1921 One Minute Story Binoculars that transcend generations

Both Nikon's foundation and restoration eras were supported by binoculars

A house is standing in the woods.
In a room of the house, someone's hands, cleaning a pair of binoculars.


The grandson enters the room. His grandfather is sitting on a sofa and checking his binoculars.

Grandson: Hi, Grandpa!

The grandfather's hands, holding the MIKRON binoculars.

Grandson: Are you taking care of your MIKRON binoculars? They're great!

Grandfather: If you want use 'em, go ahead and take 'em.

Grandson: (grinning) No, that's OK, because...

Now, the MIKRON is in the grandson's hands.

Grandson: Look, I've bought the same ones.

Grandfather: Do they still sell 'em?

Grandson: Well, yours are second generation. Mine are a newer reproduction.

The ORION, Tenyu and Spica binoculars

Binoculars were one of the major businesses of Nippon Kogaku (now, Nikon Corporation) since its establishment. *Both manufacturing and sales went well.

*The Optical Instruments Department of Tokyo Keiki Seisakusho and the Reflecting Mirror Department of Iwaki Glass Manufacturing merged with capital investment from Koyata Iwasaki, the President of Mitsubishi, to form Nippon Kogaku (Merged with Fujii Lens Manufacturing immediately after establishment).

From 1921, Nikon invited German engineers to Japan and started to design new handheld binoculars.

That same year, the MIKRON 6x binoculars were marketed - the first binocular models developed, designed and manufactured by Nikon. The MIKRON 6x model became especially popular as small high-performance binoculars for commercial use.

When production restarted after World War II, Nikon's first products were also binoculars.

So, in September 1948, the MIKRON was redesigned, and the MIKRON 6x15 was introduced. The MIKRON 6x15 refined the conventional image of binoculars via features such as improved eyepieces and a prism cover finished with chromium plating, and became extremely popular.At that time, binoculars were a motivating force to support Nippon Kogaku achievements.

Subsequently, the MIKRON grew in popularity. Because of repeated requests from customers, a reproduction was put on sale in 1997.

Back in the house of the grandfather and his grandson.
The grandfather is taking an album from a shelf.

Grandfather: Actually...

It contains a photo of the grandson's great-grandfather looking through the first MIKRON

Grandfather: My father owned the first MIKRON model.

Grandson: Wow!

The grandfather and his grandson are chatting with smiles on their faces.

It's been almost 100 years since it was first released, but still its unique design is loved by so many people.

The first Nikon

From the foundation of Nippon Kogaku (now, Nikon Corporation), the main products marketed were binoculars. In particular, opera glasses and the Tenyu prism binoculars were core products from the times of Fujii Lens Manufacturing, and helped keep Nippon Kogaku profitable in its early stages.
In 1921, Ryuzo Fujii (a director of Nippon Kogaku) invited German engineers to Japan and started to developed new handheld binoculars named MIKRON. The MIKRON was the first binocular model completely developed, designed and manufactured by the company. They were also one of the first products made by Nippon Kogaku, and became especially popular as small high-performance binoculars for commercial use.
Developing many binoculars including the ORION in 1922 and Novar twilight handheld binoculars in 1923, binoculars were Nippon Kogaku's main commercial products.

Ryuzo Fujii

The Tenyu prism binoculars that Nippon Kogaku inherited from Fujii Lens Manufacturing

Nikon has always been loved by its customers

The MIKRON 6x launched in 1921 (left) and the MIKRON 6x15 introduced in 1948 (right)

The first products Nikon started manufacturing after World War II were binoculars. In December 1945, production of pre-war models began anew. The redesigned MIKRON was highly acclaimed and exports were also strong. Although there were twists and turns, binoculars had accounted for about a half of the sales of Nippon Kogaku for two and a half years from August of 1946, and after that, had maintained approx. 30% of total sales until photographic lenses and cameras started to receive a higher evaluation.
Binoculars were the motivating force that supported Nippon Kogaku two times, firstly when the company was established and then while it was converting to making commercial products after World War II.
Subsequently, Nikon expanded binocular lineups to meet various customers' needs. In 2017, Nikon released the WX 7x50 IF/WX 10x50 IF binoculars created with optical technologies accumulated over 100 years. These binoculars provide an outstandingly super-wide field of view and achieve incredible sharpness all the way to the periphery, placing them at the very pinnacle of Nikon binocular history.