The Rolex Daytona 16528 That Was Gifted By Ayrton Senna

To Be Auctioned By Phillips On May 11-12
Robert-Jan Broer
April 15, 2019
The Rolex Daytona 16528 That Was Gifted By Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna is the legendary (and three times World Champion) F1 driver who passed away 25 years ago (already). Today we show you a watch he gave to his mentor, Angelo Parrilla, who ‘discovered’ Senna when he was 18 years old in 1978.

Last Sunday was packed with sports for me. Meaning I watched the 1000th F1 race in the morning (local time), that took place in China and in the afternoon I watched Tiger Woods winning the Masters title. Then, my eye caught the Phillips auction on May 11-12 in Geneva, where they will offer a watch linked to Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian F1 driver that won three World Championships (1988, 1990 and 1991). I remember that Ayrton Senna died in an accident during the 1994 F1 race in San Marino, but I didn’t follow or watch F1 at that time. A pity, as I do enjoy some of the footage that can be found on youtube on the F1 races in that era. Just watch him race the Monaco circuit in this video and it is 100% goosebumps guaranteed.

Ayrton Senna

Ayrton Senna

Although sponsored by TAG Heuer and wearing the famous S/EL reference S25.706C watch on many occasions (more about that watch here), he decided to gift this 18-carat gold Rolex Daytona reference 16528 to his friend and former mentor Angelo Parilla. This R-series Daytona 16528 is the earliest version of the gold automatic chronograph by Rolex. It is powered by a caliber 4030 movement, a Zenith El-Primero based self-winding chronograph. Rolex used this movement in between their hand-wound chronograph versions and their in-house caliber that was introduced in 2000.

Ayrton Senna Rolex Daytona 16528

Rolex Daytona 16528

Normally, these watches already fetch quite a bit of money (but compared to a stainless steel model it is still attractive to go for gold (fat tip!)), as we found a similar 1988 Daytona 16528 in amazing condition (with box and papers) for approx. €40.000,- / $46,000.- USD. Given the history of this specific Daytona 16528 with Ayrton Senna and the condition the watch is in, Phillips estimates a sales price between €89.100,- and €178.000,- (~ $101,000-$201,000USD).

Ayrton Senna Rolex Daytona 16528

The Rolex Daytona 16528 with the engraving “A Angelo da Ayrton 1978” (to Angelo from Ayrton) was given to Angelo Parilla around 1990. The watch comes with the original box, service warranty, pouch and an autographed picture of Ayrton Senna as well as an autographed helmet faceguard (Honda) from 1988. Since provenance is crucial with this type of auctions, there’s a letter from Angelo Parilla confirming that the gold Rolex Daytona 16528 was indeed gifted to him.

You can follow the auction live on May 11-12 via the Phillips website (and mobile app).


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Robert-Jan Broer
About the author

Robert-Jan Broer

Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more

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