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 and cudd coloured buckles


    I wasn’t going to start Pips with a Schofield + Cudd post, I thought you would think we were getting distracted, but that could not be further from the truth. We are focused like the Japanese LFEX, 2 petawatt at 1 picosecond laser beam! Schofield + Cudd is worthy of the first post because we have sold over half of our stock and this has surprised us both! Clearly many of you want something other than degrees of black and that we applaud. Hurrah to Schofield + Cudd! So we are re-sourcing, re-designing and re-making. Now is the time to look at our Strap It service of creating bespoke straps from your wondrous leftovers. Read On!
  • Yellow Millican Bionic Canvas watch strap


    We have been asked to create Schofield + Cudd straps from road-racing bike tyres (not sure we can do that one yet), an old Mulberry iPad case, more Converse boots and a Chesterfield sofa! We will listen to any ideas…
  • Schofield red Ceramic Buckle


    Before you go whizzing off to recycle those RM Williams Chelsea boots you should take a good look at this, (you can’t miss it actually), a new Schofield issue red ceramic coated buckle. Schofield + Cudd has the Lurid Green and you may have spotted the new Blue above. Schofield specifically has the bright red and Murky Earth( not shown yet but soon on the website). Obviously we have found a thing and think it cooler than cool, there is no shame in this so don’t judge us too harshly. If coloured buckles are not your bag then we still have the brushed steel 🙂
  • Signalman Bare Bones Yellow Gold


    We only have ONE rose gold dialled watch and ONE yellow gold dialled (pictured) watch left for sale. When these watches go they will not return in this current style. Some of you will remember me mentioning that these Bare Bones were the artists proofs to a future production Bare Bones. This is kind of true, though I will say that any new version will not have these solid turned dials with precious metal platings.

  • Bronze things by Schofield


    For all you Bronze Beater lovers out there, both owners and coveters, I ask you this – would you like to see a raw cased Bronze Beater or would you like us to force patinated the cases like we did on the B1s? Perhaps we could offer both options… Thoughts welcome.
  • New Forest woods

    SNIPPETS! 251

    • Last week’s sea-green tweed strap has almost sold out! One long length left.
    • Last week’s contemporary grey leather strap has also nearly sold out, just ONE in both sizes remain.
    • Special new buckle finishes are here!
    • The Compeller is wonderful. Fact.
    • The pic is of deepest New Forest taken on Tuesday.
    “It is to be noted that when any part of this paper appears dull there is a design in it.” – Richard Steel
  • swc six pips


    Two hundred and fifty Bulletins/Six Pips Newsletters! That is quite a lot of individual Pips! We think this is something worth celebrating so we have expanded the Six Pips to include two special Pips called the leap and the crash. The leap is the seventh Pip broadcast when a lead second occurs, reconciling the atomic clocks with Earth’s rotation. Crashing the pips is when another sound (like a presenter talking) is broadcast at the same time as the pips, the ultimate BBC sin. 250 separate emails marking over 5 years of news from a small independent British watch maker.