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Watch purchased by Ayrton Senna going to auction


A watch purchased by Formula 1 racing champion Ayrton Senna as a gift for his mentor is heading to the auction block. The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona purchased by Senna is among 220 collector timepieces to be offered at The Geneva Watch Auction: NINE, scheduled for May 11-12 in Switzerland.

“A leading highlight is the rare and historically significant chronograph wristwatch reference 16528 (case back stamped 16500) in yellow gold, having been offered by Formula 1 legend Ayrton Senna to Angelo Parrilla,” said Phillips, which is conducting the auction in association with Bacs & Russo.

“The early floating-dial Daytona reference 16528 is a tribute to the man who helped shape Senna’s career from the start, as attested by the message engraved on the case back: ‘A Angelo da Ayrton 1978.’ 

“Its recipient was Angelo Parrilla, a legendary figure in go-karting and the founder with his brother, Achille, of engine-producer DAP who ‘discovered’ and brought Senna to Italy by establishing a relationship with the then 18-year-old that went far beyond the sporting association,” Phillips added.

The Parrillas are sons of Giovanni Parilla, founder of the Moto Parilla motorcycle company. Senna became a three-times World Champion in F1 racing.  He died in a crash in 1994. 

Phillips has set a pre-sale estimated value on the Senna timepiece of 100,000 CHF to 200,000 CHF ($97,850 to $195,700).

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Somethings terribly wrong here ! If Paul Newman we’re alive even he would be shocked and upset by the pre-sale estimate here ! Why … # 1 Senna is close to Sainthood not only beloved by Brazil but the World over ! I’ve been up close and personal with several of the greatest ppl in F1 and others and all would agree that Paul Newman would not be happy that his Rolex. Cost new approx $ 350 would sell for 17 million while the God of Formula one. Siennas sold for pennies comparing # 2. This is 3 once’s ish of 18 kt gold compared to stainless steel ??????


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