For guys who value a mysterious approach to life, a pocket watch tattoo is literally incapable of being usurped. The crafty appeal for these striking icons is practically unlimited.
Pocket watches are turning the page on uninspired body art to herald a truly clever generation of ink for stylishly savvy men.
Their presence usually indicates an intellectual personality, especially since it ties into several popular literary backgrounds like “Sherlock Holmes” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
These timepiece tattoos are gaining adoration due to their steampunk associations. Victorian Era technology is receiving a futuristic renovation via this stunning new wave of skin art. As a bonus, the clock’s face can be set to reflect a special moment. 4:20 is a prevalent choice for its counterculture connotations, but other guys go with the proverbial quitting time or the instance of a sentimental memory.
Most pocket watch tattoos are renowned for their conceptual ingenuity and simplistic execution. These creations are common in black and white, but metallic tones are also being embraced. Wristwatch tattoos provide a cunning alternative to these classic arrangements, and they can be surreptitiously placed under an actual watch.
For more pocket watch ideas that run the gambit from clandestine to ostentatious, just check out our pictorial assembly!
An elegant tattoo mixing up portraiture sizing with the sleek, clean look of realism. This pocket watch is timeless beauty, like a vintage Marilyn Monroe or Rita Hayworth print. The artist applies great skill to create shine effects by clever white line work and smooth gray. The black supporting ink helps provide a sharper focus in detail on the face.
Enjoyable tattoo. Using only the inside of the funky pocket watch for color then making it an abstract take on wheels, cogs, and pins is a brilliant technical choice. It makes an off-beat focal point for the black and gray tattoo and supports the artistic, rather than pinpoint detailed timepiece stay on style.
The smoke effect of black and gray nicely contrasts these his and hers pocket watches. The color palette is reminiscent of watching old black and white movies (and chain smokers). The key to this is use of white ink in laying detail over the shade for both bodies. It creates a real silver sheen to the art and contrasts against base gray.
A well worked neo traditional tattoo. There’s no standout element, just commitment to clean, crisp lines, a fatter type of central image and restrained blue gray ink contrasting the black. Shadowing just the cogs instead of the whole watch face is a sensible choice and looks good. It’s an old school piece that would be equally awesome if blinged out with bright colors and more explosive support.
This hand tattoo offers a brilliant starting image but could be improved upon simply. Given the tattoo’s placement (and the dirty gray color), the heavy detail of the watches’ command center could gain clarity by using white ink. This would help the individual components stand out against the gray and provide extra fun shapes to focus on.
The face within the face of this pocket watch shows well. The artist’s negative space face combines well with the crisp numbers and hatches to give the sense of an aged clock. Also like the classy fob attachment. It’s a classical heavy shadow tattoo utilizing different needles and gun speed to create cool effects for filler and fingers.
The watch of this dark sleeve tattoo looks fantastic, showing out well against the shadow fill. The idea of the finely tooled pocket watch cover is clever but the execution doesn’t quite attain the right amount of clarity to pull it off. A bigger contrast for the internal shadow pattern, and some cleaner outlines (both black /white) in support would help this get to boss level.
This heavy black pocket watch looks like becoming an excellent cover up. The artist will need to highlight more detail in the support images to flip the block out shading to lighten things up but it covers space simply.
Another new wave forearm tattoo. The pocket watch is big and bold, playing off the detail in numbers and hatches on the clock face. Again, the unique center fill is a cool mix of color and abstract which further enhances the precision technical elements in comparison.
The negative space of the pocket watch is almost more clever than the rest of the tattoo. This is a simple, elegant clock that could have come out of a 19th century factory – there’s a steel effect in it that works. Also love how the artists has mixed graffiti style smoke effects in for alternate fill, and the ability to make the die look like clear lacquered cubes.
This example has put an emphasis on the pocket watches workings, playing well for an inner bicep tattoo. There’s interesting levels of detail helped by the size of the work to give the work a 3D perspective. Using neg space in the outer shadow effect is another smart, detail oriented technique.
The shine effect in the cover of this pocket watch tattoo is mesmerizing. It clearly creates that shiny, shiny, surface that timepieces of quality, and mass production can sometimes share. The numbers are a real highlight in this piece both for genuine watch face, and the 3D pop out effect of the cover. Also love the clean black curvature of the fill shading.
Another pocket watch tattoo going large on detail. The inner forearm placement works to create a cool angle of timepiece, while the face itself has successfully gotten the glass encased aspect perfect. The technical flourishes to fob attachment and outer watch are nice supporting patterns.
What does a pocket watch tattoo symbolize?
Pocket watch tattoos traditionally symbolize the passage and telling of time. They are hugely popular motifs because the pocket watch can adapt across traditional tattoo variations easily but can also be the abstract centerpiece piece as well.
Pocket watches are considered different thematically to other time piece tattoos given their historical status as a sign of affluence, class, style, and culture. Given they went out of fashion around the 1920’s pocket watches are instrumental in representing family ancestry.