Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth Polycolor

The pencil
Koh-I-Noor is an old company from Czech republic that is common here in Sweden. The diameter of the lead is 3,8 mm and it is cased in California cedar wood. The pencil has a hexagonal shape. 

Collection craziness 
Polycolor have a total of 94 colors. They can be purchased open stock but I have not seen any place that carries them all (2016). If you want to buy them in a set, there is no one that contains all colors. The largest set is a 72 set. If you want them all, you also need to buy a brown set (of 12), a grey set (of 12) and a portrait set (of 24) and a set that contain number 139 (the only set that has that color is the landscape set of 24). This means that you end up with a lot of duplicates. It is a mess to try to collect them all. Another strange thing is that they have a wooden box set, but only for a 36 set.

Koh-I-Noor Polycolor 
This is a very soft and creamy pencil. Most of the colors lay down a rich color effortless that cover easily.  If you have sensitive wrist, this is the pencil for you, because you don't need much pressure. They remind me a lot about Prismacolor premier. And, as Prismacolor, they also break very easy. However, there is a sharpener that makes so much difference. It is a German brand called Dux that make this wonder of sharpeners. They also offer extra blades to change when needed, so you can always keep you sharpener really sharp. They are not so opaque so they are not the best choice for drawing on colored paper. They crumble somewhat.

Numbers system
Polycolors do not use a name system, or at least the names are not printed on the pencil (if you want to know the name that they chosen for the colors you can look that up on their color chart, however they have changed the names at least one time). I normally don´t mind not having a name, most color names are fictive anyway, and if they are a classic pigment name the company can still use the name as they want and not necessarily in a traditional way. However, if you only have a number system I wish that the numbers would make sense. In the marker world there are some color system that use meaningful numbers to describe colors, as the Winsor and Newton Promarker and Brushmarker that uses the HSL system. But if you only use Polycolor or use them very often, (or do as I do, use a color chart) you will of course learn the numbers anyway. 
The colors are also represented on the whole pencil and are quite accurate so that is a great help to pick the right color.

Lack of information
Koh-I-Noor Hardtmuth
It isn´t easy to find reliable information about Polycolor on the Internet. You can read that they are availably in 72 colors (because the large set you can buy is a 72 set), (and sometimes 92 colors). But if you count the colors on their latest color chart (which they send me) they have 94 colors availably. Also, I own a set that isn´t more then maximal five years old and in that set there is pencils with number that are not availably any more. Also it is confusing that some color chart that you can find online have a totally different lightfastness system (earlier three stars and now fem star system) and the colors (for example the white) has different result (the white has excellent in the current color chart but had average earlier).
Another problem is that you can read that they are oil based on some sites and other claim that they are wax based. I wrote to them and asked and they told me that they are wax based. I think that because they talk about using a special oil people will assume that they are oil based.

Color collection
Polycolor has a good range of greys. Warm greys and cool greys in a lot of different shades and lot of other greys in different hues and values. A lot of earth colors as well. Some of the reds and violets are a bit similar to each other, like nr 11, 177 and 178 that all are very close in color I think.  Polycolors offers a lot of blues, and some of them are also to look-a-like (especially the blue-violet colors). I think they lack in light sky blues and turquoise.
They have a silver- and a gold pencil in there collection, which is very beautiful and believable gold and silver. They also have an own blender.

The lightfastness on the different color charts are not really reliably. I would recommend joining the CPSA to learn exactly which colors that is lightfast. When I compare the latest color chart sent to me buy Koh-I-Noor, thirteen colors differs from the result from CPSA, and they differ a lot and it goes both ways. Some colors actually get a low rating from Koh-I-Noor but does excellent in CPSA testing.
                      To my disappointment they had not tested the newer ones, which is quite many (in fact 30 colors). I am doing a test my self of these colors.

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