Ryosuki Namiki of Japan leaves his job as a professor and founds a small factory near Tokyo to produce gold pen nibs
First Official Products
Namiki expands his product line and becomes a full-fledged manufacturer of writing instruments
"Pilot" is Born
Masao Wada joins Namiki in business, forming the Namiki Manufacturing Company Ltd. The name "Pilot" is selected as the trade name
New Manufacturing Process
Namiki Manufacturing patents a process to apply lacquer on the bodies of pens to protect them from scratching and fading. The company begins to embellish their pens using the centuries-old art form of maki-e. Fifty full-time lacquer artists are employed
Namiki Manufacturing opens branches in New York, London, Shanghai and Singapore and begins advertising
Alfred H. Dunhill is fascinated by the beauty of the Namiki pens and sells them in his stores in Paris
Alfred Dunhill Limited becomes a distributor of the maki-e decorated pens and pencils in Australia, New Zealand, India, Canada, South America and Spain
Alfred Dunhill obtains worldwide rights to distribute all Namiki manufactured goods, exclusive of Japan, China and the U.S.
Namiki Manufacturing Company Ltd. changes the company name to Pilot Fountain Pen Co., Ltd
Manufacturing of Ball Poi...
Pilot begins manufacturing ballpoint pens and continues making maki-e pens
Pilot revolutionizes the fountain pen by inventing the Capless, a fountain pen whose nib retracts completely into the barrel
American Branch Establish...
Pilot establishes its American branch and reintroduces its retractable fountain pen, renaming it Vanishing Point for the American market
Introduction of Precise V...
Pilot introduces advanced liquid ink technology with its Precise V5 and V7 products. PV5 soon leads the market as America's #1 Selling Roller*
The parent company name is changed to Pilot Corporation
Maki-e Pens Limited Editi...
Pilot begins creating limited editions of maki-e pens, although not for sale in the United States
Namiki Pens Born in the U...
Pilot introduces maki-e pens in the United States under the brand name Namiki
1995 Release of Dr. Grip
Pilot's Dr. Grip becomes the first truly ergonomic Writing Instrument on the market
"The White Tiger of Asia"
Pilot introduces the first luxury Namiki Limited Edition pen in the U.S. - "The White Tiger of Asia" – only 300 pens are produced
Release of G2
Pilot puts G2 on the market – the smooth writing Gel ink pen quickly earns its place as America's #1 Selling Gel Pen*
Release of Chinkin Artist...
Pilot introduces Chinkin artistry to the United States with the Limited Edition Pheasant and Sakura pen
Release of FriXion
Pilot introduces FriXion Ball, the first pen that utilizes thermo-sensitive ink that disappears with erasing FriXion. The FriXion Light erasable highlighter was introduced in 2009.
Release of B2P
Pilot introduces the B2P gel roller, the first pen made from recycled plastic bottles.