I've had my trusty Atomic for a couple of years (the most useful birthday present ever), my brother visited me in Sydney recently and wanted one so I purchased one on E-bay for him. Thankfully it's not one of the increasingly "popular" fakes.
Having got it home and comparing it with my own atomic I've noticed a couple of minor differences. My machine has no label but the recess is there so I don't know if there ever was one. The other one has a label but just the Atomic label not a Bon Trading label.
I've also noticed the shape of the base is slightly different my machine is slightly more curved whereas the other has straighter sides. One also has a longer frothing arm than the other.
Obviously there are some very noticable differences with some machines, the "original" as in the patent diagram, those with the second red knob, and the later coloured machines. But does anyone have any information about when these different machines were in production. Frederick, I've read in your articles that those machines with the Bon Trading label aren't "that" old, but just how old is that? And what about the machines with the Bou Trading label, what years were those machines from?
Anyway just curious really, if anyone has any answers, I'd really like to know.
Talk about coincidences! I made a batch with an earlier one and there is a difference in performance.
As you probably know by now, the owners of Bon and myself have grown very close. We talked for over 5 hours on the last week of February alone.
The last batch brought in for Bon Trading was in the early eighties. They were labeled ATOMIC cappuccino maker. The base of the neck is slightly thicker.
The small batch of BOU was the first batch brought in Australia with the merchant's name. This dates from the sixties.
If you perused all of the articles or answers given in the archives, you would have a better idea of the chronology of this design.
The extra shaft affair was an attempt by the manufacturer to correct the user's inability to successfully froth.
As for the straight side of the boiler, it may be that you have a Sassoon made model. These were made in England under license. I will be getting a copy of the agreement with Giordanni.
There are some differences all over. Over the years the manufacturer tweaked the original design.
In summary: The biggest volume of sales was done in Australia, they are almost inexistant in their place of birth Italy and a coffee table book is in the works as we speak to satisfy the demand for information.
Last note, correspondance is going back and forth between other fanatics and myself. We are doing our best to make the vendors state that they are selling copies. Soon these will be labeled ATOM
In the meantime, look for a steel colored shaft for the frother. Those are the fakes, the originals have a brass shaft. I must admit , the photographs that they use are very well chosen and do not show the discrepencies.
DO NOT hesitate to contact us (me) with the number of the article that you are considering. I will get back as soon as possible with a clear verdict on it's authenticity.
I just checked on availability of the copies on the internet auction house. The vendors took off some pictures and it is getting increasingly difficult to verify the authenticity. Nevertheless, the filter that goes into the portafiller (group or coffee holder with the long handle) should have STRAIGHT sides and a perfect finish on the outside, not polished but with no tool marks either. If they show the inside of this filter, a quick giveaway is the random piercing of the holes.