Luxury watchmaker Philippe Charriol killed in car accident

Charriol (above, in a 2013 file photo) had a passion for fast cars and had long frequented major race circuits.
Charriol (above, in a 2013 file photo) had a passion for fast cars and had long frequented major race circuits.ST FILE PHOTO

MARSEILLE (AFP) - Frenchman Philippe Charriol, founder of the luxury watch and jewellery brand that bears his name, was killed in an car accident at the Le Castellet racing track in south-east France on Wednesday (Feb 27), a circuit official said.

"During a car-racing session that was taking place on the Circuit Paul Ricard... French driver Philippe Charriol was the victim of an accident on the Mistral straight," circuit director Stephane Clair said in a statement.

Despite receiving emergency treatment at the track and being rushed to a hospital in Marseille, the 77-year-old succumbed to his injuries.

Charriol, originally from Marseille, had a passion for fast cars and had long frequented major race circuits, said Clair, offering his condolences to the entrepreneur's family "and to his many friends".

He founded the "Charriol" brand in 1983, specialising in luxury watches as well as jewellery, perfume, and accessories.

The company, based in Geneva, has a network of 285 shops around the world, as well as 3,800 sales points.

Le Castellet hosted last year's French Formula One Grand Prix.