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7 Stylish Clock Face Tattoo Designs and Their Significance

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One hand of the clock ticks by every second, the other changes every minute. Clocks even lose and gain an hour on separate occasions throughout the year. Yet, clock face tattoo designs are unchanging, capturing a permanent moment in time.

Not only a stylish design in itself, a clock tattoo is often symbolic and can include a number of different elements such as roses, dates and names. Below we take a look at a variety of stylish clock face tattoo designs—because who doesn't have time for that?

Rose and Clock Tattoo

A rose is one of the most popular elements to combine with a clock face tattoo. This particular flower can be incredibly symbolic: it is often considered an image of life and love, but also death. When paired with the image of a clock, this tattoo design becomes extremely meaningful. A rose and clock tattoo is a great way to convey everlasting love for someone. Although, depending on the style of the clock design, they can also be an effective way to highlight one's own mortality.

 Rose and clock tattoo

Rose and clock tattoo by Sponsored Artist Troy Tuck (@troytucktattoo)

Birth Clock Tattoos

Clock face tattoo designs are often concerned with the meaning of time and life. Birth clock tattoos are specifically intended to commemorate a person's birthday. Usually, they contain the name and date of birth of a loved one, while the clock face is designed to reflect the time of their birth. Other elements may be included in order to further highlight the significance of this moment in their lives. For example, the rose motif appears often in these clock tattoo designs, and some even choose to include images of baby feet or hands. Birth clock tattoos are a wonderful way to celebrate a loved one's birth date.

Birth clock tattoo

Birth clock tattoo by Dan Philips (@danphillipstattoo)

Compass and Clock Tattoo

Combining the image of a clock, a symbol of time, with a compass, an indicator of direction, is another popular tattoo design concept. The clock face suggests fixed notions about time, while the compass represents the fluidity of direction in life. Adding any number of items to this design can enhance its symbolic meaning. For example, including images of maps, arrows or even birds, indicates movement and a sense of freedom and liberation. A compass and clock tattoo can serve as a great reminder to stay on the right path, both in the present and the future.

Compass and clock tattoo

Compass and clock tattoo by Sponsored Artist Peter 'Lord' Nelson (@lordnelsontattoo)

Eye Clock Tattoo

An eye clock tattoo is another clock design that is particularly popular. In many cases, the clock face is replaced with the image of an eye, but in others the eye will be depicted alongside the clock. A clock and eye tattoo can represent a variety of things, ranging from the meeting of man and machine, to a symbol of protection as the eye watches over.

Hourglass Clock Tattoo

If you want a clock tattoo that really stands out from the crowd, choose an hourglass design instead. An hourglass, or sand clock tattoo, can be an extremely poignant image. It symbolises the fine balance between life and death as each grain of sand shows the elapsed and remaining amount of time. A sand clock tattoo is a great image to serve as a reminder to live every moment to its fullest.

Hourglass tattoo

Hourglass clock tattoo by Sponsored Artist Danny Taylor (@dannytaylortattoo)

Skull and Clock Tattoo

If you are looking for clock tattoo ideas about death and mortality, the most obvious design is a skull and clock tattoo. This clock face tattoo design is often completely black, to indicate the darkness of death. It can also be combined with other clock designs to create a more complex composition. For instance, clock tattoos containing rose or compass designs are sometimes accompanied by skull images to represent conflicting ideas about life and death. The meaning however, does not always have to be morbid, instead a skull and clock tattoo can function as a meaningful reminder to live each day to the fullest.

Heart-Shaped Clock Tattoo

Opting for a heart-shaped, rather than a classic circular clock face tattoo design, is a great way to depict the notion of everlasting love for someone. The clock hands can be customised to include personal touches, or they might simply be left as is for a more rustic effect.

Heart shaped clock tattoo

Heart-shaped clock tattoo by Sponsored Artist Peter 'Lord' Nelson (@lordnelsontattoo)

Choosing the ideal location for your clock tattoo is also important. We recommend selecting an area large enough, such as the chest or arms, so that the entire clock face may be seen. This will prevent the clock face from becoming distorted and ensure that your clock tattoo remains clearly recognisable.

This is only a small selection of potential clock face tattoo designs, so feel free to combine any number of elements to give your tattoo the significance you're looking for.

Check out some of our other blog posts for further inspiration. 

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  • Sarah Crookes

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