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India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

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Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Strombomboli » 28.04.2019 11:37

Kiwi is not a brand, but a retailer. I haven't ordered anything from there yet, but I would like to advertise this dealer because it helped me a lot in getting new Ratnamson fountain pens.

They are made in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh by Ratnam Ballpen Works, owned by Dr. Ramanamurthy. I wrote to that last October because I wanted new Ratnamson fountain pens after I unfortunately gave away most of the ones I got from India six years ago. But I like to write with the one that has remained with me, model 15. Unlike many Indian fountain pens, it is pleasantly small (about the size of a Montblanc 144), and its fine steel nib writes very pleasantly. In general, I became aware of Ratnamson because the company also makes a really tiny fountain pen. I gave one of these to a friend who loves little things, and I sold one to Sina, as she recently reminded me.

Dr. Ramanamurthy sent me a catalog straight away, and I immediately ordered a couple of fountain pens - and then didn't hear anything more. I have asked occasionally but never received an answer, and this is the experience that many members of the Fountain Pen Network share.

I thought that Ratnamson might not like shipping abroad (although they did it a few years ago), so I wrote to Saji, the man who runs Kiwi pens, and asked for help. I thought Mr Ramanamurthy could send him my pens and he would then send them on because he is more used to mailing than Mr Ramanamurthy.

Saji wrote to me that he didn't get an answer either when he wanted to add the Ratnamson fountain pens to his program. But then he called Rajahmundry, even though he lives in Kerala and speaks a different language than the people in Andhra Pradesh (I just checked, that's a distance of over 1000 km as the crow flies), and in the end, after further back and forth , I received an email from Rajahmundry today with an invoice that I paid through Western Union, like last time. Now it's only a matter of time before I have the fountain pens!

In any case, I would like to recommend Kiwi pens to you if you are thinking about buying an Indian fountain pen. Saji is extremely helpful, I am sure that shopping from him will be a pleasure.
https://www.kiwipens.com/

Interestingly enough, India does not seem to have a day of rest; all the back and forth took place on Sundays.
iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

Re: Kiwi pens India

Contribution from Strombomboli » 06.08.2019 15:16

Strombomboli wrote: ↑ Dr. Ramanamurthy from Ratnam Ball Pen Works picked up the money I sent him to Rajahmundry with Western Union six days ago!
I wrote that above under "What made you happy today", and actually I should write there again now, and actually this thread should be called "Ratnamson Ballpen Works", but ... now. It should all be in the same place.

So Mr. Ramanamurthy announced at the beginning of May that he would send the pens out at the beginning of June, but nothing came. I have asked politely by email twice since the end of June whether the pens were already on their way, but Rajahmundry didn't answer. That's why I called there today.

The connection was very bad, the man on the phone was not Mr. Ramanamurthy and had a wonderful accent that I found difficult to understand, but in the end I was able to make him understand what it was about and what I wanted. Then he found my emails and assured me that he would send the pens this week! I'm really happy about that -

- and that it all makes such a hassle serves me right. After all, I've already had more than one Ratnamson fountain pen, but I was stupid enough to give away all but one of the manageable ones for me. I still have one of the tiny fountain pens, but I could have made a brooch out of it rather than writing with it. However, the last order was relatively straightforward, so I didn't know what to expect.

Next, I'll probably have to tell about my adventures at customs. On the other hand, the two Ranga fountain pens that I have ordered in the past few months have been lying around at customs for quite a while, but were then brought by the postman without any problems and without any fees or taxes being levied.

Sequel follows.
iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Strombomboli » 28.10.2019 21:07

Small interim report:
It has now been over a year since I met Dr. Ramanamurthy wrote that I would like some more of his wonderful pens, and now it is becoming apparent that I could get them before Christmas, because last Saturday he wrote to me:
Your place order pens ready on testing November 1sr week dispatch
Thankingyou
Ramanamuthy
I now have a guilty conscience because Mr. Ramanamurthy is very old and wrote in the email before:
Sorry for the pens dispatch so I am shaffring health problem
Your pleace order pens dispatched October 1st week dispatch
He's probably not quite healthy yet, and because he's so old I'm afraid I will contribute to his demise. At his age, you should sit comfortably in an armchair and watch your great-grandchildren play, instead of working on ebonite ...

I would like to take this opportunity to point out once again that Saji from Kiwi pens, who has nothing to do with the Ratnam Ball Pen Works and also lives about 1,300 km from Rajahmundry, asked again a month ago whether I now have the pens would have. Really a very friendly person! And when I replied that I was still without a pen (the way it is supposed to be), he reassured me that Mr. Ramanamurthy was a righteous person. There's no doubt about that, it's just not prepared for orders from the other end of the world.

Should any of you ever travel to India, then supply you with pens on site!
iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Strombomboli » 24.12.2019 10:21

This is my best Christmas present, an email from Mr. Ramanamurthy:
Shark
Pens dispatched by Speedpost attached receipt copy
Thankingyou
Plus two photos of the pack. I was able to take the shipment number from them, and even DHL is already showing the shipment. Now it can only be a matter of weeks ...
iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

miel
Posts: 1541
Registered: 16.04.2015 9:43

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from miel » 24.12.2019 10:47

What a wonderful Christmas present.
Trust is worth it. And patience is worth it.

I'm looking forward to pictures of these very special treasures here.


Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Strombomboli » 24.12.2019 13:58

Thank you for your sympathy! Photos will follow, and I will certainly bring them to a regulars' table too.
iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

Seraphin
Posts: 407
Registered: 30.12.2018 22:51

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Seraphin » 01.01.2020 18:34

Then have a click Falcon Ebonite at Mr. Saji (I don't know if that's his first or last name) ordered. Can confirm that the guy is extremely hard working and extremely friendly. In addition, all the need for clarification was "processed" within an hour of placing the order (in the morning on New Year's Day = + 4.5h in India). I'll tell you how the shipping went (duration, any complications, etc.) and, if desired, report on the fountain pen, which will probably only arrive in a few weeks, as the express shipping I have chosen unfortunately cannot be offered at the moment .
You are what you want because you do what you want and because you are what you do.

Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Strombomboli » 06.01.2020 21:22

And then it suddenly happened very quickly, and the pack was waiting for me when I returned from my holiday trip, I came on Saturday, the pens arrived on Friday.

They were wrapped in five layers of packaging material, all of which were secured with a lot of tape so that it took about half an hour to unpack. The pen boxes themselves were tucked into the rest of a box that had Bril ink in it, which I liked a lot.
new boxes, now colorfully printed 01.jpg
new boxes, now colorfully printed 02.jpg
new boxes, now colorfully printed 03.jpg
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iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Strombomboli » 06.01.2020 21:29

The fountain pens themselves disappointed me a bit at first sight, because not only the box design was changed, also the fountain pen design. The name is no longer pressed into the clip, but lasered on, and the gold rim on the cap is now bold and at the bottom, instead of just a fine ring that sits a little higher. There are now four (4!) Holes in the cap instead of just two as before. In the last photo I put at least two on one photo, but you have to look carefully.

I am no longer disappointed; this first small stitch was due to the long wait. It's been almost fifteen months since I received my order, and nothing can be beautiful enough. In reality, they are exactly what I wanted: simple ebonite fillers.
You do not have sufficient rights to view the files attached to this post.
iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

Seraphin
Posts: 407
Registered: 30.12.2018 22:51

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Seraphin » 24.01.2020 17:36

Seraphin wrote: ↑ Then have a click Falcon Ebonite at Mr. Saji (I don't know if that's his first or last name) ordered. Can confirm that the guy is extremely hard working and extremely friendly. In addition, all the need for clarification was "processed" within an hour of placing the order (in the morning on New Year's Day = + 4.5h in India). I'll tell you how the shipping went (duration, any complications, etc.) and, if desired, report on the fountain pen, which will probably only arrive in a few weeks, as the express shipping I have chosen unfortunately cannot be offered at the moment .
The pen arrived about a week ago. I was pleasantly surprised, nicely wrapped up and also a, I call it "child filler". The processing is such that you can see that it is handmade. And I appreciate that, it has charm. The nib writes fine, European extra-fine I would say. Unfortunately, correct drops of ink form below the nib and fall onto the paper from time to time. This is a problem that I unfortunately cannot solve or do not know how. I asked Saji if he had a solution. Now I am waiting for an answer.

You are what you want because you do what you want and because you are what you do.

Strombomboli
Posts: 2591
Registered: 27.03.2012 13:54
Place of residence: Berlin

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Strombomboli » 24.01.2020 17:55

Seraphin wrote: ↑ Unfortunately, real drops of ink form below the nib and fall onto the paper from time to time.
This is probably an eyedropper problem: too little ink in the fountain pen, too much air in the barrel, which heats up, belch.

However, since you've only just filled it and it is probably quite full, it may be due to something else. I currently have the same problem in an eyedropper, but also in a small sheaffer with an ink sack. Both are filled with orange ink, which makes me wonder if that might be the problem.

P.S .: I just watched this video from the operator of Fountain Pen Revolution, which incidentally points out that eyedroppers might not be such a good idea in winter.
iris

My avatar is a painting by Ilya Maschkow (1881-1944): self-portrait; 1911, which hangs in the new Tretyakov Gallery (on Krimskij Wal) in Moscow, where I photographed it.

Seraphin
Posts: 407
Registered: 30.12.2018 22:51

Re: India: Kiwi pens and Ratnam Ballpen Works

Contribution from Seraphin » 24.01.2020 18:53

Thanks for the input Iris, I'll do some research.
That would be a damn shame, because the pen is useless for me. Neither for writing nor for transporting. Financially no drama, but I would still be unhappy if I had to sideline the pen.
You are what you want because you do what you want and because you are what you do.

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