Sailor Pen Company was established in 1911 by Sakata Kyugoro. The company’s website has it that the inspiring event for both the company and its name is being shown a fountain pen by a British sailor; it is thus one of if not the oldest fountain pen maker in Japan. The date is also commemorated in the name of the company’s cornerstone model.
There is not much information available about the company’s history, alas, at least where I can lay my hands on it. One would assume that the Second World War had some effect upon them, especially its end; Sailor is based in Hiroshima. After the war, they apparently recovered well, getting into injection molding in 1949 in such a concentrated way that they now have a robotics division selling their developed technology to other companies. They claim to have been the first Japanese producer of cartridges for fountain pens, offering them in 1958, and they also seem to have started the strange long/short “pocket” pen body style in 1963.
The good news about there being very little information about the company on the loose is that there’s no depressing sense of a slow slide from power to ignominy, as appears in so many other long-established companies. They are, to all appearances, going great guns, despite a somewhat lacklustre website (the Japanese site is a little more zippy).
Models I’ve examined: