“57 Varieties” was the advertising slogan that told consumers about the numerous products available from the H.J. Heinz Company. These days it has come to mean anything that is made from a large number of parts or origins, so it’s a slogan that seems particularly apt in a typewriterly context.

A good variety of typewriters were manufactured in 1957. Typewriters like my Remington Senior-Riter (Torpedo 18) …

Snr-RiterT18-Langle0

… or this 1957 Hermes Baby, which I stumbled upon at a car boot sale last weekend …

HermesBaby1957_C

… or better still, this 1957 Triumph Perfekt, the last in the batch of German typewriters I bought in Fremantle, Western Australia

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For its size, this Triumph Perfekt is remarkably heavy. With the added bulk of a case (which I don’t have) it’d be barely portable.

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Don’t get me wrong, I’d much prefer to carry it around in a case. In fact, if I could find a “crazed” one like I dream lo-tech’s, I’d be more than happy.

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The carriage mechanism on this Triumph Perfekt is so buttery soft, so silkily smooth, so whisper-quiet, it requires minimum human effort to return it.

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The typing feel is effortless too. Not quite as snappy as my Torpedo 30 but that’s no bad thing when you consider that the sound of a Torpedo can be quite jarring.

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Plenty of mileage left!

PerfektGoldType

Great typewriter, great typeface.

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But how does it compare with the 7 other German typewriters I bought as a batch? Here are my rankings (first to last) based purely on the examples I own and their comparative condition. Your experience may, of course, be different.

1 – 1970 Olympia Color-tip S (SM9) 

A scriptwriter’s dream machine – sure it’s a little bashed up, but this is a typewriter with a spaciously easy-going nature and a gorgeously large typeface.

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2 – 1954 Erika 11

A very compact yet solid typewriter with an understated charm. Pristine condition. I fell in love.

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3 – 1954 Gossen Tippa

Surely the ultimate in ultra-flat typewriters? All I have to compare it with (ultra-flat-wise) is a 1959 Groma Kolibri. It’s better.

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4 – 1957 Triumph Perfekt

Nice to use, even better to look at. The typing feel is good, but if I had to make a criticism, the keytops aren’t as good as they could be.

PerfektGold_rprof

5 – 1963 Torpedo 30

Another great looker. Super-snappy, but unfortunately this Torpedo has a cheaper build quality than earlier Torpedos. A good typewriter to use when you want to let off some steam. Like a sub-machine gun, they’re devastatingly effective in short bursts!

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6 – 1969 Olympia SF De Luxe

Spring-loaded keytops. What an efficient little typewriter. Business-like in both design and operation.

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7 – 1952 Groma Modell N

I feel guilty about not liking this typewriter more. It’s grey, it’s austere, it gives off a bad vibe.

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8 – 1968 Triumph Tippa S

You’d be right in thinking this typewriter bears some similarity to the Olympia SF De Luxe (above). But you’d be wrong if you thought it was anywhere near the same quality.

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As tinny as a can of Heinz soup …

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