Today Nikon is a world-renowned brand, firmly established as a market leader in optical instrumentation and the only microscope company to manufacture its own glass, ensuring the very finest quality assurance throughout production. With 100 years expertise in the field, Nikon has always been at the forefront of optical and technological innovation, promoting creativity and trustworthiness as part of the company's global mission statement.
The Nikon story began back in 1917 when three Japanese optical manufacturers merged to form a company known as Nippon Kogaku KK ('Japan Optics'), producing precision optical glass. In 1925 the brand expanded to produce the first microscope with a revolving nosepiece and interchangeable objectives - the Joico microscope.
The next few decades brought considerable growth to the microscopy division, ground-breaking polarising and stereo microscopes were introduced in addition to products for the increasing measuring and inspection market. Next to the microscopes, Nikon also introduced optical inspection systems for industrial applications, such as optical comparators, autocollimators, profile projector and automated vision based systems.
In the 1970s the CF Optical system was established and Nikon unveiled the Optiphot and Labophot microscopes. In the 1980's Nikon launched more than 80 new products and the first test tube babies were conceived in the UK (1978) and the USA (1980) with the assistance of a Nikon inverted Diaphot microscope. The 1990's brought yet more innovation with the introduction of the Eclipse range of infinity optics. The new Millennium saw the birth of digital imaging solutions for microscopy and Nikon once again led the market in providing superior and practical cameras to do this. The introduction of the DS camera series and the Coolscope heralded a further advances in the transfer of images across the globe. The future as always is unclear but what is obvious is the pace at which changes happen.