Originally clock tattoos were popular among prison inmates. They were often tattooed without hands and used to symbolize the time they spent on the inside.
Clocks and watches are fairly popular tattoo designs at the moment, particularly vintage style grandfather clocks and pocket watches. There is a huge variety of designs and styles to choose from.
Now clock and watch tattoos are no longer commonly linked to prison tattoos and have a far more pleasant meaning. The most obvious meaning of these types of tattoos is to represent time.
Clock tattoos are commonly associated with life and death and remembering that time doesn’t stand still for anyone.
These tattoos can hold meaning in the same way as cherry blossoms for example, by reminding us that we have a certain amount of time and to use it wisely. Or to take opportunities and live our lives to the fullest.
Clock and watch tattoos can also be used as a memorial tattoo or as a reminder of a certain time that is significant to you. For example the exact birth time of a child could be recorded on the face of the clock.
Something to keep in mind is that due to the fine detail required, clock tattoos usually look better when tattooed bigger. Also you have to remember to keep in mind how your tattoo will age. All that fine detail done on a small tattoo will fade much quicker than on a larger tattoo where the detail can be enlarged.