This gold Rolex Daytona was a personal gift from Ayrton Senna

In the late 1980s, the young Brazilian Formula 1 sensation Ayrton Senna da Silva gave this yellow-gold Rolex Cosmograph Daytona to his former mentor Angelo Parrilla, the man widely credited with discovering his incredible talent a decade earlier. Now, the ultra-special timepiece could be yours…

‘A Angelo da Ayrton 1978’ – that’s what the engraving reads on the case back of this Rolex Cosmograph Daytona ref. #16528, which was reportedly a personal gift from Ayrton Senna to his former karting rival and mentor Angelo Parrilla circa-1989. A decade earlier, Parrilla had discovered the young Brazilian and brought him to Italy to compete in karting.

It was a move that would set him on course to win three Formula 1 world championships (1988, 1990, and 1991) and become one of the greatest drivers ever to have lived, until that fateful day at Imola in 1994 when a freak accident claimed his life. Now, the watch will be sold by Phillips at its Geneva Watch Auction: Nine on 11–12 May, accompanied by a raft of Senna memorabilia including a signed helmet visor dating to 1988 and a letter from Parrilla confirming the Rolex’s authenticity. A unique timepiece intrinsically linked to a man who is commonly held as the greatest ever, it’s been given an accordingly significant pre-sale estimate of 100,000–200,000 CHF. 

Photos: Phillips

The entire catalogue for Phillips’ Geneva Watch Auction: Nine, taking place on 11–12 May 2019, can be found listed in the Classic Driver Market