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Upon the death of his wife in 1944, Wilsdorf established the Hans Wilsdorf Foundation, a private trust, in which he left all of his Rolex shares, making sure that some of the company's income would go to charity.Wilsdorf died in 1960; since then, the trust has owned and run the company.Another iconic model is the Rolex GMT Master (1954), originally developed at the request of Pan Am Airways to provide its crews with a dual time watch that could be used to display GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), which was the international time standard for aviation at that time and was needed for Astronavigation during longer flights.

It was also short enough to fit on the face of a watch.

Wilsdorf even had a specially made Rolex watch (the watch was called the "Deep Sea") attached to the side of Trieste, which went to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

The watch survived and tested as having kept perfect time during its descent and ascent.

Although Rolex has made very few quartz models for its Oyster line, the company's engineers were instrumental in design and implementation of the technology during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In 1968, Rolex collaborated with a consortium of 16 Swiss watch manufacturers to develop the Beta 21 quartz movement used in their Rolex Quartz Date 5100.

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