Top 109 Best Armband Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]
Ah the armband. While the once popular tattoo style has fallen out the spotlight in the past, lately it’s been making quite the comeback on the arms of gentlemen across the globe.
Ages ago, traditional tribal armband tattoos weren’t the only way to distinguish a man’s role or rank among a group of people. The truth is, their purpose was often associated with a variety of different meanings not to mention, materials too.
In historical times, like the Bronze Age, armbands were actually make of bronze and jet, a minor gemstone formed from petrifying wood under tremendous pressure. Of course, back then the metal band took on a slightly different name of “arm ring”.
However, even with the passage of time you’ll still find arm rings in use by Kandyan drummers of Sri Lanka who celebrate an age old tradition. And if you look back in Sri Lankan history you’ll find stories of brides wearing armlets to keep bad luck at bay.
In medieval times during jousts, knights wore scarves or kerchiefs around the arm to show an emotional affiliation or conviction for his lady. If you’ve ever wondered where the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve” comes from, there’s your answer.
Traditions aside, armbands can be found all on the arms of men from all walks of life including the military (a brassard), press, sporting teams and more. Interestingly enough, the modern meaning of distinguishing what group, team, rank or role someone belongs to, has literally the same connection to the past.
With that said, there are a lot of different reasons to get an armband tattoo. Sure, historical times rarely warranted tattoos and instead opted for cloth and metal, however, if something is important to you, why not get it inked permanently? After all, that is the point of tattoos to begin with.
Take a moment to explore these top 70 best armband tattoo designs for men below. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of ideas to wear upon your sleeve ranging from classic to cool, modern and more.
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1. Dotwork Armband Tattoos
This is an expertly executed piece of tattoo art that would have taken double the amount of time it’s size would have you think. Using such two divergent ideas – blackwork and dot work – come together to make a beautiful geometric theme. Every part of this tattoo screams quality.
The dotwork shading in this 3-levele armband tattoo is fantastic. The top image on its own is interesting, using angles exceptionally well to create depth and style within the confined space. The other two bands are showing off in the best way. Here, time consuming dot work is employed stylishly to create very different shapes on the subject’s forearm.
This type of band tattoo is found on the forearm and is made up, at least to some degree, of the dotwork technique. This technique is an interesting and unique way to form a tattoo on the skin by means of a collection of tiny dots.
Many of such tattoos have more than one band and only some of them are made of dotwork. Others are simply one solitary band made using the technique. The dotwork is often only applied to a portion of the band or bands. That being said, this is by no means a rule or limitation and ultimately the dotwork method can be done in more than one way.
The specific placement of this tattoo on the forearm is also important. On the forearm, a band (or multiple bands) is in a position that is fairly straightforward. In other words, it is not only easy to conceal or show, whichever the particular man wishes to do at a particular time, it is much more. Primarily, for example, it is also incremental in the sense that it is often quite aesthetically pleasing. The dotted forearm band tattoo is both interesting and appealing.
2.Tribal Black Band Forearm Tattoos
Designed in a variety of styles, tribal black band forearm tattoos are consistently creative and impressive. These fantastic works of art showcase different signs and symbols in unison with solid black bands. Sometimes these symbols are found between the bands, other times within.
No matter how they are formatted, however, tribal black band tattoos are definitely something that can carry a great deal of value. The meanings of their symbols are not always apparent but there is no doubt that they always carry a great deal of significance.
3. Eastern Inspired Forearm Band Tattoos
This is a high-flying armband tattoo. It’s a showpiece because it uses difficult techniques to pull off the mosaic tile effect. The line work is precise, crisp, and well-drawn. The dot work is painstaking, and the seemingly effortless creation of clearly defined geometric patterns is a testament to the artist’s keen skill level.
Using zero space effectively is a skill that separates competent artists from the very best at tattooing. The quality of this seemingly simple black tattoo is found in the artist’s use of non-tattooed areas to make flawless patterns and shapes on the interior of the armband.
4. Geometric Forearm Band Tattoos
These tattoo bands, coming in multiple different ranges of thickness, are often mesmerizing to see as a viewer. In a similar way they are surely badass pieces of ink to feature on one’s arm. These tattoos come in many different designs and patterns and often represent much more than one might think.
They may appear to some as mere bands of neat and badass-looking collections of shapes. In all actuality, however, they are truly meaningful and often mesmerizing pieces of body art.
5. Innovative Forearm Band Tattoos
Some forearm band tattoos are not only interesting and unique, they are also innovative. This can be true in the sense that they accomplish new feats of tattooing artistically or even just aesthetically. Tattoo innovation can also be seen in the way that an artist executes a piece when it comes to the creativity or distinctiveness given to that piece.
6. Christian Forearm Band Tattoos
While many tattoos make references to God or any other type of religious or spiritual beliefs, some are much more direct about it than others. This is certainly true for forearm band tattoos as it is for many other types of ink.
Christian forearm band tattoos often incorporate different aspects and well known signs of the Christian faith such as a cross or other common symbol found amidst the Christian faith and tradition. These tattoos mean a great deal to many people as they may serve as a reminder of one’s spiritual direction or religious convictions.
7. Negative Space Forearm Band Tattoo
Some forearm band tattoos display significant signs, shapes, symbols and other characters of meaning but in a different way from those mentioned previously here. That is because instead of using the ink of the tattoo to form such symbols, shapes, etc. they essentially do the opposite.
These tattoos make great use of the negative space outlined by the ink rather than the ink itself. It is a creative and powerful way to bring out a desired piece of art in a band tattoo by means of a different approach.
8. Black Ink Armband Forearm Tattoos
A simple play on geometric design can form effective armband tattoos. This artwork is only six narrow yet solid bands tattooed around the inner forearm. It’s a crisp, fresh grouping of bands done neatly and spaced efficiently.
Tribal armband tattoos were hugely popular in the early parts of the century as ink became a more accepted part of mainstream culture. This piece is reminiscent of that style – thick black barbs etched in a tight circle around the forearm just below the elbow.
Technical Innovative Band Tattoo Ideas
This unique matching set of hatches is a cool armband design. The days are marked off in a variety of different styled groupings to form a nice piece, simple dot work creates a border at slightly different points of both artworks.
The key to this minimalist armband is the use of different line work – plus the colored and hollow dots – to effectively highlight the major, thicker armband running through the image. It immediately conjures a latitude/longitude vibe when you look at it.
This decorative armband tattoo uses a stencil format to create a thick, clean black tattoo. It’s similar in design to borders on frames, plant pots, and even household ceramics.
This Aztec inspired ink brickwork is cool. The major element of this piece is the shading, done with a dot work focus rather than traditional black gray. The line work in this art captures the artist’s focus on attention to detail.
Well executed minimalist armband tattoos are very funky, and this body art is a tremendous example. It mixes a simple, single line band around the arm with a group of flat black birds to create an arresting image.
The effective geometric shapes created with singular lines of black makes this patterned armband quite unique. It’s a simple but useful technique to create a series of interesting shapes.
This is a wider style of armband tattoos for men. It looks much like a gladiator’s bracer or armguard. The tattoo uses a good mix of black line work to create clear, well defined shapes within the image, supported by effortless gray and negative space shading.
The piece in this image uses a nice gradient of color steps from vivid red through to black. Parts look almost looks like dipped litmus paper. The way the color has been applied by the artist makes the brighter red parts of the tattoo reflect a permanently raw wound.
This tribal piece is a work of real technical skill. A single needle has been used here, giving it the crispness of lines and pattern inside the band needed to flaunt the artist’s skill, while zero space is also effective in shaping the design.
This tattoo uses an interesting pattern, but the most impressive part of the piece is how clean and fresh the line work looks. If you put it against the older tattoo below the contrast in quality is like night and day.
Nature Band Tattoo Ideas
There are a lot of elements to this spectacular armband tattoo. It utilizes classic black work throughout, but also mixes a smart array of different needle patterns to create different styles of shadow and line work in the skin. The way the sky is inked has an almost fish scale quality to the shade work.
Great use of soft color in the fox to make the mountain band a nice piece of art. The soft hue helps the fox blend into the rest of the image and suggest a mountain stream, especially with the way it’s been shaded to create a cascading effect in the fur. The line work at all stages of this artwork is precise.
Armband Tattoo FAQs
What does a solid armband tattoo mean?
Solid armband tattoos traditionally pay tribute to a lost loved one, in the same vein that black armbands are worn by athletes memorializing the death of a club great or personally important figure.
The black tattooed armband allows the person to remember their loss through acknowledging the body art representing their memory.
What are other reasons for getting a black armband tattoo?
Remembrance is not the sole reason individuals choose to get black armband tattoos. In tribal cultures – such as the collective tribal tattoos of Polynesia or older cultures of South East Asia and the Indian subcontinent – they represent strength and courage or are part of a wider geometric pattern that’s important to symbolic themes such as traditional balance between life and death
At other times a black armband tattoo can be most effective in covering up old or poorly drawn previous tattoo pieces, such as barbed wire or poorly drawn Celtic armbands. They are also hugely popular with tattoo collectors that love using circular designs and geometric use of alternating black ink and negative space.
How much does an armband tattoo cost?
Small armband tattoo prices can range from $150 for the barest designs – think minimalist line work done with single outlining needle – to as much $1000+ for more intricate, complex work such as dot work armbands or bio-mechanical themed armband design.
Average pricing sits between $150 – $200 per hour. Highly skilled, in demand artists can charge up to $500 per hour, while apprentices and less skilled artists are as little as $75.00 per hour.
Remember a 15% tip is the average, but 20% for quality work is highly recommended, and always make sure you clarify pricing with your artist before sitting down to get inked.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather Watch
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.