The history of the brand began in 1911 when Mr. Sakata and his brother founded the Sakata Manufactory, a company producing solid gold nibs. In 1917, the company changed its name to the Sailor Pen Sakata-Manufactory Co. It began to design its first fountain pens. The name Sailor was chosen by Mr Sakata in honour of a British sailor he met in 1911 who gave him a fountain pen.
The company gained significant credibility and recognition after Imperial Prince Hirohito visited the factory in 1926. Honoured and encouraged by this mark of confidence, the engineers designed ever more innovative and unique models for the market, which reached its peak in the early 1930s.
In 1949, the company invented the plastic injection moulding machine. It enabled it to create the first models with this material. Until then, only ebonite and celluloid had been used by manufacturers. This new material was to open up all the creative possibilities.
Always ahead of its competitors, Sailor created the first truly functional ink cartridges for fountain pens in 1957 and consequently invented the word “cartridge”.
The 21 carat gold nib
The company’s market position was further strengthened in 1969 with the development of the first 21-carat gold nibs, which offered the user a unique smoothness and elasticity on paper. From the 1970s onwards, the fountain pen market declined.