Top 71 Simple Hand Tattoo Ideas – [2021 Inspiration Guide]
While cultures from around the world have decorated their hands with bold and often astonishingly detailed tattoo art for thousands of years, today’s tattoo designs can be as simple as the wearer wishes, and at no expense of style.
Sailors, warriors, and priests often tattooed sacred symbols onto their hands for protection against evil, as well as in honor of loved ones.
For that reason anchors, birds, and stars abound in sailing lore, with no shortage of tattoo renditions.
The initials of a loved one are also ideal for the hand, a constant and cherished reminder of what you hold dear. Many modern couples even prefer to tattoo their nuptial bands onto their fingers, with class rings and friendship emblems not far behind.
Arrows and compasses are well-suited to the fingers and center of the hand respectively, as both remind the wearer of their true direction, and to lead by example.
We use our hands more than any other part of the body, so it’s understandable that the right tattoo represents all you put into action. Entrepreneur or tradesman, hand tattoos in their simplest rendering remind us of where we come from, what we love, and what compels us to keep going. These are not just accessories, but proclamations of what a man devotes his strength to.
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1. Simple Bird Tattoos on Hand
As with many other common tattoo designs, the quintessential swallows arose from the early days of Western tattooing, which was based almost exclusively around sailors (both naval and civilian). While the strict rules that governed the meaning of these tattoos faded, the designs remain.
Originally swallows were markers used by sailors to mark the time they had served on ships. One swallow—usually tattooed on the hands, chest or neck—meant that a sailor had travelled 5,000 nautical miles (roughly 5.75K miles); two swallows meant that a sailor had travelled 10,000 knots, and so on. It was also said that if a sailor died at sea the swallows would carry his soul from the depths, up to heaven.
In modern times tattoos are more commonly used as a means of self-expression and are not tied to such hard-fast rules regarding symbolism and meaning. For many people these lovely little birds tattooed on their hands hold more personal significance. Some people just like birds. Whatever the reasons for inking birds on your hands, thanks to their long history in tattoo design, they are an excellent choice.
2. Minimalist Hand Tattoos
Many people prefer tattoos to have intricate details with a photo-realistic application of ink. While this is an appealing approach that can make for some stunning designs, this effect can be difficult to achieve on a canvas as small as a finger, or hand. It’s for this reason that people often choose to get more minimalist tattoos on their hands.
There are a number of different designs and concepts that can be applied using this approach, from script to simplified designs that are reminiscent of the pen and ink doodles that you might find in the margins of a college note book. These understated tattoos are great examples of what is possible with a minimalist approach.
3. Simple Palm Tattoos
A growing trend in the tattoo world is inking the palm of the hand. This is an interesting place to tattoo for a couple reasons. First off, it hurts. The fingertips and inside of the hands have some of the most nerve endings in the entire body, meaning that you will be acutely aware of every tap of the needle.
The hands also have some of thickest skin on the entire body, besides the heel of your foot. What this means is that the artist will have to make several passes in order to push the ink deep enough to ensure that it won’t fall out.
Despite the challenges that these tattoos present, people still choose to place interesting designs like flowers and guns to Star Wars inspired work, on their palms. These pieces will always turn heads and show off the wearer’s dedication.
4. Simple Script Tattoos
People have been incorporating script into tattoos for decades, in fact some of the first tattoos utilized script for the names of loved ones as well as the now clichéd “Mom” tattoos, and it is no surprise why.
Using script in tattoos is a great way to remove some of the ambiguity regarding significance and cut to the chase: nothing can demonstrate a lover’s dedication more than getting their name permanently inked on your body (although many consider this bad luck).
Script is also a great addition to tattoos thanks to the endless variety of typefaces to choose from. Some people prefer simple, bold letters, while others choose the over the top flourishes and stylized letters of Chicano scripts. Whatever your flavor, there is sure to be a script that fits each person and every design.
5. Bold Black Traditional Hand Tattoos
Some people prefer things a bit darker. For some people even the variation in tones created with gray wash shading are too ornate; black is the only way to go. Thankfully for these folks there are plenty of designs to choose from that translate perfectly into the stark nature of these bold, black tattoos.
Usually associated with color work, American traditional tattoos are actually perfectly suited for black ink pieces. The bold lines and classic designs mean that the plethora of flash that exists in this style ensures that there is a bold, black American traditional tattoo for everyone.
6. Black and Gray Hand Tattoos
For other people who don’t necessarily want vibrant colors jumping off their hands, but bold black designs are just a little too stark for them, black and gray work is a great choice.
Through the use of clean lines and a variation of tones—from fully saturated black to negative space—an artist creates depth, texture and more interesting tattoos. Using only black and gray ink, a talented artist can create stunning tattoos in a wide spectrum of styles and traditions.
As we can see in these pieces, everything from black and gray American traditional designs—like the Viking skeleton and bulldog—to more abstract pieces like that geometric lines and shapes in the fourth piece are all achievable with black and gray ink.
7. Neo Traditional Hand Tattoos
While American traditional work is the original Western tattoo school, neo-traditional picks up the best parts of the style while breaking out of some of the more rigid and confining rules that define American traditional tattooing. The bold lines and vibrant colors of old-school tattoo work are all their, however neo-traditional work allows for a much broader range of colors than the limited palette of American traditional work.
Neo-traditional tattooing also incorporates all kinds of different designs and concepts, from cartoon characters to mandalas, often with a slightly more realistic interpretation of the elements in the tattoo. Neo-traditional work makes for excellent hand tattoos thanks to the bold lines that will stand the test of time and the freedom of design that this style provides.
8. Simple Black Ink Hand Tattoos
Once again, we have some interesting hand tattoos that eschew color—and even shading—to make more striking designs. Simplified designs can use black ink to create some interesting effects, perhaps one of the best being the ability to produce silhouettes. This effect is achieved by creating a detailed outline that contains all of the elements required to understand the image, and then filling the outline with fully saturated black ink. These effects create an image that gives the impression of being backlit by a single light source and can make for some dramatic tattoos, especially on the hands.
9. Nautical Themed Simple Hand Tattoos
As we have learned, the modern Western practice of tattooing was brought back from the South Pacific when European sailors saw the incredible tattoos of the native islanders in the region. These simple designs introduced the Western world to the art of tattooing.
We already know the swallow was a marker for time at sea, but what about other designs? All the different tools and fixtures aboard ships were common elements in these tattoos. A single anchor signified that a sailor had crossed the Atlantic, while a compass rose was a good luck charm ensuring he would make it home.
While the significance of many of these naval tattoos has faded, their classic style and history in the tattoo world ensure people will continue to get them inked on their bodies for years to come.
10. Simple Rose Tattoos
Perhaps the single most common design element in all of Western tattooing, the rose is a beautiful flower with a variety of different meanings. In general, roses are usually associated with hope, promises and fresh starts, although red roses are usually associated with romantic love, while yellow roses symbolize joy, and sometimes are used as protection against jealous lovers.
Roses are also interesting because they have thorns. When incorporated into a tattoo, a rose with thorns can drastically change the meaning, adding connotations of thoughtlessness, loss and a suspicious nature. These lovely flowers are perfectly suited for hand tattoos thanks to their symmetry and shape.
Looking for more hands on ink inspiration?Check out the links below for more hand tattoo galleries:
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 WatchCheck Price
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.