From Kurt Cobain to James Dean, nothing amplifies stardom like a tragically early death. Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian Formula One champion, became practically deified when he died aged 34, after a crash in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
Senna gave this gold Rolex Daytona ref.16528 replica watch to Angelo Parrilla, the man credited with “discovering” him in the karting scene. Parrilla brought Senna to Italy to compete and mentored him throughout his career. Their friendship remained strong until Senna’s untimely death.
The message, which simply translates as “To Angelo from Ayrton” may not be the world’s most imaginative inscription, but its significance to F1 devotees is considerable. Senna gifted this champagne dial copy Rolex watch around 1990, when he was at the top of his game (he won world championships in 1988, 1990 and 1991). The 1978 date recognises the year that Parrilla uncovered Senna’s talents and brought the Brazilian to Italy to take part in the Karting World Championships.