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Found 6 results

  1. Hey All, I have a number of other hobbies that exist due to small-scale makers and sellers who're all having a heck of a time over the requirements of the new VAT Import Tax Laws introduced by the British. A good number of them are having to refuse to ship to buyers in the U.K. from now on due to the difficulties imposed by the new laws. I was wondering if anyone had any knowledgeable insights into how this will effect the purchasing of fountain pens from the likes of Ratnamson, ASA and Ranga from now on? Perhaps even, being proactive about it, is there anyone in this community of pen aficionados who has the required expertise and generosity of time to perhaps advise Indian pen makers on the new demands of trading with the British and how to best deal with them? Hope everyone is keeping well, 'Rewpert. P.S. - If we could all stay polite and keep politics out of this thread, that would be kind. The FPN is proving to be a quite safe haven from the discourse. There's plenty of room elsewhere on the internet where we can all each other 'Mopheads', 'Brexiteers', and 'Remoaners'.
  2. I am considering to acquire a Ratnamson pen. Among their pens, the model #21 is one with a hooded nib. It seems unique as an ebonite pen with a hooded nib. It also comes in 3 sizes. On searching previous posts, I do not see much reviews or enthusiasm about this model of pen in this forum. Has anybody used this pen? What are your experiences? Are there any other Indian pen manufacturers that offer pens with hooded nib?
  3. Prologue Long before the likes of Romilo and Scriptorium reintroduced and popularized the concept of hand-crafted gold nibs customized to individual tastes & needs, there has been a set of small dedicated Indian handmade pen-makers who have been diligently doing the same out of there small workshops located mostly around South India. Today I want to share pictures of a trio of such pens from my collection. All these pens are vintage, were bought by me as used pens and are made by artisans who are no longer with us or else are too old to be active themselves although the institutions they have set up are still active and still manufacture handmade pens mostly using steel nibs sourced from nib manufacturers. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2306_zpsgzqvekso.jpg From Left to Right – Ratnamson, Guider and Ratnam http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2308_zpscwd4rmqe.jpg From Left to Right – Ratnamson, Guider and Ratnam Guider The most interesting pen out of these three is a vintage celluloid pen with a handmade conical gold nib. It is hard to put an exact date of manufacture for this pen but according to Mr Laxman Rao the current proprietor of Guider pen works this particular writing instrument is at least fifty years old. Such specimens are very rare to come across and even he doesn’t have access to any. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2295_zpsry9fc6gl.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2296_zps81jyeqvk.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2302_zpsjhz6u0dp.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2310_zps628aw4rf.jpg Ratnam The next pen in the collection is another conical nib but this time manufactured by Ratnam Pen works of Rajahmundry. I do not know the exact model number but the trims on this pen are in exceptionally good shape. This is a huge nib and side by side, it dwarfs the #8 nibs I have from Jowo or Bock. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2298_zpsjp10sw3e.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2297_zpstjhsrilo.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2303_zpsctiz06fc.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2312_zpsqykmci1r.jpg Ratnamson The third pen in the trio is a Ratnamson 302 with a handmade gold nib made circa 2007. I believe it is still possible to get such pens commissioned albeit being manufactured by the next generation. The interesting thing about this pen is that it has a bold nib which is quite unusual for Indian pens and is an extremely smooth writer. http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2299_zpsa6az8khh.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2300_zpsuv7gbpco.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2301_zpsst4ji1ht.jpg http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g346/prithwijitchakiPrithwijit/Fountain%20Pen%20Reviews/IMGP2311_zpsefppydp7.jpg One thing that is common to all the three pens (apart from 14K nibs) is that each of them come with custom hand cut ebonite feeds. Epilogue Shortly after taking these pictures I came to the realization that my personal enjoyment of fountain pens did not come from being a collector and certainly not from being a collector of vintage pens. At the same time I was acutely aware that this set that I had built up was historical in significance and wanted it to be maintained properly even if I was not the right person to do so. I started making a few discrete inquiries amidst our small fountain pen community and I am happy to let everyone know that fellow FPNer Sudhir (@Sudhir-ThePenPerson) is the new custodian of these pens. Sudhir is a passionate collector and a consummate gentleman. I am sure that the pens will be taken care of very well in his safe hands. Hope you guys liked reading about this part of Indian Fountain pen heritage and the pictures were enjoyable. Regards, Prithwijit
  4. Good day, I'm thinking about getting a Ratnam 302 in the hooded nib configuration. There is a seller here in the classifieds (no affiliation) who sells them to international customers like me. I've also found that this member has been selling these pens (and also the "Supreme" model) for quite some years. The price seems very reasonable to me and seems to have been the same for years. However, I'm on the fence. First of all, I would like to get the pen fitted with a steel italic nib. I wonder if the seller can make this happen 1.1mm (or slightly larger) would be perfect. Also, if the seller says he can't procure an italic nib like that, I suppose I could grind one for myself. Could someone maybe tell me the measurements for such a nib? The other thing I wonder about is the production quality. Some of my Indian pens are great, while some others were a bit of a letdown (We know how it goes). Could someone give me something like a general statement of what to expect from this model pen? (I know, it's a vague request. Sorry) As I said, I'm on the fence.... Any kind of information would be appreciated.
  5. mehandiratta

    Ratnamson 302 - True Classic

    First of all, I must thank Pradeep for getting me these pens from Rajahmundry. I actually got lot of pens from Ratnam, Ratnamson, and Guider who all are stationed at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh state of India. So this, as in Ratnamson 302, is the first in line to be reviewed and this pen is one of the fast selling models of Ratnamson. Ratnamson 302 – Capped Ratnamson is a brand name of Ratnam Ball pen works. There is other brand by the name of Ratnam which is owned by Ratnam Pen Works. As far as I know Ratnam Pen works is an original parent company which got split into two and thus Ratnamson came into existence. And both the companies produce some good quality pens. which i will be reviewing it here one by one. Ratnamson 302 – Rose Pink Rippled and Blue Rippled Model DESIGN & BUILT : 3.5/05 Like I said earlier this pen is one of the fast selling model of Ratnamson’s and it is a very well designed and executed pen. Made of Ebonite this pen come in various regular ebonite colors like Rose Pink Ripple, Blue Ripple (Both shown in pic above), Black, Brown Ripple, Green Ripple and Dark Brown Ripple. Also mottled pattern is available but i believe that is on request. Ratnamson 302 – Beauty Shot The pen is cigar shaped design which tapers slightly just a bit towards the end to circular rounded bottom. The cap finial is also rounded similar to the barrel end. Ratnamson 302 – Capped The grip section is made of black color ebonite and their is a slight tapering towards the top of section from middle of barrel. The length of grip section is not that long. Actually it is short. But thats not a problem. Circular thread patterns do provide for grip and threads are not at all sharp. Ratnamson 302 – Uncapped View The picture below shows the rounded bottom and top of the pen. Ratnamson 302 – Rounded top and bottom The cap clip though is quite sturdy but I can see there is bit of uniformity in insertion of clip inside the cap, which is because of the reason these are all hand made. Ratnamson 302 – Cap Ratnamson 302 – Cap Top View You can see from the image above the difference of clip insert inside the cap. Nevertheless these are minor things and can be resolved easily. The cap has slim center band which seems to be a okay kind of job because i have seen many manufacturers not able to take care of bands properly. I love the pens with centre band. Though I am not happy with the centre band on the cap but the pen shape and finish is far above what i expected. Ratnamson 302 – Cap Side View Ratnamson 302 – Cap Clip View Ratnamson 302 – Cap Centerband Closeup Ratnamson 302 – Cap Internal View Like most of the Indian pens this also comes with breather hole which helps in tackling the vacuum created while opening the pen and thus preventing ink leakage. Below are the few images showing the pen comparison. Gama Kuyil vs Ratnamson 302 vs Pilot 78G vs Jinhao 886 – Capped Gama Kuyil vs Ratnamson 302 vs Pilot 78G vs Jinhao 886 – Uncapped and Posted Gama Kuyil vs Ratnamson 302 vs Pilot 78G vs Jinhao 886 – Side View The pen built quality barring just two areas with regards to centre band and clip insertion inside cap, is amazing. The material used is amazing. Handmade and overall well executed classic designed pen. Lastly one thing i wanted to mention is that cap threads are not that smooth as it should be and offer certain resistance while opening. BALANCE : 05/05 One good thing with the ebonite pens is that they are extremely well balanced weather cap is posted or not. The length of the pen is 145 mm when capped and 125 mm when uncapped including the nib. And when cap is posted it is approx 165 mm long. The cap is thickest near centre band at 14mm dia and the average barrel thickness is 13 mm and grip section thickness is 9 to 10 mm. Ratnamson 302 - Writing Unposted Ratnamson 302 - Writing Posted The pen is very well balanced with cap posted or not posted, though it becomes very long id the cap is posted. I personally prefer writing without posting cap. NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 2.5/05 Well this is one area where i was not that much happy. It gives you resistance on good quality paper (which in a way is good for handwriting) but writes scratchy on not so good quality paper and picks up paper fiber even. The nib is gold color monotone iridium tipped nib and it writes fine. I actually will end up changing the nib. But lately I have realised if you keep using this nib it will grow on you. Ratnamson 302 - Nib Unit Top View Ratnamson 302 - Nib Unit Side View Ratnamson 302 - Nib Unit Bottom View Ratnamson 302 - Nib Unit Angled View The feed is made of ebonite and the pen writes actually bit wet. I had to do certain smoothing on the nib. And still I am not happy. Ratnamson 302 - Ebonite Feed The ink filling mechanism is through eyedropper and it holds good amount of ink. Good thing about the pen is that it never burped on me while writing for a complete week. Ratnamson 302 - Ink Filling Through Eyedropper Below is the Link of my handwritten review which shows sample and ink dry test for your reference.Also are certain images. LINK CONCLUSION: I will buy this pen for its design and change its nib. This pen is not that expensive and retails around for 12 to 15 USD. And thats why i will buy this pen for its classic design and long history behind brand name. Ratnamson 302 - Saying Goodbye





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