History overview

Introduces major business- and product-related events at various points in time from 1917, when Nikon was established with the aim of starting domestic production of optical instruments, up until the present day.

Year

Business
(Important business topics, business expansion and establishment of subsidiaries)

Products and others

1917

Two of Japan's leading optical manufacturers – the Optical Instruments Department of Tokyo Keiki Seisakusho and Reflecting Mirror Department of Iwaki Glass Manufacturing – merged with capital investment from Koyata Iwasaki, the President of Mitsubishi, to form a comprehensive, fully integrated optical company known as Nippon Kogaku K.K. (Merged with Fujii Lens Manufacturing immediately after establishment).

1918

Oi Dai-ichi Plant (now Oi Plant) completed

1921

MIKRON 4x and 6x ultra-small-prism binoculars are marketed

Inviting German engineers

1925

JOICO Microscope is marketed

1927

Established the mass production of optical glass

1931

An 8-inch astronomical telescope is installed at Tokyo Science Museum (today's National Museum of Nature and Science)

1932

NIKKOR is adopted as brand name for camera lenses

1933

Delivery of Aero-NIKKOR, a NIKKOR lens designed for aerial photography

1946

Pointal ophthalmic lens is marketed

Nikon brand name is adopted for small-sized cameras

1947

Tilting Level E and Transit G surveying instruments are marketed

1948

Nikon Model I small-sized camera is marketed

Model I profile projector is marketed

1949

Listed on both Tokyo and Osaka stock exchanges

1950

The New York Times introduces the superior features of Nikon cameras and NIKKOR lenses to the world

1952

Nikkor Club is established to promote photography culture

1953

Nikon Optical Co., Inc. (now Nippon Kogaku (U.S.A.) Inc.) is established in the U.S.

1954

Model SM stereoscopic microscope is marketed

1957

Nikon SP rangefinder camera is marketed

1959

SLR camera, the Nikon F is marketed

1961

Nikon AG is established in Switzerland as the first subsidiary in Europe

1962

Ultra Micro-NIKKOR high-resolution optical lenses are marketed

1963

NIKONOS all-weather camera is marketed

Management buy-in of Sakura Electronic Industries, Ltd.

1967

Oi Plant's Ofuna site (now Yokohama Plant) is built

1968

Photo gallery Ginza Nikon Salon is opened (Osaka Nikon Salon is opened in 1974)

K.K. Tachibana Seisakusho is established

Rotary encoder RIE digital measuring instrument is marketed

Nikon Europe N.V. (now Nikon Europe B.V.) is established in the Netherlands

1969

Call for entry for the 1st Nikon Photo Contest International (now Nikon Photo Contest)

1971

Nikon Photomic FTN is mounted on Apollo 15

Sendai Nikon Corporation is established

MND-2 extra-long-distance meter is marketed

Oi Plant's Sagamihara site (now Sagamihara Plant) is built

Nikon Vertriebs GmbH (after Nikon GmbH) is established in West Germany (now Germany)

Nikon F2 is marketed

Development of Extra-low Dispersion (ED) Glass

1973

Sakura Electronic Industries, Ltd. renamed as Tochigi Nikon Corporation

1976

Biophot and Metaphot microscopes are marketed

1977

K.K. Tachibana Seisakusho renamed as Mito Nikon Corporation

Development of the Nikon F2 Titanium Uemura Special

1978

Nikko Engineering Co., Ltd. is established

Nikon Canada Inc. is established in Canada

1979

Nikon U.K. Ltd. is established in the U.K.

1980

Nikon F3 SLR camera is marketed

Acquires all shares of Kurobane Optical Co., Ltd.

NSR-1010G Step-and-Repeat System (stepper) for manufacturing VLSIs is marketed

1981

Nikon Americas Inc. is established in the U.S.

TITEX titanium ophthalmic frame is marketed

Acquires Ehrenreich Photo-Optical Industries, Inc., renames it as Nikon Inc. and makes it a wholly owned subsidiary

Nikon Fieldscope is marketed

Zao Nikon Co., Ltd. is established

1982

OPTISTATION IC wafer inspection system is marketed

Nikon Precision Inc. is established in the U.S.

1983

Nikon L35AF autofocus compact camera is marketed

Nikon F3AF SLR Camera is marketed

Alphaphot YS biological microscope series is marketed

1984

NT-1000 35mm film direct telephoto transmitter is marketed

NSR-1010i3 Step-and-Repeat System (stepper) is marketed

Kumagaya Plant is built

1985

Total Station DTM-1 surveying instrument is marketed

1986

Nikon Hong Kong Ltd. is established in Hong Kong

Nikon Systems Inc. is established

TRISTATION 600 and 600M three-dimensional coordinate measuring machines are marketed

Nikon F-501 autofocus SLR camera is marketed

Nikon France S.A. (after Nikon France S.A.S.) is established in France, starts operations from January 1987

NSR-L7501G large substrate exposure system is marketed

1987

Nikon Tec Corporation is established and starts operations from July 1987

1988

NSR-1505EX excimer stepper is marketed

Nikon Photo Products Inc. is established and starts operations from April 1988

Renamed as Nikon Corporation on April 1

LS-3500 35mm film scanner is marketed

Kurobane Optical Co., Ltd. renamed as Kurobane Nikon Co., Ltd.

Nikko Engineering Co., Ltd. renamed as Nikon Engineering Co., Ltd.

Nikon Precision Europe GmbH is established in West Germany (now Germany)

1990

Nikon Precision Korea Ltd. is established in Korea

Nikon (Thailand) Co., Ltd. is established in Thailand and starts production from January 1992

1991

Mito Plant is built

Nikon Kft. is established in Hungary

1992

Nikonos RS underwater AF SLR camera is marketed

Nikon Instech Co., Ltd. is established

Nikon Geotecs Co., Ltd. (integrating seven sales companies in Japan) is formed

Nikon Optical Co., Ltd. (consolidating eyeglass sales department) is formed

1993

Nikon Technologies, Inc., Nikon Life Co., Ltd., and Nikon Logistics Co., Ltd. are established

Nikon Instruments S.p.A. is established in Italy

1994

Nikon s.r.o is established in the Czech Republic

1995

NEXIV series CNC video measuring system is marketed

E2 and E2s digital still cameras are marketed

NSR-S201A lens-scanning KrF excimer stepper is marketed

Nikon Singapore Pte Ltd. is established in Singapore

Nikon Precision Taiwan Ltd. is established in Taiwan

Nikon Svenska AB is established in Sweden

1996

Nikon Research Corporation of America is established in the U.S.

Nikon Fieldmicroscope is marketed

ECLIPSE E800 biological microscope for research is marketed

1997

COOLPIX 100 and 300 digital cameras are marketed

Guang Dong Nikon Camera Co., Ltd. is established in China

1999

Total Station GF-212 and 215C surveying instruments are marketed

Nanjing Nikon Jiangnan Optical Instrument Co., Ltd. is established in China

D1 digital SLR camera is marketed

Hang Zhou Nikon Camera Co., Ltd. is established in China

The surveying instrument business is spun off and integrated into Nikon Geotecs Co., Ltd.

2000

Nikon-Essilor Co., Ltd., a joint venture with Essilor International of France, is established

Nikon Eyewear Co., Ltd. is established, and the frame and sunglasses business transferred from Nikon Optical Co., Ltd.

Optical-infrared Subaru Telescope employs Nikon's Faint Object Camera And Spectrograph (FOCAS) and High Dispersion Spectrograph (HDS)

Nikon Precision Singapore Pte. Ltd. is established in Shingapore

FX-21S LCD scanner is marketed

Nikon Instruments Inc. is spun off and starts operations

Nikon Tsubasa Inc. is established

Nikon Holdings Europe B.V. is established in the Netherlands

2001

Nikon Vision Co., Ltd. is established (Telescope Division is spun off)

Nikon (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. starts operations in Malaysia

2002

Nikon Instruments Europe B.V. starts operations in the Netherlands

NSR-S306C lens-scanning ArF excimer stepper is announced

Nikon Imaging (China) Co., Ltd. is established in China

Nikon Precision Shanghai Co., Ltd. is established in China

2003

Brand Symbol for Nikon Group is introduced

Nikon-Trimble Co., Ltd., a joint venture with Trimble Navigation Ltd. (now Trimble Inc.) of the U.S., starts business operations

Nikon Instruments (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. in China starts operations

Nikon Polska Sp. z o.o. starts operations in Poland

2004

Yokohama Plant Yokosuka Branch (now Yokosuka Plant) is built

Nikon F6 SLR camera is marketed

Hikari Glass Co., Ltd. becomes a wholly owned subsidiary

2005

Nikon Instruments Korea Co., Ltd. starts operations in Korea

Nikon Imaging (China) Sales Co., Ltd. starts operations in China

2006

Nikon Imaging Korea Co., Ltd. starts operations in Korea

NSR-S609B ArF immersion scanner is marketed

Nikon Australia Pty Ltd starts operations in Australia

2007

BioStation CT cell culture observation system is marketed

Nikon Business Service Co., Ltd. is formed (Nikon Life Co., Ltd., Nikon Logistics Co., Ltd. and Nikon Technologies, Inc. merged)

Tochigi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd. is established

Nikon International Trading (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd. starts operations in China

Nikon India Private Limited starts operations in India

Mito Nikon Corporation renamed as Mito Nikon Precision Corporation

D3 digital SLR camera is marketed

2008

Nikon (Russia) LLC. starts operations in Russia

Nikon Photo Products Inc. renamed as Nikon Imaging Japan Inc.

Sendai Nikon Precision Corporation is established

FX-101S FPD scanner is marketed

2009

Nikon Mexico S.A. de C.V. starts operations in Mexico

Metris NV becomes Nikon Metrology NV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nikon Corporation in Belgium

Tochigi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd. merges with Mito Nikon Precision Corporation

Zao Nikon Co., Ltd. merges with Sendai Nikon Precision Corporation

Zao Nikon Co., Ltd. renamed as Miyagi Nikon Precision Co., Ltd.

2010

NSR-S620 ArF immersion scanner is marketed

D3S and D3X digital SLR cameras, and NIKKOR lenses are used in the International Space Station (ISS)

N-SIM and N-STORM super resolution microscopes are marketed

Nikon Holdings Hong Kong Limited is established in Hong Kong

HN-6060 non-contact multi-sensor 3D metrology system is marketed

2011

Nikon Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd. starts operations in Thailand

Nikon do Brasil Ltda. starts operations in Brazil

Nikon 1 J1 and V1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lenses are marketed

2012

D4 digital SLR camera is marketed

Nikon Middle East FZE starts operations in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

2013

PT Nikon Indonesia starts operations in Indonesia

Nikon Lao Co., Ltd. is established in Laos

Nikon Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. is established in Singapore

SPRINT-A HISAKI—the Spectroscopic Planet Observatory for Recognition of Interaction of Atmosphere is equipped with a primary mirror developed by Nikon

2014

Nikon Latin America, S.A. starts operations in Panama

2015

Compact Digital Camera COOLPIX P900 is marketed

Optos Plc becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Nikon Corporation in the U.K.

Nikon CeLL innovation Co., Ltd. is established

HN-C3030 non-contact sensor 3D metrology system is marketed

N-STORM 4.0 super resolution microscope is marketed

The Nikon Museum is opened

2016

NSR-S631E ArF immersion scanner is marketed

D5 digital SLR camera is marketed

FX-68S FPD scanner is marketed

Nikon CEE GmbH starts operations in Austria

Achieved a total production of 100 million NIKKOR lenses for interchangeable lens cameras

KeyMission 360, KeyMission 170 and KeyMission 80 are marketed

Mark Roberts Motion Control Limited becomes a wholly owned subsidiary

ECLIPSE Ti2 inverted research microscope is marketed

2017

Tochigi Nikon Corporation merges with Kurobane Nikon Co., Ltd.

WX series binoculars are marketed

Nikon celebrates its 100th anniversary

D850 digital SLR camera is marketed

2018

FX-103S and FX-103SH FPD scanner is marketed

FX-format mirrorless camera Z 7 is marketed

Nikon Healthcare Japan Inc. is formed by making Chuo Sangio Co. a subsidiary and merging Chuo Sangio Co. and Optos KK

2019

Lasermeister 100A optical processing machine is marketed

Nikon BioImaging Lab is established in Boston, U.S.A.

2020

Nikon Nisso Prime Co., Ltd. is established as a Nikon/NISSO CORPORATION joint venture

C3 eMotion, intelligent actuator unit for robotic joints of collaborative robot is marketed

D6 digital SLR camera is marketed

10x25 STABILIZED binoculars are marketed

ECLIPSE Ei educational microscope is marketed

APDIS series large-volume non-contact measuring system is marketed

Nikon Solutions Co., Ltd. starts operations by merging
Nikon Healthcare Japan Inc. and Nikon Instech Co., Ltd.

Nikon Salons are consolidated in Shinjuku Tokyo, Nikon Salon Ginza and Osaka are closed

2021

Acquires majority ownership of Morf3D Inc.