What to Look For

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What do I look for when buying?

We could write a book on this. Actually, we have. Some of the key things are:

General condition - the value, aesthetics and practicality of your Atomic will be influenced by obvious things such as completeness and cosmetic appearance. Check for all parts (body, jug, grinds holder, filter(s), head filter and screws, filler knob, steam rod if grinds holder has space for it.

Collectable condition - here, in addition to the above, factors to consider are the state of the badge, which badge, does it have a frother wand, are the instructions and/or box included? Has it been repolished or is the finish original? What colour is the bakelite knob on the frother?

Common faults - these include frozen filler knob, missing or rusted screws in the head filter, hard or damaged seals, faulty pressure valve in the filler knob, pressure cracks in the filler knob.

Authenticity - avoid cheap fakes. Yes they do exist. We have some hints on how to identify a fake Atomic.


How to identify fake Atomic

How can I tell if my Atomic is a fake?

In March 2006, reports surfaced of cheap fake Atomics coming on the market. Early reports identified models with a “Bou Trading” badge as being fakes, but as the fakes were modelled on a genuine batch, not every “Bou Trading” Atomic is a fake. And in time, it is reasonable to assume that the “Bou Trading” error will be corrected. Specific warning signs to watch out for are:

  • poor quality workmanship
  • casting plug at front of reservoir protrudes
  • steel steam valve rod instead of brass
  • horizontal moulding marks on grinds holder arm
  • machining marks on the jug

For a detailed, illustrated comparison of genuine and fake machines, check out the Lowercall website.