A solid gold Rolex Daytona which F1 superstar racer Ayrton Senna gifted to his mentor that bears his personal inscription is anticipated to rake in as much as $200,000 at Phillips’ The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE at Hôtel La Réserve slated on May 11-12.
The iconic piece was gifted by the car race legend to Angelo Parrilla, the man who “discovered” his superior driving skills and helped launch his colorful career that produced three amazing Formula One world championships prior to Senna’s tragic death in 1994.
The Rolex watch is paired with an F1 helmet face shield with Senna’s signature dated 1988, adding to its economic value. Widely regarded as one of the best and most influential Formula One drivers of all time, Senna was featured in an award-winning documentary back in 2010 and remains a hero of motorsports enthusiast supporters across the world.
The solid gold Rolex, a “floating dial” ref. 16528, the earliest repetition of Rolex’s first automatic gold Daytona, is encrypted “A Angelo da Ayrton 1978” (to Angelo from Ayrton as translated). As Phillips says, “This timepiece spans more than horology – it is part of a unique history between one of the most iconic watches in the world, the sport that the Daytona is synonymous for and one of its greatest ever drivers.”
Daytonas have long been prized to winning drivers in some of racing’s most illustrious competitions. Senna once considered his mentor as the most outstanding driver he ever raced against, and their professional relationship dated back to his younger years when he was racing go-karts, a period Senna always hold dear because it was about “pure driving pleasure with no politics and no money involved,” Phillips explains.
The historical watch would be widely collectible even with the absence of the celebrity association and we consider Phillips’ estimate is if anything on the low side. Which shouldn’t frustrate you from bidding if you’re in the market for a timepiece of this relative importance?