Monday, 31 October 2011


Olivetti pmc elite 44 on eBay UK for £65
Having wondered about the Jet Age's influence on the naming of Cameron's Webster XL-747, you have to wonder about the Space Age influence on these two Sottsass Olivettis. They could easily have been the first typewriters in space, if styling is anything to go by. I have never seen anything like them before, and now two at once.

The leather-look trim on satin metallic echoes SLR camera design, the covering aids grip. But the font on the keys of the machine above is pure sci-fi and much more at home here than it was on the Valentine. For these reasons, and my complete lack of a portable Olivetti, I'm tempted... if only they weren't priced so highly. 

The pmc elite is the better looking (and has a silver/black, leatherette case!), but the DL has the Olivetti logo up front. Is the pmc a licensed clone?

I think they are stylistic variants based on the prolific Lettera 32 print engine.
The best info I can find is on DE SCHRIJFMACHINIST.

Olivetti DL on eBay UK for £90


  1. Typewriter Alley has one that looks like this that I think is badged a Lettera but the number escapes me.

  2. This is usually the Olivetti Lettera 33 or DL. Never heard of PMC elite. I have always found them quite striking, and have been looking for one for some time. I'm sure it is the same mechanism as the 32, though, which we already have.

    Oh, can you believe I once found the case for this exact typewriter at the flea market... and it was empty???!!! Bought it anyway, so now we have the spiffy silver-and-black leatherette case housing a very humble L22. Which fits fine. But still, to have been so close... *sigh*

  3. Well Adwoa, these are out of my league, and the auction is still 'live'. It would be nice to give one a good home.

  4. The PMC elite's "back" key looks amazing. Want to type on it. :)

  5. They are both wonderful-looking machines, but not enough to pay that kind of money, alas. Out of my league, as well.

    It is fascinating to see how that period of history, "The Space Age" -- especially between the Moon landing and the later advent of personal computers, influenced many typewriter names and designs.

  6. I absolutely love this design. Olivetti Lettera 33/DL has always been on my wish list.

  7. You know, Ton, I actually thought of you when I saw it!

  8. I can remember when this machine was introduced and all of us kids wanted one just because it was beautiful. No, nobody I knew wanted a Valentine, we thought it was too plasticky and junky looking! I know F.F. Coppola wrote The Godfather on one of these 33's. I own one now, a pretty rough example, and yes, it's a 32 under its beautiful exterior. That vinyl-y finish is really very durable, strangely enough! Never saw that rebadge over here, anyway. RK/Texas

  9. I've actually got one- the case has a "5" marked on the front. Oh, and I'm in Texas, and mine has a red-badge. The liner says, "case and typewriter made in Spain." I adore it, but to be honest there's no space for it...and I'd let it go for a lot less than 90 pounds...;)

  10. What is the latest model they are currently selling at Olivetti?

    1. I'm not aware that Olivetti sell typewriters any more.