Valentino Rossi is widely regarded as one of, if not the, greatest motorcycle racer of all time.
Known as ‘The Doctor’ both as a sign of respect as well as a reference to the surgical way he cuts off rivals in corners, the 42-year-old Italian has dominated MotoGP for the last two decades. The only road racer to have competed in 400 or more Grands Prix, Rossi’s 89 wins and 9 Grand Prix World Championships – of which seven are in the premier class – make the #46 rider the stuff of legends.
Beyond his skills on the bike, Rossi is known for his great sense of humour, humble attitude and being an all-around stand-up chap. So it was sad news when he announced in August ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix that 2021 would be his last year in MotoGP – truly an end of an era.
Appropriately, the last race of the 2021 season, last weekend’s Valencian Community Grand Prix, saw a big send-off for the star, with Rossi himself celebrating his retirement by wearing a rather flashy new watch: a yellow gold Rolex Daytona (ref. 116508-0013). A gold watch for a golden gent.
The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona barely needs an introduction: Rolex’s famous chronograph is one of the world’s best-known (and hardest to acquire) watches. Rossi’s example is particularly luxurious thanks to its 18ct yellow gold case and vibrant green dial.
As Rolex’s brand colour, Rolex typically reserves the hue for particularly special watches, such as those that celebrate an anniversary of some sort. This Daytona is only the second model to ever appear with a green dial, the first being the rare Rolex Daytona ‘Beach’ (ref. 116519) from the early 2000s, which featured a more pastel-coloured dial compared to Rossi’s watch’s deep pine green.
A highly desirable model amongst collectors as well as other celebrities such as John Mayer and Jonah Hill, this green dial Daytona is a rather special timepiece. As we mentioned, it’s the perfect watch for a winner like Rossi – who’s also known for his love of bright colours.
You’ll notice that he took the watch off when he actually got on the bike, though… Can’t wear a heavy gold watch when you’re on duty!
On that note, check out some of the watches that Formula 1’s speed demons wear when they’re ‘off-duty’ like Rossi.