A little bit of history Yard-O-Led have been making writing instruments, primarily of the mechanical pencil persuasion, since 1822. Although fountain pens are a relatively recent development, all that experience and craftsmanship counts for a lot. We wrote a profile of Yard-O-Led quite recently.
How it looks Oh my goodness this is a fine looking pen. All of the almost 200 years of knowledge has gone into the designing and the crafting of this pen. The cap and barrel are made from hallmarked sterling silver and the pattern is painstakingly applied by hand. The effect is one of the utmost quality that celebrates the heritage of the company. This is a pen that looks as if it has been around for a hundred years and feels as if it will be around for a hundred more.
How it feels This is not a light pen; it’s made from solid silver after all. However the balance is such that it doesn’t feel too heavy in the hand. Silver is quite a warm metal, too. There’s more than comfort though – when you hold this pen, the size (it’s big) and the weight combine to the overall feeling of quality. The section is metal, of course, which doesn’t suit everyone, but its contour aids grip and reduces the likelihood of slipperiness.
How it fills It’s a standard international cartridge/converter affair. The supplied converter isn’t anything special but is perfectly functional.
Crucially, how it writes… The rhodium-plated 18k nib is firm and very smooth. Between us we’ve been able to try all three of the available options (fine, medium and broad) and have enjoyed them all.
Pen! What is it good for? This is not a pen for throwing in your pocket when you’re off to the beach. It is a pen to keep and cherish and use and pass on to your favourite child to keep and cherish and use and pass on again. It’s a pen to appreciate and admire.
VFM This is a very expensive pen. It’s impossible to say definitively whether it offers value for money or not. The important question is: is this pen worth it to you? We all feel the same: we would buy this pen in a moment, if we had the money.
If this isn’t quite your cup of tea, but almost… Yard-O-Led make two smaller (the pocket and the standard) pens too, if you love this design but would prefer something less…grand… (and a little more affordable, relatively speaking). There are also one or two other purveyors of silver fountain pens starting to come onto the market which we hope to explore in coming months.
Our overall recommendation This is a gorgeous pen. It’s a work of art which is also wonderful to write with. If you are in the market for a pen to last for generations, this is a pen you should seriously consider.
This meta-reviews references:
- Scribble Monboddo’s hand-written review
- Ian Hedley’s text-and-photos review
- Ruth Hanson’s video review
Thanks to Yard-O-Led for giving us the opportunity to try out this pen. None of us wanted to send it back, so we’re glad they trusted us!