Sunday, April 19, 2009

Plus ca change...

Well, it's taken a while, but Bon Trading have finally delivered on their promise to import brand new Atomics. You can see one below. I haven't seen it personally, but I'm told it is a dead ringer for the vintage models, right down to the sample coffee grind in the manual and the bland cardboard box. With two important exceptions. First, as you can see in the top photo, the underside of the kettle has an embossed stamp on it saying "Made in Italy". The second, as you no doubt guessed, is the hole pattern in the baskets. This is circular rather than star-shaped, but since BT has been supplying the round pattern for several years, this is not a surprise.

It remains to be seen whether the market will come to regard these "modern" Atomics as simply a continuation of the vintage pedigree, or whether they will be viewed as yet another pretender to the Atomic throne alongside the La Sorrentina reproductions. The first clue is already here - prices for good vintage machines are flat, which might just be a reflection of the global economy, but maybe it also suggests buyers are happy to accept the modern versions for their looks alone. And prices for the modern versions have been set within a fairly narrow band, which might stabilise prices around this level, and provide a "ceiling price" for vintage machines. I guess we'll see.

My grateful thanks to Jon for the pics.