Philippe Charriol, founder of the Charriol watch and jewelry brand, died Wednesday at the age of 77.
The cause of death was injuries sustained in a car accident at the Le Castellet racing track in the South of France. Charriol was a native of Marseille and had a well-documented love affair with fast cars.
Representatives for Charriol’s brand could not immediately be reached for comment.
Charriol founded his namesake jewelry brand in 1983, which grew to include timepieces, perfume and accessories. Prior to launching the brand, Charriol served as a president for Cartier.
His initial inspiration came from ancient Celtic iconography, which was often incorporated into his designs. Charriol claims he was the first jeweler to incorporate gold and steel cables into his designs, which have since become a major trend. Charriol’s daughter, Coralie Charriol Paul, serves as the brand’s creative director.
The company is based in Geneva and operates some 340 global boutiques. It sells through nearly 4,000 other points of distribution across more than 60 countries. Macy’s is a key retail partner in the U.S. The company has seen great success within the Chinese market, operating nearly 300 stand-alone stores across the country.