Paris sous la neige. Snow in Paris. France. image by Blue Moon from Fotolia.com

In 1847, Louis-Francois Cartier took over the jewelry shop in Paris where he had been an apprentice to Adophe Picard. The Cartier brand slowly began to gain notice and in 1856, Princess Mathilde (a cousin to Napoleon) made her first purchase from the Cartier store. Cartier released the first jewelry watch in a bracelet style for women in 1888. Since that time, Cartier watches have remained a popular luxury item for both men and women. There are a few ways to identify the model of a Cartier watch.

Place the watch facedown on a soft surface, such as a clean towel.

Look for two series of numbers on the back of the watch case.

Find the four-digit number on the back of the watch case. This is the model number. The eight-digit number with letters is the serial number. Both numbers are used to identify the Cartier model.

Look up the model number in a reference book of Cartier watches, available at your local library, a bookstore or online. An example of such a book is "Cartier–Watch Catalog." You also can go to a website–such as Orbita or About Time–that lists Cartier model numbers or serial numbers to correctly identify the watch.