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Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Plain Finish

yard-o-led fountain pen review

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#1 visvamitra

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 19:40

Metal pens are cool - I've been enjoying them since the beginning of my perfect fountain pen quest. The moment I saw Yard-o-Led photo few years ago I wanted to try one but I couldn't excuse the cost. 

 

Recently I received a package of higher end pens from a fellow FPN member. Before I give them back, I'll have reasonable amount of time to test them. While there's a stunning Omas in the package and Pelikan and another Dunhill, it was Yard-o-Led that caught my eye the moment I opened the box. Also this pen made really great impression on me. 

 

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This pen is simply stunning. 

 

Before I will describe it I would like to say that I'm surprised that Yard-o-Led isn't well known company and remains a little bit obscure.C'mon guys, they have been making writing instruments since 1822!

 

I would like to say it but I can't. I'm not surprised at all. Their products are very expensive and made of variety of good quality materials.For some bizarre reason many fountain pen users dislike metal sections and prefer warmer materials. I love wood and ebonite but I also like the feel of cold metal in the hand. It calms me down. Also I prefer bigger pens and usually dislike golden accents. Basically Yard-o-Led is my dream pen: all metal, big, heavy and handmade.

 

The Viceroy comes in a choice of three finishes: plain, Barley, and Victorian. The Barley and Victorian are hand engraved, and all pens are numbered and hallmarked. Additionally the pen comes in three different sizes: Pocket, Standard and Grand - the chances are every fountain pen user will find one that fits his/her hand perfectly well. 

 

Viceroy Grand in plain finish looks clean and elegant. I would describe it as tasteful but tastes do vary between us so we may have different opinions here :) 

 

The pen comes in the black wooden case with metal clasp enclosure. Sterling Silver pen rests in black velvet. No plastic elements here.

The pen is made of plain hallmarked sterling silver. The barrel feels solid and has a nice torpedo shape. As it is made in sterling silver it will need some cleaning from time to time. 

 

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Part of the typical Yard-o-Led design are the 6 marks. The YOL company mark, Lion symbol of English sterling, Anchor symbol for Birmingham Assay Office, 925 meaning 925 parts of silver, 925 European Convention mark for silver, the mark for the year of production. 

 

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The cap is quite heavy and I don't think it would be comfortablle to post it. It's snan-on type of cap. It feels pretty solid. The section is made of metal and if you tend to sweat a lot chances are you won't fall in love with it. I enjoy both the shape and ergonomics of this section but it's individual.

 

While reviewing the pen it's impossible not to mention the distinctive pocket clip. This stylish clip is attached to the cap with two screws. It is elegantly curved and ends in a curled fold.

 

Nib

Writing samples were made with Kyo no oto ink called Azukiiro. 

 

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fpn_1484508959__azukiiro_viceroy_1.jpg

 

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Viceroys nib is big and looks stunning. It's not as nice as some Pmas or Montblanc nibs but I always thought that simple chrome / rhodium plated nibs look great. This one does. I believe the nib and feed are made by Bock and because of this it's rather predictable in terms of pen-to-paper performance. The nib can be bought in free sizes: fine, medium and broad.

 

18 kt nib writes nicely and smoothly although some "tooth" is present and you'll definitely feel some feedback. Unless you use pelikan Edelstein tanzanire, Sailor Miruai or other ink that's extremelly lubricated. It's possible BUT RISKY to produce some line variation.

 

fpn_1484509024__azukiiro_viceroy_1_line_

 

fpn_1484509040__azukiiro_viceroy_1_rever

 

The feed does its work efficiently and the flow of ink is consistent. Actually it's very wet writer and I would be surprised to experience any ink starvation while using it.

 

While it's not the best nib I had in hands, I think it's definitely above average. It wouldn't make to my Top 5 but I appreciate the looks and enjoyable springiness.

 

 

Filling System

 

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Viceroy can be filled with international standar cartridges or with supplied converter that holds reasonable amount of ink. The converter looks a little bit different than most converters used by YOL market competitors but it's just cosmetics. Functionality is equal.

 

Dimensions

 

Length: 148 mm

Weight: 65 g

Diameter: 13,5 mm

 

Summary

 

 

Yard-o-Led Viceroy is an elegant, functional writing tool that can fit comfortably in most human hands - remember, you don't have to choose Grand variant, there are smaller models available. Viceroy Grand may be too big, too metal and too heavy for some fountain pen users. For me though it's a stunning pen that I would prefer to keep than give back to its owner. It definitely gets on my list of Grail Pens (at the moment the list is short, I try to place there pens that are more expensive then I feel comfortable to spend on a pen but aren't beyond reach). It fulfills practical and aesthetic functions very well.

 

The price though is very high - the pen costs close to 580 GBP and that's a lot. Sure the pen is handmade in Europe and the costs of work and life ion general are rather high on Old Continent. On the other hand for this price you'll easily buy few better and nicer pens made from cool materials. I believe this is the pen that will appeal to limited number of people but once they'll try it they won't be able to stop thinking about it. Additionally the pen has a life time guarantee, quite unusual among pen makers as the guarantee is usually 2 years.

 

 

 



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#2 mongrelnomad

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 21:27

Thanks for the great review. I have the Victorian Viceroy Grand, and though it is not a pen I use often, it is one whose handling I relish. It is, unusually, a pen with gravitas, and I can imagine myself in some stately boardroom overlooking the Thames, amidst the London smoke of the industrial revolution, preparing to hand over the assets of the East India Company to the British Crown.

 

Now, I know that's pre-FP times, but the image just seems to fit so well with the soul of these great British pens.  


Too many pens; too little writing.

#3 Martinsroom

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 22:17

Thank you for a very interesting review. Confirms my desire to own a Yard O'Led fountain pen at some point but as you say the price is high.

#4 visvamitra

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 22:19

@mongrelnomad - what a nice picture :) It fits somehow.

@Martinsroom - yes, the price is high and there's not many of these pens available second hand.



#5 errantmarginalia

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Posted 15 January 2017 - 22:41

Not at all my style, but that's a stunning pen! And a great review, it goes without saying - thanks, Vis!

#6 Barkingpig

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 00:10

Your reviews are always one of the things I most look forward to when scanning my daily search of "New Content," (once I learned about that option.)  This review is one of my favorites because I filled my YoL recently after a long absence & was almost as thrilled as when I first received it.  I did not want any of the "all silver pens," preferring to enjoy sterling silver as a dining utensil, (a former collection phase that used all my disposable $, prior to fountain pens.)  So I was happy to discover & purchase one of the two YoL's made with an acrylic body with merely silver section & "trimmings;"  I got the look & design of the pen,  with the clip a deciding factor in purchase, but best yet was rewarded with a a discount of purchase price, as my pen style had been "made redundant!"  

 

It was some big sale @ Farhney's in Washington DC, that had pen representatives on site to offer additional discounts; when I spoke to the YoL Representative, he informed me my choice would be total 40% in discount because it was no longer to be available.  I was purchasing one of the "last" of the Pelikan M800 Brown tortoises @ the time so this "made my day."  Mine has a broad nib & everything you said about the pen's performance is equally true for my YoL.  I especially enjoy the slip on cap & that distinctive "SNAP" when it engages, everything about this pen seems timeless & perfectly presented.  

 

Having just resumed a honeymoon period with my pen, it was a great pleasure to be able to share your obvious enthusiasm about your discovery.  Thank you for another great review.

 

( Also interesting was to see your choice of ink used in this pen; some months ago I ordered from Rakuten a couple of inks I wanted to give a friend for Christmas & this was one of them.  I borrowed a fill for my pen from her bottle before sending it to her & because this color closely resembled the small "veining" of my YoL Astoria pen, I chose it to sample her ink.  We have the same ink in two different pens by the same pen maker, since it had been a week or longer since I had used my pen, the ink had darkened & exhibited a beautiful green/goldish sheen as a bonus!)


Edited by Barkingpig, 16 January 2017 - 00:12.


#7 flipper_gv

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 00:49

I want a Viceroy Grand so bad, so so bad. It's just badass. It's heavy, it's all metal, I love the old school clip and it's indestructible. 



#8 Ghost Plane

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:40

I've had fairly good luck with used YoL pens. One of the few pens I can tolerate a M nib in addition to my usual B because they're that wet and good.

#9 Russ

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:02

I have had this exact pen for years and it is a keeper.  I have the B nib, and love it.  :)



#10 visvamitra

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:36

Thank you for kind words. Yes it's a stunning pen. I wonder how difficult it is to work in metal compared to acrylics?

@Barkingpig - I've just done some googling and while I still prefer metal version I think these acrylic Yard-o-Leds were pretty neat.



#11 Z-Tab

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 08:52

I had one of these and I thought it was a beautiful pen, but ended up being a bit too heavy for me. If you like a heavier pen, it's among the best you can find.



#12 VodnikVolsovecek

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 18:06

Well, I got that one second hand too, so I think the nib has a potential to be even smoother after visiting a pen doctor,.

 

Maybe you can leave it outside? I'd like it to be covered with a stylish patine ASAP :)


It may be worth to have a look at my classifieds :)


#13 Tas

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 18:18

These pens have gravitas.

 

I held and felt a couple at the London Pen Show. Man, they made me want to pack everything in, become an author so I could use one at book signings . . .  B)



#14 mongrelnomad

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 18:24

These pens have gravitas.

 

I held and felt a couple at the London Pen Show. Man, they made me want to pack everything in, become an author so I could use one at book signings . . .  B)

 

Hm. Strangely enough, never thought of that. I guess I lack sufficient gravitas myself ;)


Too many pens; too little writing.

#15 Tas

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 19:47

 

Hm. Strangely enough, never thought of that. I guess I lack sufficient gravitas myself ;)

 

So sorry  :blush:  I didn't even read your post and look at me using the same word  :(

Apologies.



#16 ele

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 03:48

Thanks for the great review. I have the Victorian Viceroy Grand, and though it is not a pen I use often, it is one whose handling I relish. It is, unusually, a pen with gravitas, and I can imagine myself in some stately boardroom overlooking the Thames, amidst the London smoke of the industrial revolution, preparing to hand over the assets of the East India Company to the British Crown.

 

Now, I know that's pre-FP times, but the image just seems to fit so well with the soul of these great British pens.  

Yeah, colonial oppression was great, wasn't it?

 

On a more constructive note, I loved the review! 


Edited by ele, 17 January 2017 - 03:55.


#17 mongrelnomad

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 08:05

Yeah, colonial oppression was great, wasn't it?
 
On a more constructive note, I loved the review! 

*Sigh*

I didn't present any value judgement. I only imagined the pen in the context of a moment of genuine consequence in keeping with its nationality.

And for the record, in light of recent events, I do wish this country generally would have a less rose-tinted view of its own history.

Edited by mongrelnomad, 17 January 2017 - 08:09.

Too many pens; too little writing.

#18 flipper_gv

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 23:27

Yeah, colonial oppression was great, wasn't it?

 

On a more constructive note, I loved the review! 

 

That was ALMOST à propos



#19 Pactagon

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 00:46

Is that converter leaky or did you just put the ink on the section threads and converter for aesthetics? 


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#20 visvamitra

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Posted 23 January 2017 - 06:46

I think I didn't put it strongly enough. It was only time the ink went out.







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