Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen

The classic Viceroy is the epitome of Yard-O-Led quality and design, a collection to suit all writing styles. The Viceroy Grand is the ultimate writing instrument for the dedicated pen connoisseur. The Viceroy Grand has perfect balance and its imposing dimensions give it an aura of authority.
Why the heck is this pen so cool?
About Yard-O-Led
In 1822, the first ever propelling pencil was invented and patented by Sampson Mordan. From that point onwards the family-run business continued to develop its unique design carrying twelve three inch leads inside the barrel of the pencil, hence the name Yard-O-Led.
In 1934, the Yard-O-Led Company was founded and today continues its traditions of craftsmanship and excellence established nearly 200 years ago. Influenced by original designs of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Yard-O-Led range of writing instruments includes fountain pens, ballpens and rollerball pens in addition to the unique propelling pencil. Each pen or pencil (except the Retro range) is hand crafted from hallmarked sterling silver, individually numbered and comes complete with a lifetime guarantee. 
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 42
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 43
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 44
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 45
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 37
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 41
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 10
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 24
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 25
ABOUT

Body material: Sterling silver
Trim: Sterling silver
Nib material: 18kt gold, nickel-plated
Filling system: Standard international cartridge/converter
Cap: Snap
Posts: Yes, friction
Length (capped): 148.4 mm/5.84"
Length (uncapped): 138.5 mm/5.45"
Length (posted): 168.9 mm/6.64"
Length (section): 29.9 mm/1.18"
Diameter (barrel): 9.4 - 13.2 mm/0.37" - 0.52"
Diameter (section): 9.3 - 12.2 mm/0.36" - 0.48"
Weight (all): 68 g
Weight (cap): 20 g
Weight (body): 48 g
Price: € 945,00
Where to buy: La Couronne du Comte
Sponsors 

Discount Code: GOURMET10



PACKAGING & PRESENTATION

This Yard-O-Led was elegantly presented in a small dark wood gift box with a decorated silver latch. The inside of the box is padded black velvet. The bed of the inside can be removed - underneath, there are a Yard-O-Led guarantee and user guide, a silver polishing jewelry care cloth, and a jewelry care cloth information sheet.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 1
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 2
I love this minimal packaging - it is simple, quite classy, and there is very little wasted space. The box is not huge compared to the pen, which I appreciate. I would still prefer something more simple, that I would not feel guilty about getting rid of. A pouch is always preferable for me.

APPEARANCE

The Viceroy Grand Barley is a large, stunning pen that is eye-catching, elegant, and so very classy. The pen is round, widest at the top of the cap, and tapering slightly towards the back of the barrel. Both ends of the pen are flat and slightly rounded. The finial is a polished dome of silver. The top of the cap is smooth and has no pattern on it. There are three rings engraved into the top of the cap and another three at the end of the barrel. There is no center band but the flush connection between the end of the cap and the barrel is smooth silver, again with no pattern. This is engraved with "Made in England". The clip has a vintage style - it is bolted to the cap and sits quite low down. It is not too long and has a small arch and an angled flare at the end. It is engraved with "Yard-O-Led" and the pen's individual number.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 3
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 12
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 13
Next to the Victorian finish.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 22
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 14
The cap and barrel are engraved with an amazing, somewhat subtle barley pattern. The cap has a smooth, blank area for an engraving. Both the cap and barrel have multiple hallmarks, each signifying something different: the YOL company name, the 925 European convention mark, the 925 which signifies 925 parts per 1,000 of sterling silver, the anchor symbol of the Birmingham Assay Office, the lion, which signifies sterling silver, and the letter that indicates year of manufacture.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 20
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 19
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 21
The smooth silver section on this pen is one of the best ever. It is a large section that is thick and is shaped to hug your grip. It tapers slightly towards the nib and ends in a flared ridge. The end is also engraved with 925 STERLING. Opening the barrel reveals an O-ring and threads as well as the cartridge/converter. The O-ring is snug and does not budge. It ensures the barrel does not rattle around on the metal threads. When it's new, the silver is shiny, glittering, and polished. Silver will tarnish, filling the grooves with a dark tarnish that can be polished out, should you wish.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 46
I can see how this pen may not appeal to everyone. The sterling silver is eye-catching, bright, and perhaps too flashy for some. I love the design and shape of this pen and if you do, too, but prefer a different color or size, there are other sizes and finishes you could look at. I personally think it is stunning and I love it.

NIB & PERFORMANCE

This beautiful nib is a large, 18kt gold nib with nickel-plating (as we have been told by the CEO of YOL). The nib has a single slit, a round breather hole, and is engraved with some decorative flourishes, Yard-O-Led, 18ct-759, and the nib size (medium). Prior to inking the pen, I flushed it thoroughly to clean out any potential residue from the nib and feed. I always do this to new pens, regardless of cost or condition (new/used).
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 8
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 9
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 11
Hanging out with the broad nib. Quite a different in tipping size.
The nib is...wow. It's "just a medium", which usually leaves me wanting more, but oh man. The writing experience is delightful for my preferences. It's a smooth, clean writer - no blobs, no messy lines, and not overpolished at all. It's not a juicy, super wet firehose, which I usually like; it's more of a "normal" daily writer in terms of wetness and size. Drying times are pretty quick. The nib is well-tuned and well-adjusted - no skips, no hard starts, sails through the free weight test, and is comfortable as a reverse writer. Overall, it is a solid, very reliable writer. The nib is on the firm side - not a nail but certainly can offer a little bit of line variation.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 27
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 30
In comparison with the Broad nib.
I've used a few YOL nibs now and I have to say they have all performed beautifully and they feel so good when writing with them. Reliable, consistent performances, and a pleasure to use. As the nibs are not gushers, I feel like these could easily be daily carried. They are fantastic writers if you're okay with carrying a heavy, pricy pen.

The cartridge/converter system is plain and simple - easy to use, clean, fill, etc. No issues and no complaints.

IN HAND

In a new state, the clip is great. It's snug with some spring. It slides on and off pockets, pouches, and papers with ease. Even though the pen is heavy, it holds in place quite securely. If you pull it out too far or stretch it on a stack of paper, it can overstretch a little and lose some of that tightness.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 18
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 17
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 26
As I mentioned, the section is one of my favorites. Instead of being indented, it is the opposite. The convex shape feels delicious, sort of like a balloon that gently fills your grip. It gives your writing experience and grip a warm and full feeling. Although it is metal, I do not at all find it slippery, nor does it pick up or hold grease easily. My fingers stay put and do not end up on the nib. In addition, because this is a snap cap, there are no threads to get in the way. The section flares out slightly to meet the barrel so the transition is smooth and it leaves on a small, slightly sharp ridge out of the grip region. It does not bother me and is not really noticeable. Overall, the section gets a thumbs up.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 16
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 15
Now, size and weight. This is a large, heavy pen. It's not excessively girthy in my hand. Unposted, it's a large pen, reaching past the web of my hand, but I find it comfortable enough, and well-balanced, just heavy. If you don't care for heavy pens, this is not a good option for you. The cap can be posted, and it secures with a click on the rings at the end of the barrel. The thin lip of the cap is almost seamless with the barrel of the pen, giving it a comfortable, smooth joint. When it is posted, the pen is long and heavy - too long and too heavy for me. I'm not sure it would really need posting for most users.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 4
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 5
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 6
The silver is one of the most joyous parts of this pen. The feeling of the metal warming in my hand and fingers is so tactile and pleasant. This may sound crazy but it starts to feel like an extension of my hand because it matches the temperature and writes without effort. It's an interesting sensation that I do not get with many pens. It makes me feel very in touch with and connected to my pen.
Yard-O-Led Viceroy Grand Barley Fountain Pen 7
PROS & CONS

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OVERALL


Well, this pen is certainly not easy on the wallet but it is a fine piece of work. Certainly a piece you can pass on through your family or totally spoil yourself with. The craftsmanship, the quality, the lifetime guarantee, the stellar writing performance, and for me, the comfort and beauty. There are other finishes and sizes available, and I wish there were more nib sizes available, but the writing experience is quite fulfilling as is. Highly recommended.

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GourmetPens by Azizah Asgarali is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at http://www.gourmetpens.com.