Ratnam Supreme – it doesn’t get any better than this.

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Ratnam Supreme – the pen that gave the world its lessons in non-violence!

Ratnam Supreme

The Ratnam Supreme is a kind of a grail pen. It’s a big, no-nonsense main battle tank, strong enough to ram through the enemy fortifications. Naturally, in any army of pens, it can easily roll in and demand a salute even as it rambles in. In terms of sheer legacy too, it has few parallels – that it flaunts the Ratnam name, one that is closely associated with Gandhiji and the first Swadeshi pen, in itself is enough to the swell any Indian heart that possesses the Ratnam Supreme with pride. Made by K V Ratnam and Sons, who slot themselves as “Pioneers of Pen Industry in India since 1932”, the Ratnam Supreme, if one just considers its eight decade plus uninterrupted run, is peerless to put it mildly.

Ratnam Supreme

Naturally, it occupies a special place in the hearts of fountain pen connoisseurs and collectors around the world. Don’t know if it is the cause or the effect, but buying one is extremely difficult – key in “Ratnam Supreme” and Google does not even feature one link in its first page to any site that sells one.

Some say that the scarcity is artificial; some attribute it to the fact that the pens are hand turned in small batches which makes them hard to get; while some others point out the fact that it is the typical Indian attitude of being content with whatever little one has – with manufacturers depending on market pull as opposed to marketing push to satiate the demand, which leads to the relative difficulties in procurement. The fact that the pen, despite its obvious brand value and all the positives going for it, is priced at the lowest rung may also shed light to its scarcity – with wafer thin margins negating possibilities of advertising and marketing expenses, visibility and availability are both abjectly poor. Sad, but strange are the ways of the ancient pen-iners – who could have easily mounted the digital wave, but didn’t, waiting in oblivion, perhaps for the same wave to deluge them.

Ratnam Supreme

The Ratnam Supreme – the pen itself, however, leaves little to complain about. Some aficionados even go so far as to compare it to the Montblanc 149, which however, according to me, is a bit of an exaggeration. Mine came fitted with a Genius Iridium Nib, with Germany proudly etched on it. Xenophobia apart, it writes fairly well: smooth, wet and steady, with neither burping nor drying. What is more, there is no scratchiness with very little feedback, which I guess can be attributed more to the paper than to the nib. The ebonite body, is surprisingly light despite its girth and the minimalist shape lends the Supreme an ability to blend into the grip effortlessly, adding to the pleasure of writing.

The grip of the pen, itself, is another winner – there is a thick step at its very end (where it meets the nib) and somehow, it adds a very pleasant sensation to the whole act of writing. The balance too is just perfect, which underscores a very important fact about fountain pens – even the simplest of designs, incorporating the most basic technologies and minimal frills can give you a pen that transcends time.  

There are a few dots and micro holes in the body, which I guess, was a part of the ebonite stick from which the pen was crafted. A puritan will certainly (and justifiably, argue) that before the actual turning, the rod should have been examined, but then again, it is the little imperfections that really adds value to the overall beauty of this handcrafted object of desire.      

Unscrewing the cap and the barrel of the Ratnam Supreme is like dating eternity – they seem to go on forever, which too, is a good thing – a tried and tested method of leak-proofing. While the threads are tight in the beginning, they ease up with use and I particularly love the way each turn fills me with nostalgia, for the days, when a Swadeshi fountain pen was one’s silent protest against the foreign yoke. Naturally, I have filled my Ratnam Supreme with Sulekha ink, which too traces its origin back to the Father of the Nation’s Clarion call.

Ratnam Supreme

But there is another dimension which I must spell out to complete this story. Just when I was about to give up hope of acquiring a Ratnam Supreme for myself, I met Shreyas Yedla, a banker from Hyderabad and a fountain pen fanatic like the rest of us. He was kind enough to make the trip to the shrine of Ratnam at Rajahmundri (now Rajamahendravaram) only to acquire the pen that makes me proud now. We have never met, have only talked over the phone a couple of times, yet. I guess, this was the spirit of fraternity.

I guess, this was what Swadeshi and Nationalism was all about. I guess, this is the Gandhian way of life that we have consciously debunked in the present, the same way that most Indians have forgotten about Ratnam and the Swadeshi Pen.

Ratnam Supreme

The Ratnam Supreme, in the final analysis then, is no ordinary fountain pen – it is the icon of an epoch, it is a way of life, it is a tribute to the God who walked amongst the men, by men who were so large hearted that there still remains the likes of Shreyas Yedla.

May their tribe increase. May the Ratnam Supreme continue to be the synonym of all that is good in this country. May we never forget that the pen is mightier than the sword and that, the Ratnam Supreme was the pen that gave the world its lessons in non-violence.   


19 Replies to “Ratnam Supreme – it doesn’t get any better than this.”

    1. The pens can be purchased by making a telephone call to them and transferring money by IMPS or NEFT.

      Mr KV Ramanamurthy,
      Ratnamson pens,
      Ratnam BallPen Works,
      10-7-18, Fort Gate,
      Rajahmundry – 533101
      Phone: 0883-2498782
      Mobile: +91 94945 53866,
      +91 89854 98782
      One of these numbers is on whatsapp also.

      Pls note that Ratnam and Ratnamson are different. Ratnamson are the better ones.

  1. Very nice article. Last week i purchased a Ratnamson supreme – Black.Very nice pen.writes smoothly. Can you please get me sulekha ink. I don’t have anyone in Calcutta.

    1. i am forwarding your mail to Sulekha and will also call them up to request them to contact you so that you may get the inks that you desire. Lets give them seven days or else i will personally get it and have the same shipped to you 🙂

      1. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story Mr. Chawm Ganguly! This is the only way we can keep the essence of these Fine pens alive in this digital world. It is not quite often you come around people who have access to Sulekha inks, or at least knows a way to access them. I would be forever grateful to you if you can direct to me a particular contact, or any way to acquire them.

        Varun V

        1. Thank you for your kind words Varunji. There are many who want to buy Sulekha Inks and have contacted me. I have taken all the requests and have passes them on to the management. Unfortunately, because of the lock-down they are unable to courier outside Kolkata immediately. Please keep in touch and i will certainly ensure that you get your bottles asap.

          1. Thank for taking the efforts of making few peoples dream come true!
            I shall e-mail you and in that way we can stay in contact

    2. hi
      did you purchase online or from the store ? if you got it from the store can you help me getting one?

  2. Thank you for this article. I am a fountain pen user and collector from Norway and I love the Indian ebonite pens. Among my daily user pens are ASA and GAMA ebonite pens. I have never held a Ratnamson pen in my hands, so I will be searching for one. Also thank you for the Sulekha ink article. I write about fountain pens and other writing tools every Saturday on http://www.fyllepenna.no https://fyllepenna.no/kjartaniske-vers-duften-av-kvalitetsgummi/

  3. How get this pen Ratnam Supreme directly from manufacturer. I am from Mumbai.
    Is it eye dropper OR with converter??

    What is the cost of this pen ??
    My whatsapp number is 9833962090.

    1. sir, it is very difficult to buy from they directly. after many failed attempts i got mine by the grace of fellow fountain pen lover shreyas yedla who knows the manufacturers personally. if you want, you can contact him and i am sure that he will help you. it is an eyedropper pen and writes beautifully.

  4. I live in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and I too was searching to get my hands on this one named the Ratnamson Supreme.
    There are many rumours flying on the Internet about the remoteness of these Indian pen Brands- Ratnam ( which is another pen company run by Mr. Siva Kosuri, who is the brother of the owner of Ratnamson and runs his own independent pen company) and Ratnamson( brand name – Ratnam Ball Pen works | Owner – Mr. Shekhar Ratnam)

    If you want to order in India any Ratnamson/Ratnam Pen( Internationally it is a difficult task to order as 1. they send all their orders by the India Post/Speed post | 2. Any of the owners of Ratnam or Ratnamson hardly Speak English , but they seldom understand the language)

    Their Whatsapp numbers are –
    1. Ratnamson ( Mr. Shekhar Ratnam) – +918985498782
    2. Ratnam( Mr. Siva Kosuri) – +919848918904
    You can text them on whatsapp asking for the catalogue.

    Speaking of the the Above Ratnamson Supreme the date on which i am writing this blog-type-thing, It is priced at 4000/- Indian Rupees(inr) which is approximately anywhere between $ 55 and $ 60 , and if you want the gold nibbed variant, it would cost you 75000/- inr or $1020.

    Which one is better between Ratnam and Ratnamson?
    Well… Hard to tell as I have only looked them both in their respective catalogues , and never had chance to write with any of them.
    But, from online reviews and catalogue pictures, what I can surely tell is that The Ratnamson pens are more appealing in the finish, engraving letters and workmanship or straightaway better.
    After having a talk with both brothers and what I interestingly found was-
    Nib – which is considered as the heart of the pen is NOT MADE in house by RATNAM.
    Instead, they use medium nibs made by Jinhao similar to #6 european size nibs for their top models- i.e. the Tarpodas ,and some third party fine nibs for the lower variants.

    Whereas, Ratnamson nibs are made by them ( as claimed by Mr. Shekhar Ratnam) and can be chosen to be made according to us ( i.e is F,M,B ….. etc,) and he also claimed the Nibs to be super smooth.

    Thank You for reading till the end.
    Hope this Helps.

    Warm Regards,
    Hriday Mehta

    1. Thanks a lot Mr Mehta. Your response ended my search for over a week for more information on the Ratnam/Ratnamson pens and prices. It sealed the deal for my limited budget.
      May be you already know about it, but I have found Kanwrite pens to be quite good. They also manufacture their own nibs, and all my pens are super smooth with different inks and not so great paper.


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