Two Japanese naval engineers, Ryosuke Namiki and Masao Wada, were at sea working on a merchant ship. At that time, the fountain pen was the only modern writing instrument and was essential for many people’s work.
This was a problem when working at sea, as the nib would often rust due to salt water. To solve this problem, Namiki and Wada developed their own fountain pen with a stainless steel nib.
In 1918, the first PILOT pens were launched in Japan. As a tribute to their shared passion for the sea, the pair used the brand name PILOT, a reference to the flagship of the fleet.
Today, PILOT pens are available all over the world: the company is a pioneer and market leader, number one in rollerball pens and thermosensitive erasable pens.
When the company was founded in 1918, Masao Wada and Ryosuke Namiki decided to establish five guiding principles for the company. Strong values that we still apply every day, no matter what the job, and that have enabled the brand to become what it is today:
1. Sansha Teiritsu
The three balanced forces
三 者 鼎 立
The three-legged Chinese bronze cooking pot is used to represent balance in business. Each leg represents one of the three parties in the relationship:
2. Ukiwa Seishin
Shared joys and sorrows.
The principle of solidarity is symbolised by the lifebuoy.
The principle applied both internally but also in commercial relationships.
3. Nankan Toppa
難 関 突 破
This is the determined attitude of the sailors when they have to overcome difficulties at sea.
4. Ichinichi Ishiin
Progress step by step day by day.
In nautical jargon, the pilot is the leader who must guide and ensure the constant progress of the boat. In this spirit of constant improvement, Masao Wada named the company’s first product Pilot.
5. Sishei Shinken
A genuinely committed approach.
Nothing is impossible if we give ourselves the resources if the approach is committed and serious.
This is a principle that we apply to R&D, production and marketing.