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10-2-2020 11:29:37  #1

Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

Which would you choose and why?  What are the strong and weak points of each?

I have my eye on pretty nice examples of each.  I am looking for usability AND collectability.  I'm talking about the more rounded l ooking 3000, not the more squared off one.

Thanks in advance.


10-2-2020 12:23:51  #2

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

I guess the Hermes is more valuable from a collectability standpoint, particularly the rounded (first) version. Olympia made a lot of SM3s. I've relatively recently gotten a Hermes and I agree, it's a nice machine indeed. Nice typing feel. But the same can be said of the SM3 -- and it's a faster typer I think, and its precision and solidity is pretty hard to beat.

I think the main question to decide is whether you like the feel of the basket shift (Hermes) or the carriage shift of the SM3. I do find that the shifting of the SM3 is a little too heavy for my taste. I know that can be adjusted to some extent, but I haven't tried it.

The Hermes also has keyset tabulation, while the SM3 requires you to manually set the tabs on the back. If you rarely use tab settings then this isn't much of an issue. (The SM4 has a keyset tabulator, in case you're interested.)


10-2-2020 12:32:17  #3

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

As far as looks go, in my opinion anyway, the 3000 is really nice looking, and the SM3 looks kinda bland.  
I intend to collect, more than use. But I want to be able to type a letter every once in a while. 

     Thread Starter

10-2-2020 13:02:57  #4

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

Strong points:
They can be good typewriter if they are well kept or have been serviced. 

Weak points: 
Check for the brittle platen knobs and also the margin marker ribbon in the Hermes, they tend to break. 

Weird points:
The typewriter collectors are no longer searching for rare machines and there is something as "the best machines" based on some bs technical characteristics and attractive history or aesthetics. I would choose none of them. I have had them both, got rid of them. 



10-2-2020 13:09:28  #5

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

What is the margin marker ribbon?  

     Thread Starter

10-2-2020 13:16:30  #6

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

It is a red ribbon that goes inside the paper bail, I think is called the margin indicator, and when you move the margins it moves inside the paper bail accordingly so you can see where the margins are set. 


10-2-2020 13:48:22  #7

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

How does the Baby compare to the 3000? 

     Thread Starter

10-2-2020 15:04:21  #8

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

Half the size, half the features, easy to keep in a corner, not really nice to type for long...  another league really. In desirability they look alike, overpriced chunks of metal. 

As tip for a beginner collecting: to make a "standard" collection with SM3, round Hermes 3000, Lettera 22, Groma Kolibri, a cursive or vogue font and the rest of usual boring suspects is going to be very difficult, just because all the collectors want the same now... Think out of the box, try typewriters, make mistakes, and then learn from them! 


10-2-2020 15:21:42  #9

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

I also collect antique radios from the 1930's. I find that when I find a minty or excellent example, a choice has to be made on whether to pay a little more, settle for a mediocre copy, or wait it out for a lower price on a minty one. The problem with waiting is, old antiques in excellent shape are getting very scare so the wait can be quite long to forever.

My house is already full of antique radios, so I need to pick typewriters that I intend on keeping. I have space for maybe a dozen. 

     Thread Starter

10-2-2020 17:38:46  #10

Re: Hermes 3000 or Olympia SM3?

If I could only own one it would be either the SM3 or SM4. Hermes made very nice typewriters but models like the first generation 3000 are overengineered and are now overpriced. Some of this was discussed in this thread as was the ribbon used for indicating the margin positions. I also really like the look of the SM models, and if you wanted them to be more flashy a change of paint gives them a more dramatic appearance.

Stay Safe! 

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