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.


Lucio Del Piccolo said...

So, what should be the price?
made in Italy where?
It should be funny to discover a chinese repro.

Wootha said...

The Bon Trading machines are selling for around A$400, which is very similar to the La Sorrentina price. There are very few vintage Atomics on offer right now, but prices seem to peak at around US$300-350. So all prices are in a very narrow band right now. Of course, this could be just coincidence, or a temporary state of affairs.

The BT machines just say "Made in Italy". I have no idea where. But I think I know why. It is to brand the BT machines as more "genuine" than the other new models.