It’s already been 25 years from that as famous as tragic spring weekend when the San Marino’s GP was occurring. A day that’s distant in time, but not in the memory. Who never saw, at least once, the images of the terrible crash at Imola the 1st of May, 1994, where one of F1’s greatest legends passed: Ayrton Senna.
“Ayrton was a polite man, he never bothered anyone, in the box he was calm but when he got onto the track, he transformed into the alien we all knew”
Not only Formula1’s greatest pilot, but mainly a man of high moral standings. Ayrton was correct, generous and unselfish, but very private, shy and religious at the same time.
These qualities allowed the Brazilian champion to develop a friendship and complicity with Angelo Parrilla, the first to discover his potential. He was in fact the man who pushed him in Italy, in the late 70s, into the Kart world.
To Ayrton, Angelo wasn’t just a mentor or DAP’s founder (the Kart team that discovered Senna), but a great friend. Interviewed in 1990, he defined him “the best pilot I ever competed with, when races were just about the pleasure to drive, without the influence of personal interests or money”.
That same year, Ayrton paid tribute the dear friend Angelo with a very special gift:
A Rolex Daytona with an inscription to celebrate their meeting and the birth of a true friendship: “A Angelo da Ayrton 1978”. (Italian for “To Angelo from Ayrton 1978”). This exceptional horology piece, R-series 16528, in solid yellow gold, doesn’t just stand out for the floating dial, very rare and appreciated by collectors, but also for the Mark I bezel and inverted 6 on the 12 hours counter (at 6 o’clock).
It will be auctioned in few days in Geneva byPhillips, accompanied by some unique accessories like the competition helmet’s visor signed by the champion. The estimated price for this piece of history is between 100 and 200 thousand swiss francs.
The watch presented, one of the most iconic in the world, goes beyond horology to dive into myth and history of a sport where the Daytona is already a symbol. But this time, it is paired with the name of a F1’s legend, loved by everybody and indelible in our memories.
Translated by Lorenzo Spolaor (@itsdoc_oclock)