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  1. I recently acquired a Yard-O-Led Perfecta Victorian pencil, presumably new old stock from the Filofax days when Yard-O-Led products were more widely distributed in the United States. It came with the 12 extra leads already in their holding tubes. Some of the extra leads slide out easily, but others are firmly stuck in their tubes. Does anyone know a way to dislodge them without surgery? Vigorous shaking hasn’t worked. It isn’t really such a big deal, but why not "go the whole one yard" if possible?
  2. Pen Pit Stop : Yard-o-Led Viceroy Standard Victorian Welcome to the Pen Pit Stop. Here you will find reviews of pens that already have some mileage on them. More specifically, these reviews are of pens that are in my personal collection, and that have been in use for at least a year. I thought it would be fun to do it this way – no new & shiny pens here, but battered vehicles that have been put to work for at least a year. Let’s find out how they have withstood the ravages of time. The fountain pen entering the pit stop today is the “Yard-o-Led Viceroy Standard Victorian”, my personal grail pen. I had my eye on this pen for many years, and finally bought it as a birthday present. I got me the Standard version with its slender lines, which I find more aesthetically pleasing than the girthier Grande version. This Sterling Silver pen is a great writer with an excellent nib that wrote smoothly right out of the box. I bought this pen in June 2019, and it has been in use for almost 3 years now. This pen is in my regular rotation – it would be a shame to let such a beauty sit unused for too long in its pen case. Let’s have a closer look at it. Pen Look & Feel The Yard-o-Led company was founded in 1934, and they have been hand-crafting pens since that time. Their Sterling Silver fountain pens are hand-crafted by in-house artisans: the craftsmanship and love for their work are clearly visible in the products they create. Their flagship product are the Sterling Silver pens in Victorian finish – these are just stunning, and worthy of the title “grail pen.” My pen is the standard version – a slender, vintage-style fountain pen that is roughly the same size and diameter as a Lamy CP1 or Kaweco Special. I can understand that such slender pens are not for everyone: if you prefer more girth, there is also the bigger “Viceroy Grande.” The pen body is elegant and simple in style with a beautiful engraving: the Victorian pattern is manually hammered into the pen body by the Yard-o-Led artist – this also means that no two pens are the same. The complete pen is constructed from 925-proof Sterling Silver, with both body and cap showing the corresponding hallmarks from the Birmingham Assay Office. The marks present are: a 925-mark that signifies the silver content (925 parts in a thousand – which makes it sterling silver), the anchor symbol of the Birmingham Assay Office, the letter “u” which represents the year of manufacture (2019), the producer’s stamp (YOL for Yard-o-Led), and a lion which signifies sterling silver. The click-on cap has a sturdy clip, that is mostly useful as a roll-stop. The clip is bolted on, and has the “Yard-o-Led” name engraved on it. At the top of the clip you’ll find the pen’s unique identification number (mine mentions number 612). Overall a very minimalistic pen. Which is a good thing, because it really allows the Victorian-style engraving to steal the show. It’s not a ring, but just looking at the pen makes you go drooling, and whispering “my precious…” The Viceroy is a cartridge converter pen, that takes standard international cartridges or converters. The pen is completed with an 18kt nickel-plated nib with some decoration and engravings: the YARD-O-LED name, 18ct-750 and the nib size (a fine in my case). The nib on my pen writes very smooth and leaves a well-saturated line: in my opinion it’s closer to M-size, and not what I would call an F. Being made of silver, the pen body will tarnish over time and lose it’s shine. Yard-o-Led thoughtfully added a silver polishing cloth with the pen. I typically use this cloth one or two times a year to re-polish the pen to its original shiny glory. The pictures above illustrate the size of the Yard-o-Led Viceroy Standard in comparison with a Lamy Safari. The Yard-o-Led pen is about the same size as the Safari (capped, uncapped as well as posted), but is off course a much more slender pen. I typically use the pen without posting. Pen Characteristics Build Quality : the pen is extremely well build, and still looks as new after almost 3 years of use. And Yard-o-Led are also convinced of the quality: they give life-time warranty on every pen they produce. My pen is a working instrument, so it has acquired some scratches – which I don’t mind at all, they show that this is a living instrument, and not a museum piece. Mind you – I treat my pens with respect, and always use a pen pouch when carrying them around. Overall, the pen has aged very gracefully. Weight & Dimensions : the pen is fairly long but really slender. Being made of metal, it has some weight to it. For me, the pen is most comfortable to use unposted (where it is a little bit smaller than an unposted Lamy Safari). If you have larger hands, the Viceroy Standard will not be for you because of its small body diameter. In that case the Viceroy Grande will probably be a better fit. Filling System : this is a cartridge-converter pen, that uses standard international cartridges. Nib & Performance : the silver-coloured 18ct gold nib is well-proportioned for the size of this pen. The F-nib on my unit writes like a dream, and produces a wet and well-saturated line (more like an M-size in my opinion). Price : As expected, this is an expensive pen! I paid 932 EUR for the new pen (that makes it by far the most expensive pen I own). You pay the price for the craftsmanship involved, the sterling silver material, and of course the gorgeous looks of this pen. What can I say… it’s my grail pen… and I feel that I got very good value for money. Conclusion The Yard-o-Led Viceroy Standard Victiorian is my grail pen: stunningly beautiful, slender and elegant… truly my precious. There’s nothing I don’t love about this pen: it looks gorgeous, it writes like a dream, and it is an instrument of heirloom quality. I am really glad I made the decision to buy it – even though it costs an arm and a leg.
  3. As a big fan of Y-o-L and a proud owner of Viceroy Grand I occasionally visit their website... Well, seems they raised up the prices. A standard model is 890 pounds, grand model is 1200 pounds (plain or barley finish, Victorian is 100/50 pounds more), both included VAT. https://www.yard-o-led.com/category/pens?product_filter%5BCollection%5D%5B%5D=0&product_filter%5BFinish%5D%5B%5D=0&product_filter%5BType%5D%5B%5D=4 Do you think it worths? I am as far as I can be from claiming it does not. On the other hand I just noticed through years many could not justify the cost even when the grand model used to cost 600 pounds. Suum cuique of course. I would summarize the positive and negatives (in my humble opinion): positives: 1) the pen is full sterling silver without rhodium plating (a nice solid material I like and can be polished with a special cloth quite easily), 2) it is well engineered overall - the ergonomics, the balance, the construction, nib/feed/collar friction fit, 3) nibs are excellent, quite rigid but not really nails, they have got some give and are very smooth, 4) feeds are generous, these pens are juicy writers but not overly wet, even with rather dry inks they work well, 5) the pens and the nibs in particular go through the best QC you can imagine (I know this for sure), 6) a lifetime warranty, 7) among all those fancy plastic pens (whatever the plastic/hard rubber is called or is coated with) these pens look and feel like a real thing. negatives: 1) the cost , 2) these very polished nibs are sometimes not the best perfomers on coated papers (depends on the ink used though) So what are your thoughts?
  4. I dropped by Yard-o-Led Viceroy Grand and ever since the cap doesn't close as well or as securely as it did, however, I can't find any physical difference in the pen. There are not bumps or dents that I've seen. When I first got it the cap closed with a very satisfying click and was surprisingly secure. Since the fall it stay put fine enough but certainly not as well as before. What should I do? Would Yard-o-led be able to help? Would they charge for a repair? I'm bewildered by what went wrong!
  5. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 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.
  6. So I was given a bunch of old pens when my mum was clearing out her stuff and most of it was worthless Parker 25s or Vectors that I've pretty much shoved in a drawer. However there were two pens that interested me. One is a Parker and one is a Yard-O-Led Rolled Gold pen. It's a ballpoint but the refill inside is really not of the quality I'd have expected from a YOL and it doesn't even appear to fit. The pen doesn't twist all the way with the refill in either so the point never full retracts. Oddly I have NO idea where she got this pen from - it is engraved M. King but neither of us know a King. So I'm trying to figure out what kind of age it is and also where I can get a proper refill for it? With regards to the Parker - I know it's not old or valuable but the name of it would be nice if anyone can help! Thanks.
  7. Earlier this year, Anna and I visited Yard-O-Led in Birmingham and had a factory tour. You can read about it here. Enjoy, Martin
  8. Hello, I'm afraid I'm coming at this from a rather newcomer's perspective, as I only have one fountain pen to my name, but I'm really in need of help and this seems like a lovely, friendly, knowledgeable community from which to seek it! I'm afraid it's a rather long story, but I don't want to do it the injustice of not starting at the beginning. I've always only liked writing with fountain pens, and used the same £10 Parker (Jotter) all the way through school. It seemed almost timely when it came to a sticky end just a few days after I finished my final exams. My Grandma took me to get a very lovely new pen to start medical school with. I have unusually small hands, and found that the small diameter barrel of the Jotter was rarely replicated in better pens. It sounds bizarre, I know, but I really don't like how the bulkier ones feel, and I can't control them properly. After much deliberating and traipsing between shops, I fell in love with a Yard-o-led Viceroy Pocket Barley pen. The nib was just unlike anything else I tried out - I think I really like the softness of the white gold. And it even had the lovely small barrel! It just so happened that I really use it a huge amount. I'm studying in Cambridge, which is stuck in a bygone era, and I hand in 3-4 handwritten essays a week, as well as transcribing numerous lectures and supervisions. And I just loved it so much! It was so beautiful to write with, and such a generous gift. I loved writing with it for work and pleasure, and loved thinking of my Grandma and the continuity of only using one pen. Everyone knows me for always carrying it around in a little blue carry case. Unfortunately, just shy of a year, the pen started playing up. Eventually, it wouldn't ever write ink for very long, even when I cleaned it out in all the ordinary ways. I took it to the shop I got it from who agreed that something wasn't right, and we sent it back. Yard-o-led returned it some weeks later, and it seemed back to normal. A few months later, it happened again. I sent it back. And then it happened again. This time, I was eager to get in touch with them, but they're very hard to contact. I was frustrated that this unusual and generous expenditure was not working as it should, and I didn't know if I was doing something wrong. Eventually, when I got through (by writing longhand and sending it to the repairs address), it turned out that the main brothers are profoundly deaf, so cannot use a phone. Oops. Sobered by this, I was receptive. They said that something was, indeed, wrong and they'd replaced the nib and feeder. Yet again, it worked like a dream for the first few months. I only ever use yard-o-led cartridges that I buy off the filofax website, and I use the pen every day. I don’t press hard when I write, and I never let anyone else use it. Over the last few weeks it’s began to play up on occasion. Sometimes it just needed to be left alone for a few minutes, nib down. Sometimes, washing it through with the converter until it ran clear and then putting in a new cartridge did the trick. It’s got increasingly common, and eventually stopped in the middle of some writing. I washed it through 5 times, with increasingly warm water. Each time the same thing happened: it ran inky and I kept going until it’s clear. Then it flows across the page nicely with a very dilute, watery mark, and as soon as the water runs out it stops again. I’ve tried several different cartridges, and left it over night, but all to no avail. Completely at a loss, and frustrated and disappointed, I e-mailed Yard-o-led yet again. I said that, with a heavy heart, unless they had other suggestions, a refund would perhaps be the best option if they were prepared to offer it. My £10 Parker was infinitely more reliable, albeit so much less a work of craftsmanship and lovely to write with.They were eminently lovely: "I am the manager of Yard O Led and I am so sorry you are still experiencing problems with your pen. I can asure you we are just as frustrated as you with the quality issues we have been experiencing not just with your pen. I can assure you it is not something you are doing wrong. I have in the past returned nibs to the manufacturer to see if they can solve this kind of problem and unfortunately I have got nowhere." This seems to suggest that I'm not the only case they've had. Has anyone else come across this problem with Yard-o-led? Anyway, John offered me a replacement nib unit, but later that day the director got in touch and offered me a full refund. I've spoken to my grandma and she feels that it would be entirely appropriate to get the refund and go out to buy another pen from a different, more reliable brand. But I just wanted to do some research first, which brought me here amongst other places. So here are my questions: Do you think it is worth refunding and going to another brand? Are other pens likely to be more reliable, or is this normal for a fountain pen? Should I stick it out and try a replacement nib one more time? (As an extra complication, they have none in stock so I'd have to wait some time). Could you possibly suggest pens that have a small barrel and gold or white gold (soft) nib, for somewhere in the region of £260? It would be useful to see alternatives. I've had real trouble finding anything of this sort somewhere where I could try it out, except some vintage pens. I really do want to be able to go and try out a pen. Which brings me on to: Any particular recommendations of FP shops in London? (Ideally SW or central). There do seem to be several, but with my elderly Grandma I'd really rather only make one trip, and I don't know where exactly is best. I'm not quite sure enough what I'm looking for. And with Vintage pens: I've heard so much that you mustn't let others write with your FP. I can't find anywhere clearly explained - how is this overcome with vintage pens? Are they any less pliable to write with, rather than collect? Sorry about the Essay. Best Wishes Abi
  9. Hullo all. [EDIT I have just checked: the refill is 80.75mm long - sorry!] I have recently acquired this rather nice solid silver Yard-o-Led ballpoint, which is engraved 1960. I have been unable to find a refill for it. Does anyone have a suggestion? Thanks in advance Cob
  10. Tanzanite

    Yard-O-Led Sepia Ink Mini Review

    I have not found much on this ink on the webb so I decided to make a small review. I can not guarantee colour accuracy.
  11. I just bought a used YOL ballpoint. The instructions say: repel (withdraw) point and continue to unscrew the top. But it won't turn further, and I'm reluctant to use force. Am I missing something? Fritz Levy

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