In 1945, Marcel Bich and his partner, Edouard Buffard, bought an empty factory near Paris, France. Bich’s knowledge of the writing instrument trade, gained while working as a production manager for an ink maker, had them starting with production of fountain pen parts and mechanical lead pencils.
Marcel Bich was born in Turin, Italy on July 29, 1914, the son of a Aosta Valley engineer, Aime Mario Bich, who held the title Baron which had been conferred on his great-grandfather, Emmanuel Bich in 1841. Bich became a French citizen in his thirties before studying law at the University of Paris.
Bich was a keen sailor. He funded four campaigns to compete in the trials to select a challenger for the America's Cup in 1970, 1974, 1977 and 1980, and was inducted, posthumously, into the America's Cup Hall of Fame in 1998.