Typing by Numbers (Nakajima All)

Nakajima All portable electronic typewriters mostly came in pairs, even though a multitude of OEM’d brand name and model number variants were derived from those pairs.

Indeed, the number of models in each AX “series” are comparatively few (when compared with the very many AX series models manufactured by Brother Industries) and 3 of the 5 series listed below are comprised of a single pair.

For those series where more than two models exist, it’s convenient to name them by pairing the lowest-spec model with the highest-spec model in that group. This gives us:

AX 170-270 Series

  • 1986-1988 Models: AX 170, 210, 220, 240, 255, 270

With the exception of the AX-80/90 Series (see below) all Nakajima All-made portable e.t.s have a single left-hand platen knob and take a 100 character non-cassette printwheel.

Aesthetically, the best of Nakajima’s various portable series, but certainly not the most durable or reliable (the Achilles heel of these typewriters seems to be a weak solenoid motor/hammer …)

Big disc-shaped motor – tiny hammer – compare that to the AX-65 and its clear they not only put in a bigger hammer, but moved it closer to the spokes of the wheel:

In many cases, Nakajima supplied custom housings, platen knobs and colour schemes which matched the existing in-house models of its OEM clients. Derivatives include the Hermes Top-tronic 14A, Olivetti CX-440, Olympia XL-121, Remstar 193, AX-210, 220, 270, Royal Signet 193, 200, 210, Royal Alpha 115, 600, 600P, Beta 8000, Sears SR 1000/The Electronic Scholar, SR 2000/The Electronic Scholar II and Swintec 2500/Student.

AX 60/65 Series

  • 1987-1992 AX 60, 65

Manufactured in Japan, the number of OEM variants of the AX-60 and the AX-65 “series” is a lot smaller than the series that came before and after. Based on a comparison of the 3 (AX-170, AX-90, AX-65) models I currently own, these are possibly the most reliable and durable of any of Nakajima’s portable e.t.s.

In some cases, a custom colour scheme was used to match the existing in-house models of various OEM clients. Derivatives include the Casio CW 600, Facit T120, Top-writer TW60, Walther TW 60, Olympia Carrera II, Privileg Electronic 2200, Royal TQ 170, 720, and the Swintec 2400 DM.

A central band between the keyboard and the ribbon cover, is where the LCD screen is located, on those models that have one. The Casio CW-600 is a nicely coloured variant:

AX 70-90 Series

  • 1987-1989 Models: AX 70, 80, 90, 100

First released in April 1988, these portable e.t.s were sold extensively in the USA under the Sears and Royal brands and have a distinctive “bat-eared” 96 character cassette wheel which sets them apart from all other AX series Nakajima portables.

Another point of difference are two inset “dials” on either side of the platen, one on the left that rotates the platen in place of a more conventional platen knob, and another (fake dial) on the right that’s actually a paper release lever. These typewriters have a scooped or inset keyboard like those on many AEG Olympia compact and portable electronic typewriters.

In many cases, Nakajima supplied custom housings, platen knobs and colour schemes which matched the existing in-house models of its OEM clients. Derivatives include the Esselete 80, Facit T100/T150, International X12, 70X, 90X, Olympia Carrera S, Carrera MD, XL 500, XL 512, Remstar 181, AX-80, Royal Signet 10, 20, 25, 40, 45, 45T, 70, Sears SR 1000/Electronic Scholar, Sears Electronic I, Sears Electronic II, Sense GX 100, and Walther TW 80.

The Facit T100 (pictured below) is an exotic (Swedish-designed) variant:

AX 61/66 Series

  • 1990- Models: AX 61, 66, WPT 61, 65, 66

Manufactured in Japan, another series comprised of a pair: the AX-61 and the AX-66 (also sold under the Nakajima All brand as the WPT-61, 65, 66).

WPT models appear to be earlier variants with a better build quality. The WPT-65 (not be confused with the AX-65 of the AX 60/65 series) is an intermediate display model):

Stylistically, these typewriters are similar to the AX 60/65 series, with split ramparts and a triangulation at the top of the upper ramparts on either side of the keyboard. I don’t own one but looking at later models, pad-printed keycaps appear to be one indication of a cheaper build quality overall.

Again, while the overall styling remained the same, different colour schemes were used to match the existing in-house models of OEM clients. Derivatives include the Discom International-Rover 247ST, Sears Model 161, Sigma SM 4600 and Sysline ESM 1000.

AX 150/160 Series

  • 1992- Models: AX 150, 160, WPT 150, 160

Manufactured in Indonesia in the early 1990s, these typewriters have what appears (I don’t own one) to be a cheaper all-ABS build quality. A margin scale and an LCD display (on those models that have one) is inset between two ramparts left and right of the keyboard.

Derivatives include the Butec 5010, Eurostar SM4601, Facit T125, T165, Kovac E300, Royal Scriptor, Leader MD/II, Silver Reed AX 133 MD and the Swintec 2416/DM.

Years of manufacturer above are best guesses mostly based on advertising. If you have dating evidence for any of these models PLEASE SHARE 😉

2 thoughts on “Typing by Numbers (Nakajima All)

  1. Done. Thanks Ted – But I can’t edit the other link – Please can you fix it to be “https://etzone.org/2017/06/17/all-or-nakajima/” Cheers!

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