I am reviewing today the Ratnam 302, which as we know is made by the Ratnam Ballpen Works in Rajamundhry, Andhra Pradesh, India. The pen is available in mottled green and mottled brown avatars, this review describes the Mottled green which I am using presently.
Box and Paraphernalia - the 302 came in a white cardboard box just larger than the pen inscribed with the company’s name and address on one face and terse instructions on the other (pictures). The pen itself in a cellophane tube.
Appearance and Finish - the green mottled pen has slightly pointed ends, The shape is cylindrical, the barrel tapering slightly toward the section. The barrel is unadorned, The section has a prominent flair above the nib. The cap is cylindrical with a tapering lip and a single narrow gold washed band above the lip. Above the band is a yellow paper band saying “302”. The clip is triangular with a ball at the end, there is no clip band. It bears the imprint “Ratnamson” in capital letters. The clip is firm. The pen is coloured a military green with black swirls, the colour compliments the gold trim and is particularly soothing to the eyes. The finish of the pen is excellent, the trim is neatly fitted and no machining marks are visible. The surface is glossy and as I have been using it the sheen seems to increase.
Dimensions - The 302 is a large pen at 5 3/4 inches closed and 6” posted. But somehow its size, length and thickness seems just right. The barrel is 0.6 inches at the widest and the cap 0.7 inches in maximum diameter. The cap is half the length of the pen. Un-posted it is an almost perfect fit in the hand, and this is the feature which I like most about this pen, it is just right for the hand. The ink capacity is 4 ml, up there in the higher league. The pen weighs 30 grams empty.
Filling mechanism - the 302 is an eyedropper filler with a large tank, the section unscrews from the barrel in 8 turns to prevent leaks. Like all eyedroppers the writing gets wetter when the ink runs low and at lower than 1/4 tank the pen may blob. At present I am using the Ratnamson Supreme and 302 in rotation, the supreme is getting wetter and I am not refilling it to see if it blobs. The 302 will undergo the same test and I will update this review positively or otherwise. Regarding airplane journeys with this pen, no experience as yet.
Nib and Performance - the 302 comes fitted with a gold toned no 8 fine steel nib, which is a stock nib. Coupled with the ebonite feed this puts down a wet line just on the medium side of fine. The size of the nib even gives it a hint of flex, though that requires more pressure than my normal writing. I filled the pen with Chelpark emerald green as the ink seemed ideal for its color. I really love the luminescent green trail that this ink leaves. Like most steel nibs there is a whisper of feedback which prevents the nib from getting away from me. I like the feedback, the “teflon on ice” nibs (especially when non flex) give the feeling of writing with a ballpoint pen, which defeats the experience. In my (very personal) view the nib has to “sing” a little while writing. This sound is not scratchy or squeaky but a resonance set up in the metal of the nib by the vibration generated due to the friction of the tip on the paper. It is a musical sound, if you know what I mean. Another nib which makes this is the Stipula on my Onyx Advocate, pure music! This resonance transmits itself into the body of the pen and to the hand giving the “feedback”, aficionados will get what I mean.
Overall - The 302 is the most popular pen of the Ratnamson line and it is not hard to see why. I think the green pen looks better than the Brown cigar shaped version (again personal), it fits perfectly in the hand, warms up quickly like all ebonites and writes like a dream. It is built like a tank, good for daily use and simple to maintain, eyedroppers are undemanding workhorses.
Pictures here - http://s267.photobuc...een Ratnam 302/
Sorry when I try to insert images using the IMG button it says "you are not allowed to use that file extension on this board"!
(EDIT: The problem was you specified just a directory. You need to reference the JPG images in full. ~MYU)
Edited by MYU, 06 December 2009 - 16:21.