugged beauty and harsh conditions of Norway’s crenelated coast felt like a natural diversion. The marriage of Schofield’s existing design language to the influences of the film has created an elegant watch befitting the sartorial heroes of Telemark.

    The Telemark is now ready to buy on the Schofield website.
  • Schofield + Cudd watch straps


    Schofield + Cudd has added quite a few new straps to the website. You know how quickly these things go so head on over and take a look. And I have a question for you: would you like to see a monograming service on our straps and leather goods? Let us know… Also if you have spied a strap that is not online email us – we may have it!