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 Follow us back in time and discover how a Japanese pencil-producer became an internationally operating and highly successful company. A company with products for almost every application and price range. 


1913 Mr. Harunosuke Ogawa founds Messrs. Tombow. Specialty: production of pencils.


1927  Foundation of the brand Tombow
1929 Upon request by the Japanese Government, Tombow develops and produces a pencil for technical drawing


1946  Development of a pencil sharpener


1958 Tombow starts producing felt-tip pens and ballpoint pens


1964 Introduction of mechanical pencils
1967 Tombow develops MONO 100 – an acknowledged top quality pencil


1971 Tombow is the first Japanese manufacturer to produce glue sticks
1974 Development of Tombow markers without hazardous solvents
1975 Introduction of ultra-polymer leads for mechanical pencils
1979 Tombow Pen & Pencil GmbH in Cologne is founded as subsidiary responsible for the distribution on the European market


1982 Tombow presents roll pens with a capillary system for liquid ink
1983 American Tombow Inc. is founded as subsidiary responsible for the distribution Tombow products on the North American market
1984 Development of a cartridge with a capillary system for ink rollers containing water-resistant and non-fading pigment ink
1984 Introduction of ABT Dual Brush Pens, a marker with two tips
1986 First design products named ZOOM: Super Pen Havanna and an extra flat mechanical pencil
1987 Design Collections ZOOM 707, EGG and Classic are introduced
1988 Haus Industrieform, Essen awards ZOOM 707 as „Best of the Best“
1989 „Design Plus“ for ZOOM 707 by Frankfurt International Fair


1990 Development of Design-Collection Surge – exclusive ink roller with 22 carats gold or bicolor
1990 Industrie Forum Design Hannover gives iF-Award to Tombow for the Havanna Collection
1991 Introduction of the Monotech-Series – a new generation of mechanical pencils for professional use
1993 Tombow Oceanic is developed. A famous writing instrument with natural roots
1995 The Original MONO Sideway is introduced into the market. It is the first correction tape with a sideway system
1996 MONO Sideway wins after one year in the market the „red dot award“ and „iF Design Award“ for highest product design and quality
1996 Development of Object Collection in black and silver colour. One year later additional colours are presented – it´s a popular classic till this day
1997 The glue rollers MONO Adhesive capture the market in a permanent and non-permanent version
1998 The timeless ZOOM 980 series is introduced
1998 The European Centre Tombow Pen & Pencil GmbH moves from Cologne to Kelsterbach
1999 Introduction of MONO Highlighters. Exceptional product, as it works dry and can be erased easily with the finger


2000 Just in time for the „Millennium“ Tombow introduces the high-class ZOOM. Tombow (Thailand) Co., Ltd receives ISO Certificate 9002
2001 Tombow Pencil Co., Ltd receives ISO Certificate 9001
2003 The second production facility outside of Japan starts in Hoh Chi Minh City
2004 With ZOOM 727, LADIES Collection and the XPA three new writing instruments are introduced. The ZOOM 727 directly wins the „iF Award“ of Industrie Forum Designs Hannover
2006 Right after the launch of the possibly thinnest multifunctional writing investment of the world the Zoom 414 receives the important Design Awards iF award and red dot award 2006.
2007 Launch of the probably lightest writing instrument of the world – the Zoom 101 Collection. The body consists of 100% Carbon and the unbelievable light weight of 14g is very well balanced.
2008 Tombow captures the world of artists, scrapbooker and card maker with the Creative Collection. The Creative Collection from Tombow offers a large variety of products for the creative hobby. Sketching, drawing, painting, scrapbooking, rubber stamping, glueing....Have fun with Tombow!
2008 Due to the worldwide patented air-pressure technique, the AirPress Pen can be used “everywhere”. Even writing on wet paper or writing overhead is no problem for the AirPress Pen.
2008 With its length of only 11 cm, the “ZOOM 717”, the latest and shortest dragonfly ever even fits into the most common timer systems. The mat-silver-coloured body is complemented by 3 different grips and clip-balls: cool blue, pastel pink or soft orange.
2009 Another award-winning Tombow product: The brandnew ballpoint pen PFit receives the red dot design award when being launched.
2009 Finally! Good news for all designers, drawing artists and fans of perfect pencils: The world famous MONO 100 - Tombow´s highest quality pencil is now also available in Europe.


2010 A brilliant start for Tombow into the new decade: The products PFit and MONO Zero receive the renowned "iF product design award 2010".
2010 Launch of the ONBOOK Pen which is the ideal attendant for notebooks as it fits due to its special form perfectly down the spine or cover of a book.
2010 The award-winning story continues: The products AirPress Pen and MONO Zero receive the renowned "red dot award 2010".
2011 ONBOOK and MONO YSE are awarded with iF Award
2011 Tombow Pen & Pencil GmbH relocates to Moerfelden-Walldorf
2012 OLNO and PN-SLS receive red dot award
2013 Tombow celebrates its 100th anniversary
2013 New company logo is globally introduced
2013 Completely new brand image implemented in Europe
2014 The extra-slim MONO smart eraser receives the iF product design award
2015 Another design award for Tombow: The Maxi Power Tape adhesive stick receives the iF product design award
2016 Tombow’s website is relaunched – for the first time with its own web shop
2016 Tombow is one of the first manufacturers to adopt the hand lettering trend and launches a campaign based on ABT dual brush pens with the famous lettering artist ‘Frau Hölle’
2016 red dot award for the propelling pencil MONO graph
2017 The new MONO air 4 makes erasing easier and more convenient than ever before thanks to high-quality Air Technology
2017 In collaboration with lettering artist ‘Frau Hölle’, Tombow launches two lettering sets for beginners and advanced users
2018 TwinTone markers are added to the creative range