Clock Tattoo Meanings, Pictures, Designs, and Ideas

Time is something that we all have in common, and it governs the way we exist. When we try to describe time, we find ourselves stumbling, yet we rely on it to go about our daily activities. Clocks are the machines we use to track time, so it’s no wonder they’re a popular tattoo design. There are several variants of clock designs that can represent anything from mortality to ancient wisdom. If you’re interested in learning more about the history and meaning behind clock tattoo designs, as well as top styles and placements for clock tattoos and other designs that match well with clock tattoos, check out our article!

Check Out More Tattoo Designs

The Meaning Behind The Clock Tattoo

As we mentioned earlier, the meanings behind the clock tattoos are plentiful and different, with many people having their interpretation of clocks and time in particular. Let’s look at both popular and those less popular associations to the clock tattoo.

The clock tattoo can represent a variety of different meanings. Although they represent time, they can represent so much more. Remember, your tattoo symbolizes what you want it to. Below are some possible meanings of this tattoo.

  • Time
  • Incarceration (literal or metaphorical)
  • A special moment
  • Life or mortality
  • Death
  • Existence
  • Endlessness or infinity
  • Structure
  • Stability
  • A beating heart or a drumbeat
  • Endless love


Sometimes, the meaning of a tattoo with a clock on can be something as simple as time. As we know, the clock is the best representation of time, and those who have difficulties making enough time for family members and loved ones will make a tattoo of the clock to remind them to make more time. Time can’t be controlled, stopped, or manipulated, and many people fascinated by this fact choose to ink a clock on their bodies.

Life and Death

In general, a clock symbolizes life and death. Time never stops, and we tend to forget that fact. One day, time will catch up with us all, and our short time here will be over.

Clock tattoos can be designed to represent this very understanding. A tattoo designed to represent life can incorporate various living elements such as flowers or roses, while those meant to represent death might incorporate skulls, fire, or the grim reaper. To represent Christian life, angels or across might be used.

1. Owl Clock Tattoo Design for Arm


2. Invented Clock Design


3. Patience

Skull with clock design

Sometimes, it takes time for some things to happen the way we want or expect them to be. For example, if you started your own business, you need to have patience before it grows and yields its first positive results.

The clock tattoos are there to remind us that good things take time to happen and to continue pushing forward and making good choices and decisions before the good things happen to us.

The clock tattoo also manifests patience when waiting for the good news about some event or a person, as well as patience in relationships with other people who may make you feel more or less good.

4. Healing

Melting Clock

There is a saying that says that time can heal everything, as long as we wait. The healing and the patience symbolism bits can be combined for people who are recovering from a friendship that fell apart, a heartbreak from the relationship, loss of a job, or some more serious life-threatening condition.

The clock is also a good tattoo for people who are recovering from injuries and surgical procedures and need some time before they can resume simple tasks like walking, eating, working, and others. For some athletes, the clock is a great tattoo for healing, especially if they are recovering from an injury that prevented them from playing certain sports.

5. Inspiration Clock Tattoo

These tattoos might also be designed with inspirational quotes (such as “Don’t let time pass you by” or “Make every second count”) included on banners or embedded into the clock itself.

Stop Watch Clock

6. Infinity Clock Tattoo

One of the more obvious meanings of the clock tattoo also includes infinity, the symbol of everlasting, something that the time is too. This type of tattoos is pretty straightforward and also accompanied by other symbols that mean the infinity, such as the infinity sign itself.


7. Emotional Stability

People who feel self-assured, strong, and emotionally stable usually mark their state of mind with strong tattoos such as the clock tattoo. These people are aware that they can’t let the time pass by, but do something empowering and inspiring with their life. The clock tattoo is there to inspire them and remind them that nothing lasts forever other than the time itself.



8. Hourglass Tattoo Meaning

When there were no clocks as we know them today, there were hourglasses that helped people measure the time and organize their activities, whatever they were at that time. In the same way, an hourglass can just be called an ancient clock, but its purpose remains the same as the one with regular clocks.

With that in mind, the hourglass tattoo can mark all the meanings as above, as well as a reminder that the sands of time run out for everyone and encourage people to spend their time wiser. The hourglass tattoos are quite popular among people who appreciate their time and are aware of the human existence aspect of their meaning.


Frequently Asked Questions About The Clock Tattoos

Getting a new tattoo is a huge process, but if you can’t decide whether the clock tattoo is the right one for you, we listed answers to the commonly asked questions about clock tattoos that might help.

Q: What is the cost of the clock tattoo?

A: The clock tattoo cost can differ depending on the size, spot, and the tattoo studio pricing model. Nevertheless, our estimates for the clock tattoo cost can go anywhere from $50 to $250 to $300.

Q: Are clock tattoos more for men than women?

A: We believe that the clock tattoo looks acceptable and good on both biological sexes. Nothing in the design of the clock tattoo indicates that it’d fit some certain gender better. However, there are ways to make your tattoo more manly or girly, by adding certain colors, as well as other design patterns or elements.

Leave a Comment