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Ratnamson Supreme


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7 replies to this topic

#1 hari317

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 18:44

Introduction: The Supreme is the flagship Ebonite model of the Ratnam Ballpen Works, Rajahmundry India. They make pens under the brandname "Ratnamson". Ratnamson because Dr. KV Ramanamurthy the present owner of the company is the son of Mr. M.V. Ratnam who started the famous Ratnam pen works in Rajahmundry after a call give by Gandhi to manufacture pens in India (Article in The Hindu, TV report)

The Supreme was always offered only with handmade 14K gold nibs, however recently Dr. Ramanamurthy has started offering these pens with a steel nib. The pens can easily be told apart: The cap of the gold nibbed pens has a single but wide solid 14K band whereas the caps of the steel nibbed pens have two thin Gold plated bands. I placed my order for the steel nibbed Supreme as soon as I learned that they are available.







Fit and Finish: The clips are brass with a gold wash. I chose the green mottled ebonite color; it was polished quite well. The pen is built like a tank with ample wall thickness. The gold nibbed versions are finished even better with better quality hardware.

Writing and Comfort: The size of the nib is smaller in proportion to the girth of the section, but it is surprisingly comfortable to steer. It has a good balance and does not feel too light. I was a bit apprehensive about the steel nib but I was pleasantly surprised with its smoothness and width, I prefer nibs with a hint of feedback and a western Fine line width, this nib fit the bill quite well. The feeder is the usual comb type mulitichannel ebonite unit. The pen holds approximately 3.5ml ink as per my measurements.





Size and Dimensions: It is not the largest pen I own, however it is large enough to be comfortably carried in the shirt pocket, the pen also posts well.

Capped: 5 3/4 inch
Section + Barell: 4 1/8 inch
Section + Barell + Nib: 4 7/8 inch
Posted(incl. nib): 6 7/8 inch
Gripping section diameter(not flare): 9 /16 inch

A group shot with my Advocate, Guider Jumbo and the Deccan Masterpiece:



Conclusion: I am happy I finally own a Supreme even if it is the steel nibbed one. good value.





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#2 Strang

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 18:55

That's a beauty Hari! Thanks for the review. thumbup.gif
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#3 HDoug

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 20:41

Thanks for the review and the pics! I keep thinking that I have enough pens, but an ebonite eye dropper -- that would be something special, wouldn't it?

Doug

#4 hari317

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 08:08

Thank you Richard and Doug.

QUOTE (HDoug @ Jan 25 2009, 02:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I keep thinking that I have enough pens, but an ebonite eye dropper -- that would be something special, wouldn't it?


Yes of course, you must try an ED pen.

Regards,
Hari


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#5 MYU

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 15:54

I like the presumptuous "Genius" imprinted on the nib. laugh.gif

These Indian made pens are often crafted in a way that suggests a real vintage pen. Look at that feed with the "gear teeth" molding! I really like the look of this pen, a little more stout than your usual FP of this length.

You didn't describe the filling mechanism, but I gather it is an eye dropper (based on Doug's posting, and Univer's review).
This version seems more refined than the one interviewed last year by Univer. I like the two thin cap bands rather than one thick band.

Edited by MYU, 26 January 2009 - 15:58.

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#6 hari317

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 17:01

QUOTE (MYU @ Jan 26 2009, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I like the presumptuous "Genius" imprinted on the nib. laugh.gif


Ha ha, It is a well known (infamous?) Taiwanese IPG nib. However it writes well and nice replacement nibs are easy to find here in case this one conks off.

QUOTE (MYU @ Jan 26 2009, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
These Indian made pens are often crafted in a way that suggests a real vintage pen. Look at that feed with the "gear teeth" molding! I really like the look of this pen, a little more stout than your usual FP of this length.


I really do not know if the Supreme is modelled on any specific vintage pen, does it strongly remind you of any specific model?

Those "gear teeth" are "machined", this feed is actually quite good as compared to what I have seen on some other low end Indian Ebonites. Ratnamson has cleverly limited the ink capacity so the demands on this feed are not that severe with low ink levels. Yeah the pen does look a bit stout, but it is good IMHO that they have limited the length to a pocket friendly size, longer than this and the pen will stick out. Its outstanding feature is the girth of the section- very comfortable .

QUOTE (MYU @ Jan 26 2009, 09:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You didn't describe the filling mechanism, but I gather it is an eye dropper (based on Doug's posting, and Univer's review).
This version seems more refined than the one interviewed last year by Univer. I like the two thin cap bands rather than one thick band.


From what I remember, Jon's (Univer's) pen was much better(GF Clip, Solid 14Ct Trim, polish and 14Ct nib) looking in person than its humble brother that I got for myself... and you guessed right, the filling system is ED, I missed that.

Best,
Hari




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#7 FrankB

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 23:32

Thanks for taking the time to do this review, Hari.

You are giving me an education on a whole area of pens I would otherwise know nothing about. I have yet to try an Indian pen, but I will. I agree that the pens have a lovely vintage aura about them, and I find that look very attractive. I also find their using the tried and true eyedropper filling mechanism to be attractive.

Keep the reviews coming.

#8 hari317

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 00:38

QUOTE (FrankB @ Jan 27 2009, 05:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks for taking the time to do this review, Hari.
...
Keep the reviews coming.


Thank you Frank!
In case you wish to write to me, pls use ONLY email by clicking here. I do not check PMs. Thank you.






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