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.

  • 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.
  • Bronze Beater Dial


    There is so much to say on the subject of the Beater dial, too much for this post, but there are some significant elements that have been carried over from the original B1 dials. The B1 dials were manufactured in a way where the enamel was injected into a shallow rebate in the dial surface. We deliberately made the boundaries wide enough that they would show as a brass border on the outer edge and around the cannon pinion hole. The B2 dial is not enamelled but we retained this feature. It is actually very tricky to do. On the subject of enamel, the colour is deep and lustrous, a quality we wanted to replicate with a lacquered dial. It took many attempts and we pulled it off perfectly. You would struggle to tell the difference. The B2 dial  has a luminescent hour index that matches the lume in the hands. The red B in the same font as used on the caseback for the BE… in pink standing for both Beater and Batch.
  • Mr P sig Yellow strap


    • Schofield at SALONQP 2017! Showing many watches and accessories. Get tickets here.
    • Schofield + Cudd at SALONQP 2017! Showing straps and buckles many very limited.
    • Small glitch on the address recently but fixed now.
    • The Schofield telephone number 01273 494878 is temporarily down as the office ports to VOIP.
    • Bronze Beaters B2s are selling very well with a 50% split between force-patinated and raw finishes.
    • BBB2 have 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 Mr P’s polished Sig on a new Schofield + Cudd yellow strap.
  • Daymark vs Beater


    This is the chalk and cheese of the Schofield watch range. The Beater’s British made case, hand finished by us, every one different, even the raw version begins oxidising before it leaves HQ. The blue dial – a little bluer than our coastal waters makes it earthy, coastal and oceanic, totally on point with the Schofield aesthetic. It is a little bit lighthouse, a little bit propeller/compeller. The classic styling of the hand set and the typical quirks of our watches like the crown in a different material, the Sign-o-Life second hand and the crystal set below the lip of the bezel. The Daymark is the opposite. Precision made German case. Each the same, each and every surface perfect, every angle tight. The dial with no numerals and the oversized hand set pointing at the future not the past. This watch looks forward and guides our decision for new models. The Daymark sums Schofield up in one design, the Beater an amplified part of it.
  • Schofield coloured watch buckles


    We have solidified the Schofield offering of buckles to this diverse and utterly brilliant array of choices. We have two metal finishes and three ceramic coated – coarse bead blast, brushed, red ceramic, Murky Earth and black.