Time tattoos convey various meanings. In most cases, they represent the importance of special moments in people’s lives. They also symbolize the priceless value of every passing moment, as time is something that we can never turn back.
Time tattoos also depict life and death. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, many people tend to overlook the fact that time goes on and one day it will run out. Many people choose time tattoos to express their beliefs and emotions, such as feelings of eternal love for a loved one or motivation toward living life to the fullest.
Common types of time tattoos use pocket watches, clocks, wristwatches, digital watches, hourglasses, and sundials. Roses, skulls, butterflies, and inspirational quotes are typical elements that are incorporated into time tattoos to add extra meaning and enhance the designs.
Scroll down to view some of the best time tattoos that can immortalize the most special moments in your life and express your feelings.
Pocket Watch Against a Floral Backdrop
Large roses surround the wristwatch, creating a softer feeling and making the design look more graceful. Proper shading creates depth and brings out the beauty of this floral time tattoo in black and gray tones.
Mechanic Arm Tattoo
For men, biomechanic tattoos are quite popular as they look rather masculine. This arm tattoo infuses a bit of realism and uses a more somber tone. The words “tempus vincit omnia” appear on a scroll beneath the bared timepiece.
Colorful Broken Watch
The words “time heals” are inked on a scroll above and below a pocket watch with a broken glass, making this tattoo very interesting and symbolic. Many of us believe that time heals all wounds, even deep ones. If you feel heartbroken and you believe that over time you’ll recover, this tattoo can be an excellent representation of your emotions.
A Pocket Watch, A Rose, and the Tree of Life
As mentioned earlier, watches commonly symbolize life as well as death. In this time tattoo design, a withered tree without leaves is inside the pocket watch. Trees also represent life, but in this tattoo the tree has run out of time and has become lifeless.
A compass lies in the middle of a map and below a rope.
Love Knows Not What Time Is
The mysterious quote in this tattoo likely conveys that love is timeless and thus eternal. Two vibrant red roses add feminine appeal to this back tattoo, while the ornate edges of the pocket watch look elegant.
Floral Time Thigh Tattoo
Floral elements are perfect for women, as they make tattoos look more beautiful and feminine.
Broken Compass Inside a Hand
So this is actually a compass tattoo, but it holds as much symbolic meaning as time tattoos. The hand firmly grips the compass, insinuating perseverance and determination.
Vintage Pocket Watch and a Blue Rose
The pocket watch shows Roman Numeral hour markers and a small subdial for vintage charm. A blue rose and green leaves in the background add color to the design.
Mechanic Watch and a Staring Eye
The complex inner mechanism of a watch is portrayed in this tattoo. Above it lies an unblinking eye with lightning on the left side and miniature details inside the pupil.
Simple Floral Watch Arm Tattoo
The pocket watch has roped edges, while the colorless rose above it has lines on the petals instead of dark shading.
3D Upper Arm Tattoo
Like many other tattoos, this one features roses but the flowers look like they pop out of the arm for some nice 3D effect. The pocket watch displays its intricate inner workings.
Abstract Watercolor Splash
Splashes of different colors, soft strokes, and a vague representation of a pocket watch make this time tattoo look like an abstract perspective.
Charming Thigh Tattoo
More organic shapes and softer lines are used in this tattoo. The words “here we are” are inked on a scroll, likely depicting that we are in the present and we should live life to the fullest right in this moment.
Vintage Watch and Hourglass Fusion
With a vintage clock in the background, this tattoo shows an hourglass dripping sand onto a small infrastructure that looks like a castle.
Musical Back Tattoo Theme
If you love music, you can show off your passion by infusing musical elements such as music notes into any tattoo design. A dragonfly perches on the swirling timepiece with a guitar on the nape topping off the design.
An Eye on a Pyramid
The face of this pocket watch features an eye on a pyramid, somewhat creating a thought-provoking design that will definitely get people thinking.
Vibrant Ornate Time Tattoo
Purple, yellow, green, and red hues make this tattoo vivid and attractive.
Personalized Time Tattoo
An interesting way to express your unwavering devotion to your significant other is to ink the person’s name and perhaps a special date (such as your wedding date) on your skin. Because time also symbolizes eternity, this personalized tattoo looks extra special.
Modern Rib Cage Time Tattoo
The sleek lines and rich shades inject modernity to the design and also introduces a bit of chaos, which creates a more interesting and attention-catching tattoo.
Fancy Hourglass With Colorful Sand
The hourglass looks quite ornamental with its beaded accents and intricate carvings. Purple, blue, and black colors of the sparkling sand beautify this time tattoo.
Complex Chest and Half Arm Sleeve Time Tattoo
Running from the chest up to the shoulder and down to the elbow, this intricately detailed tattoo showcases painstakingly inked details.
Pocket Watch With Owl, Mouse, Tree, and Rose Elements
The owl is a revered animal that represents wisdom and intelligence. This tattoo shows an owl with a pocket watch and a mouse sitting atop a skull with a rose and document in the foreground. It’s a well-thought-out design that really makes you stop, stare, and think.
Distorted Tree With a Pocket Watch
The trunk and branches of the tree are twisted and distorted, and a large timepiece is cradled in its branches. The dark shading and twisted shapes make this tattoo look rather menacing and imposing.
Pocket Watch on a Map
Maps symbolize wanderlust and love for exploration. If you want to devote your time to exploring the world, this tattoo design is a great choice.
Broken Timepiece With Exposed Mechanism
The gears and inner components of the watch are exposed, showing the complicated mechanism of the vintage timepiece.
Flowery Tattoo With an Hourglass and Mannequin
A pop of red adorns the nicely detailed flowers, while an hourglass, sewing machine, and mannequin are incorporated into the design. This tattoo likely expresses that the person likes to sew and make clothes most of the time.
Realistic Bicep Tattoo
This vintage timepiece looks like it has been fused into the bicep, creating a realistic look that really pops out.
Cute Neck Tattoo
Dark shading injects realism and make the cracks look somewhat real.
Abstract Upper Chest Tattoo
Sketch-like edges and the incomplete shape make this time tattoo look abstract.
Heavily Shaded Tattoo
The clean white rose stands out against heavy shading. A darker rose lies behind the pocket watch, while a key lies at the bottom of the tattoo.
Time Heals Inspirational Tattoo
This looks similar to a previous tattoo above, and its message is also quite motivational, especially for people who are moving on from a heartbreak.
A Man Emerging from an Hourglass
An hourglass depicts ancient time, and this tattoo where a man appears to come out of the hourglass may symbolize the creation of man millennia ago. It may also depict the undeniable fact that man’s time on earth is limited.
Fancy Pocket Watch
Inked on the inner bicep, this watch has ornate details.
The inclusion of a feather may signify freedom, while the addition of a key may depict opening doors to opportunities. When time is on your side, you can do a lot of things and accomplish your goals successfully.
Birds Flying Over a Rose and a Watch With Visible Movements
Roman Numerals are used as hour markers in the timepiece, and they reappear in the background as a shadow for added effect. Birds, which change from darker shade to white color, appear to be flying from the dainty rose and over the pocket watch.
Inner Watch Mechanisms Behind a Large Crack
It looks like the intended effect of this tattoo style is for the gears and clock face to peek out from behind a large crack on the skin for a sense of realism.
Hand Holding an Hourglass Sideways
A scrawny hand holds an hourglass, which seems to contain miniscule human-like figures inside. The tattoo is located beneath the bicep.
Time Stays Long Enough to Those Who Use It
Well, perhaps time does linger long enough if a person spends it wisely. The message is both cryptic and inspirational, but a strange thing on this tattoo is the awkward shape of the top of the pocket watch.
The Hand of Time
Combining both the 3D effect and sketch style, this tattoo portrays the hand of time holding an hourglass. At first glance, the tattoo looks like it’s popping out of the back.
Heart of Time
The timepiece lies right in the middle of the chest, and the center of the clock’s face features a geometric design. The right side of the time tattoo lies a geometric-laced heart with the person’s name inked on top.
Classic Americana Tattoo Style
This old-school tattoo style features old outlines and a combination of various colors.
Black and Grey Hourglass tattoo
Many tattoo artists use hourglass to depict time with more impact.
Surrealist Time Tattoo
Inked on the flank area, this tattoo showcases an hourglass dripping with rich red liquid, which oozes out and surrounds the timepiece in swirls. Above the hourglass is the year 1950, while below it is the year 2012, which are most likely the year this person was born and the year he got the tattoo.
A Ship Inside an Ornamental Hourglass
The inclusion of a ship sailing amid the seas inside this hourglass tattoo combines nautical elements with the time-themed design.
Chains connect to the top and base of the hourglass, expressing that time is limited and restricted.
Hourglass With Wings, Roses, and Diamonds
What are some of the things that women love? Diamonds and roses definitely come into mind. The addition of wings means that time along with freedom is essential. The use of heavy black tones and dripping shading make this tattoo stand out.
Black and Grey Hourglass
Nothing too fancy or detailed, this arm tattoo displays a near-realistic portrayal of an hourglass.
Nautical Time Tattoo
This hourglass tattoo looks like it came out of the sea, with its leaves encircling all over it.
Surrealist Time Tattoo
A lot can be said about this cryptic yet meaningful tattoo, which shows skulls and bones as the frame and the remains of a world that’s being destroyed dripping down to the bottom.
Dreamy Black and Gray Tattoo
Round bubbles create a dreamy effect, while the ornate frame make this hourglass tattoo stunning.
Pocket Watch With a Rose
The central face of the pocket watch is adorned by peculiar shapes.
This tattoo looks like a nice painting and features rich colors.
Blackwork Pocket Watch, Compass, and Map Tattoo
Characterized by heavy shading, this tattoo infuses nautical elements into the time design.
Surrealist Hourglass Tattoo
The glass appears to be breaking into pieces, and the circular shading in the backdrop adds more impact to the design.
Ornamental Bicep Tattoo
This tattoo would make for a wonderful arm sleeve if an additional design is added down to the wrist.
3D Tattoo Style
The clock’s inner mechanism is visible, and a realistic-looking rose lies below it.
Red Dots and Black Splashes
Rows of red circles lie on one side, while black ink splashes appear on the other side. A dark stroke separates the two colors while birds top off the tattoo design. A pocket watch with a visible mechanism serves as the centerpiece.
Hint of Surrealism
A bird quietly perching on a branch can be seen on the foreground, while part of a clock makes up the backdrop. This white and grey tattoo boasts realistic style.
Traditional Own and Timepiece Tattoo
Showing off a classic tattoo style, this design uses yellow, blue, red, black, and green color palettes and depicts an owl sitting on a pocket watch. Owls and timepiece tattoos often go well together, as owls are considered a symbol of truth and wisdom.
Classic Rose and Pocket Watch Foot Tattoo
This pretty tattoo has a delicate rose, ornate watch, and bead accents.
Blackwork Watch Tattoo
Light and dark shading create a nice silhouette that makes this timepiece tattoo look mysterious.
Vivid Roses With Black Leaves
Red roses are perfect for complementary elements for timepiece tattoos, as they add beauty and timeless elegance.
Realistic Dark and Grey Tattoo
The seemingly fish-eye perspective makes the Arabic numeral hour markers look large and uneven, while the numbers 9, 10, and 11 fly out of the clock face for a surrealist appeal.
Elegant Yet Masculine Time Tattoo
Dark shading in the background emphasizes the intricately detailed pocket watch, while the three roses at the bottom add a sense of sophistication.
Simple Pocket Watch Leg Tattoo
Conforming to the shape of the leg, this tattoo showcases a large pocket watch with a conspicuous mechanism.
Eye-Catching Watercolor Time Tattoo
The jolt of colors and organic shapes create an attention-grabbing design that’s full of impact.
Pyramid Inside a Clock
This thought-provoking tattoo has a pyramid that protrudes out of a clock and darkly shaded birds flying above. An ornamental base adds a finishing touch to the design.
Clock on the Chest and Rose on the Shoulder
The pink edges and blue interior of the petals produce a lovely contrast, while the placement of the rose and the partially inked timepiece make this tattoo quite distinctive.
Dotwork Watch Tattoo
The petals have a nice grainy texture due to the dotwork style. The timepiece shows a crack in the middle for a more dramatic effect.
Surrealist Floral Watch Tattoo With Musical Notes
This person’s love for music clearly shows on this tattoo, which combines creatively showcases musical sheets in a rose shape. Vividly colored red roses breathe life into this beautiful back tattoo.
Roses and Pocket Watch Arm Tattoo
Like many other timepiece tattoos on this list, this one has floral elements for added charm.
Somber Skull Tattoo
The edges of the clock appears to extend into the shape of skulls.
Skull Biting a Pocket Watch
Hints of blue add a bit of color to the black and grey design.
Two Rose and a Pocket Watch
This tattoo doesn’t boast realism but uses lots of light and dark shading to create silhouettes.
Pocket Watch Inside an Hourglass
Indeed, “lost time can never be found again,” as time is irrevocable and thus quite precious.
Eerie Clock Tattoo
The appearance of crosses and a certain creature clinging to the clock gives this tattoo a spooky look.
“Timeless” Scroll Swirling Around Roses
Charming Floral Time Tattoo on the Thigh
Clean Timepiece Tattoo
An Hourglass In Front of Gears
3D Clock Tattoo on the Chest
Fluid Pocket Watch and Rose Tattoo in Lighter Tones
Animal-Themed Time Tattoo
Gear Watch Mechanism Showing Behind a Large Crack
Clock Tattoo With Flowers and Wings
Small Wrist Pocket Watch Tattoo With Dark Background Silhouette
Regal Owl Sitting on a Pocket Watch