Cremina killer……that is so funny! Comparing Swiss manufacturing (and price) to a new machine with issues that is built in Birmingham by Fracino. Now, do not get me wrong. I have had a few Fracino models, namely the Heavenly and the Cherub and the Piccino and they were absolutely fine back in the day. I liked the Heavenly so much I had 2 or 3 of them. But, Fracino seem to have built their name and market either overseas or in the catering market in the UK. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. A British made and designed machine, but, in my humble opinion when you mention a brand you build up a picture. Think of KVdW for example.
The Londinium range are built by Fracino. They use a lot of off the shelf parts (as many machines do). SO I am unsure once the fairy dust has been sprinkled, how the Londinium range suddenly appear to be top end machines. What is this based on? I would quite like to try one of the Fracino Retro lever machines though looking at its specs it has a 7 litre boiler suggesting it is more aimed at the commercial/catering market than the domestic, so that is indeed a shame.
I owned a Cremina for a year or so. It was a joy to own simply because it was without issue for me making one or two cups at a time 3 or 4 times a day. Having converted over to the 54mm pf size I am sold on smaller deeper baskets. I also have a La Pavoni (that I do not really like) and an Arrarex Caravel that I adore playing with every of now and again. The Cremina I had was a ’67 model, probably from the early seventies. This made it around 50 years old and when I say it was still going strong I meant it! I maybe wrong but for example they use,
"Inside, we use nothing but stainless steel, chrome and brass – even the boiler is made from chrome steel.: (source https://www.olympia-express.ch/en/products/arguments)
You have to pay for real quality. It would be interesting to know why the Vectis chassis for example, is still made of Zintec powder coated iron. I seriously doubt that it will make the 50 year mark! The water fill system on the Vectis is interesting and some acknowledgement has to be given for that. Personally my work routine on every machine I have owned is before I switch it on to check the water level! That way I know it is set for the day. The Vectis has a glass tube clearly showing the volume in the reservoir so why is so much importance placed on the fill method? Some might think it very important, others not so.
It is a long time to wait, but I suspect in another 50 years the Cremina will still be going strong!