The Cartier Crash came about at an interesting moment in the history of the company. In 1967, Cartier London was the last of the three historic Cartier boutiques which were still being run by a member of the family – the boutiques, although connected historically, were independent businesses (Cartier New York was sold in 1962, and Cartier Paris, in 1966). To say it was a time of upheaval for traditional luxury is to say nothing at all. Cartier was the leading representative, bar none, of traditional European and French notions of luxury and had built its business on catering to the needs of royalty, and (especially in America) those aspiring to be royalty. In the 1960s, however, this white-glove approach to luxury was beginning to seem increasingly untenable and antiquated and as a gesture to the zeitgeist, Cartier London, under Jean-Jacques Cartier’s direction, produced a small handful of watches that were, for Cartier, as dramatic a break with tradition as it had ever known.