Philippe Charriol, Founder of Charriol, Has Died in a Car Accident
Philippe Charriol, founder of Swiss luxury watch and jewelry brand Charriol, passed away after a car accident in Le Castellet, Var on February 27.
“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.
Emergency treatment was given by on-site medics and paramedics, but he ultimately succumbed to his injuries after being transported to a hospital in Marseille Timone.
The company Charriol founded has released a statement on the tragedy. It reads: “Forever a trailblazer, determined and charismatic, Philippe Charriol broke out on his own in 1983, founding Charriol as a multi-product brand making Swiss watches, jewelry, accessories, fragrance, optical, eventually ready-to-wear, and even fine Bordeaux wine.”
The SSI Group, the brand’s exclusive distributor, has also expressed its grief. Anton Huang shares, “We, at the SSI Group, mourn the sudden passing of a valued partner of the Rustan Group and a dear friend of the Tantoco Family, Mr. Philippe Charriol. His dedication to the art of luxury retailing is truly an inspiration to his business partners, employees, and friends. Mr. Charriol was indeed a man of passion, and his success and the Filipino’s inherent love for the Charriol brand is a true testament to that. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
A keen racing driver, Charriol has competed in the French GT Championship. The entrepreneur also got a thrill from the Trophee Andros, an ice racing series in France. He told the South China Morning Post in 2006: “I drive very powerful, very light cars: four-wheel drive, centralized engine, 500 brake horsepower. It’s a crazy thing to drive but I love it. I am one of the 20 fastest men on ice in a car.”
Charriol was the first to use gold or steel cable as a motif as well as watch bracelets. This unique element has become a signature of the brand.
The entrepreneur had been regularly visiting the Philippines since the early ’70s. After establishing his brand, he flew to Manila at least twice a year to routinely check his boutiques. According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, his next visit was slated for March.
In a 2017 Inquirer article, he talked about his fondness for the Philippines: “The asset of this country is the charm of its people,” he said. “You’re very pleasant and charming, and service here is exceptional. In Pangulasian, people were attending to me, to do this and that. When I’m in Europe, there’s nobody! So I love that here.”