Top 43 Best Symbolic Tattoos For Men
A tattoo can be one of the most meaningful personal decisions you ever make. When you are planning your new piece of artwork, it is a wise idea to look deeper than the initial image.
What does it mean today? What has it meant in the past? What does it mean to you? Will it remain relevant to you in the future?
There are a wide range of symbolic tattoo ideas for men. From ancient religion and histories that set the foundation of the world, to the contemporary culture of today there are inspirational and significant options for everyone.
To facilitate your choice, here are the top 43 best symbolic ideas for you to apply to your next tattoo decision.
See more about - The Top 135 Best Tattoo Ideas for Men
1. The Egyptian Ankh
In the times of Ancient Egypt, this image represented eternal life in the underworld that existed after death. Some have also taken it to represent the god of the sun.
2. Scarab Beetle
Another image from Ancient Egypt, the scarab traditionally symbolized creation. Because of its feeding habits, which involve rolling a ball of dung, the ancient people saw it as a creator. Today, it can represent the creative drive and the need to make your own way in the world.
3. Bear Tattoo Art
Because of this animal’s natural abilities, the American Indians saw the bear as an embodiment of power and might. Many other ancient peoples saw this animal the same way. In the modern day, it could be seen as the desire to return to Nature.
4. Wolf Tattoo Designs
Like the bear, this is another animal that shows mighty powers. As its nature indicates, the wolf has been seen as a protector and guide. It also embodies the ideas of intelligence and courage. Other meanings include the call of the wild.
5. Endless Knot
The Celtic endless knot, is full of historical meaning. Because it does not have an end, it was seen in the past as representing eternity, a long and happy life, the cycle of birth and death, and the cycles of the world.
6. Chakra Tattoo Depictions
Chakra tattoos are a wide and diverse subset of the tattoo world, far too vast to cover here in detail. Simply put, they enable energy for a vast array of applications in your life.
7. The Christian Cross
Symbols of one of the most impacting religions of the world, for a member of the Christian or Catholic faiths, the cross can be the one of the most meaningful symbols of all. For others, among many other meanings, the cross is a sign of contradiction, as its four arms stretch onward with no stopping.
8. Mjolnir: Thor’s Hammer
Dating back into the mists of time, the Thor Hammer usually signifies sacred things or making things sacred. Today, the symbol represents the entire religion of Asatru, with all its philosophy and ideas.
9. Dharmachakra / Wheel Of Dharma
With its eight or twenty-four spokes, this image has many historical meanings for the Indian religions. Many times, it symbolizes the virtues necessary to life. In non-religious contexts, it can symbolize a ship’s wheel, making it once popular among sailors.
10. Eye Of Horus
The ancient Egyptians saw this stylized eye as signifying protection, healing and care. However, since it is an eye, it can mean many other things, depending on the person. Overall, the eye is wide open for interpretation.
11. Fleur De Lis
A stylized lily, due to its associations with heraldry, France, and kings, it is a sign of opulent power. It can also be taken as a symbol of France and the pageantry of old. If simply taken as a lily, it can mean innocence and purity.
The mythological nature and history surrounding the phoenix has made it into an image representing rebirth, transformation, passing through fire successfully, and renewing oneself through difficulties. Popular culture has continued to cultivate many of these meanings.
13. Trinity Knot / Triquetra
Depending on each person, the triquetra has very different meanings. For Christians, the three points represent the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, while the knot shows that They are One. Others take it to mean the three vital elements of the world: earth, air, and water.
14. The Lucky Horseshoe
Generally recognized as a good-luck token, the horseshoe tattoo can carry an identical meaning. In addition, the iron of a traditional horseshoe was understood to shield homes and people from evil spirits.
15. Vegvisir/The Viking Compass
Hailing from Iceland, this magical staff traditionally assured a safe passage through wind and rough weather, even if the bearer did not know the way. It is a unique symbol.
Composed of a serpent eating its own tale, this sign has implications from long ago to this day. Originally signifying self-sufficiency, the cycle of life, and introspection, over time it came to represent alchemy’s secret rites.
17. Triskele / Triple Spiral
Springing from Celtic traditions, the triple spiral’s essential meaning is man’s competitive drive and the march of progress. This is because it seems to be moving. Competition and progress are also moving. Take man into account as the third element and you get the triskele.
Intimately connected with the ideal of death in a mighty battle, the Norse valknut consists of three interlocking triangles. It symbolizes the ideal paradise of the Norsemen: a hall of mighty warriors served by pretty maidens forever.
The five-pointed star or pentagram has many meanings, most concerning dark matters. The Wicca and Neopagans use this symbol in their rites. In the Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance worlds, it signified dark magic and spirits coming to man as he called on them.
This symbol has a much wider meaning that a causal eye might see. It signifies four major things: loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. It is integral to the Hinduism and Buddhism ways of life.
21. Jesus Fish
An old symbol of the Christian religion, these are some of the easiest tattoos to personalize. The styles have very different meanings, but they generally come back to the main theme of self-sacrifice and all-encompassing love that the first fish sign signified.
22. Semicolon Tattoo Ideas
The simple semicolon is a powerful sign of mental health struggles and needs. Started in 2013 by a social media outreach, it signifies a breaking down of barriers around this area of health.
23. Peace Sign
Like what it signifies, the peace sign is eloquently simple and powerfully moving. Popular around the world, it speaks to the universal, deep, human longing for peace in all areas of life.
24. Symbolic Boar Tattoos
Wild and yet recognized, the boar takes on realms of meaning. Courage, strength, determination, and fearlessness surround this image. It can also signify the hunted, yet unbowed, trait of the outlaws and people beyond the accepted world.
25. All Seeing Eye/The Eye of Providence
The all seeing eye is very like the eye, but with a deeper meaning. A Masonic symbol, it displays ideas of God and Man’s relationship, climbing to higher wisdom, and the power of the state. Other interpretations depend on the images and overall design.
26. Anchor Tattoo Design Ideas
A symbol of hope and last resorts, an anchor tattoo has many predecessors. A popular design among sailors, old and new, today the anchor means much the same as it has through the ages. Other ideas behind it include loyalty, strength, and stability.
27. Arrow Tattoos
Depending on the style and arrangement of an arrow or arrows, this simple symbol can signify many things. A single arrow means defense of loved ones or things. Two arrows pointing at each other can mean aggression or war. A broken arrow communicates peace. And the list winds on…
Light, inner strength, and the universe are all packed within this little circle. Small and imperfect, it also reminds you that everything has its flaws and drawbacks, but they are all in the end worth the effort.
Protective and courageous, this dog and lion cross serves as both a guard and a shield against evil. They often signify a courageous and heroic person behind them and their abilities.
30. Japanese Dragon
The powerful dragon contains the meanings of wisdom, strength, cunning and elemental force. These meanings make them a popular choice for tattoo artwork.
31. Koi Fish
Koi embody the masculine characteristics of determination, endurance against great odds by a show of force, and the desire to grow beyond your nature. A lesser-known symbol, it adds elements of surprise and discovery to the image.
32. Lion Tattoo Concepts
The king of the beasts, the lion embodies courage, royalty, power, and more. Depending on the religious or cultural backstory you choose, there are many different variations on the lion’s inner themes.
33. Mountain Tattoo Designs
Steadfast and serene, the mountain in its purest sense signifies a completed accomplishment. It can be over a human flaw, a journey finished, or a skill mastered. The deeper meaning depends on the tale behind the towering peak.
Mystery, illusion, complexity, and diversity all entwine in the octopus’ slippery arms. Other meanings include an open mind to the world, the ocean’s mystery, and the natural abilities of the creature.
35. Olive Branch
From the very beginning, as some creation tales tell us, the olive branch was a symbol of new life, fresh beginnings, and a token of peace. When other elements are added, such as birds, it takes on new depths of meaning.
36. Celtic Shamrock Tattoos
Seen as the Luck of the Irish, the shamrock is a bow to that culture and perhaps to a shared heritage. It also has Christian religious meanings and, because it is good grazing for livestock, indicates prosperity and abundance.
37. Shark Tattoo Ideas
The king of the waters, the shark represents powerful stealth, impressive focus, and amazing self-awareness. A tattoo of a shark also symbolizes protection against the powers of the ocean, as the king of the seas is guarding you.
A skull image’s predominate message is that death is nigh. But that can mean more than what meets the eye. Depending on what the story is behind it, it can mean anything from living every day to fearlessness in the face of death and more.
39. Tree Of Life
As its name indicates, the tree of life symbolizes immortality, the cycle of the world, and the endurance of Nature. Many times, the roots touch the leaves, strengthening the imagery.
The power of three, a shadow of the meaning of the all-seeing Eye, and, depending on the position of the point, masculine or femininity. And all this is within the three points of the triangle.
41. Yin Yang
Balance in all things, the beginnings of the universe, and the necessary tension between the ways of the world and the ways of men. The simple yin yang symbol captures all this and more in its circle of white and black.
All the cycles of four are caught within the sunburst of the zia. The four seasons, the four directions, and the four stages of life are just a few interpretations of this symbol.
43. Nordic Runes
Full of mystery and might from the ancient days, Nordic runes are full of power. As with many of the preceding symbols, this cannot be ever fully explained, for there is too much behind them.
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.