Dozens of Clock Tattoo Ideas for the Radical Thinker

Ideas for broken clock tattoos come in many styles.

Need something to symbolize birth, death, and rebirth, but all out of clock tattoo ideas? We’re not…

Clocks represent so much. They represent the passage of time, the coming of death. The importance of punctuality, of showing up. Perhaps a past time that we can never reclaim in a world that only marches forwards. They even carry the steampunk aesthetic when done right.


For the same reasons that people have made symbolic clock towers in the past centuries, people want unique clock tattoo ideas for the present.


But what to get? The old clock tattoo ideas are all so common, non-extraordinary. You need a clock tattoo idea that pulls your style together.


[ClockHug does not recommend people under 18 getting a tattoo. Images are for inspiration only.]


Broken Clock Tattoo Ideas

Ideas for broken clock tattoos come in many styles.

Broken clock tattoos represent the fragility of mind, the importance of living in the moment, and the inevitability of change. Whether it’s a clock with shattered glass, missing hands, or malfunctioning gears, these broken clock tattoo ideas can serve as a powerful reminder to cherish each moment and make the most of our time. Broken clock tattoo ideas include:


  1. An antique wall clock, its glass shattered and hands frozen at a significant time, such as the moment of your birth or another personal milestone.
  2. A pocket watch with visibly broken gears strewn around, symbolic of life’s unpredictability and the chaos within order.
  3. An hourglass-shaped clock, broken in the middle, with sand pouring out to signify the relentless passage of time.
  4. An abstract interpretation of a sundial, with distorted shadows and fractured lines, signifying the illusion of time and its subjective nature.
  5. A digital clock showing an impossible time, like 25:61, to depict the irrationality of time and its non-linear nature.
  6. A cuckoo clock with the bird stuck halfway out, symbolizing being trapped in a moment or stagnation in time.
  7. A clock melting or deforming, à la Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory,” to communicate the fluidity and malleability of time.
  8. A clock integrated into a heart or brain, shattered or cracked, denoting how our perception of time is closely linked to our emotional or mental state.


Grandfather Clock Tattoo Ideas

These grandfather clock tattoo ideas are meant to inspire you.

Grandfather clock tattoos symbolize the passage of time, wisdom, longevity, and tradition. A grandfather clock is a standing testament to both the legacy that we leave behind and the contributions of our forefathers.


These tattoos can serve as a tribute to the timeless values that guide our lives, or as a poignant reminder of the relentless ticking of time that we all must face. As a result, grandfather clock tattoo ideas tend to be serious, but there is room for some playfulness, too. Grandfather clock tattoo ideas include:


  1. Honor wisdom and tradition with a meticulously detailed design of a grandfather clock, its face a testament to aged elegance.
  2. Add a whimsical touch by incorporating a mischievous cat playfully swinging on the pendulum of a grandfather clock, symbolizing the playful side of time and life.
  3. For a more profound message, choose a ghostly, ethereal depiction of a grandfather clock, signifying the fleeting transience of life.
  4. Inject a dose of fantasy by depicting a colorful, oversized grandfather clock in a magical forest, bringing to life the enchanting nature of time.
  5. Symbolize a frozen moment in time or a desire to pause and reflect with a tattoo of a grandfather clock, its pendulum stuck at one end.


Birth Clock Tattoo Ideas

These birth clock tattoo ideas include using constellations, a whimsical cuckoo clock, and your very DNA.

A birth clock tattoo is a tattoo that shows the exact time of our birth. These clock tattoos symbolize the moment we came into existence. They serve as a reminder of the beginning of our journey and the time we have to make a difference in the world. They have been put into the spotlight recently due to BTS member Jungkook’s birth clock tattoo. His tattoo is deeply personal, and features a microphone tied to a chain, possibly representing that he was “born to sing.”


Similarly, if you choose to get a birth clock tattoo you should also have a deeply personal symbol accompanying yours. Nevertheless, here are some birth clock tattoo ideas to get your brain jogging:


  1. Consider an abstract design of a clock merged with a DNA helix, symbolizing the intersection of time and genetics that make you who you are.
  2. A sundial set to the time of your birth, casting a shadow over the significant hour, beautifully combines the ancient method of timekeeping with your personal life’s beginning.
  3. A playful idea could be an alarm clock ringing at the time of your birth, symbolizing the ‘wake-up call’ that was your entry into the world.
  4. A clock set in a celestial scene with stars visible as they were at your time of birth adds a cosmic perspective to your life’s beginning.
  5. Not so interested in your birth? A fusion of a traditional clock face with your baby’s footprint or handprint will mark your journey into parenthood in a touching way.
  6. For a more whimsical approach, a cuckoo clock where the bird pops out at your birth time adds a touch of fun and nostalgia to your tattoo.


Specialty Clock Tattoo Ideas

Want something really unique? Try these ideas!


Rose Clock Tattoo

Does this rose clock tattoo symbolize true love?

Where a birth clock represents devotion to a new life, yours or someone else’s, a rose clock tattoo represents a care for a set moment in time where two lives intertwined. While tattoos are no longer “permanent” tattoos are painful to remove, meaning you shouldn’t jump into this type of tattoo quickly. Have a rose underbed with a clock on top set to a time that is significant to you as a couple. It could be the time you first met, when the credits rolled on the first movie you saw together, or the time you see repeatedly on the clock when you’re together. Typically these are the most feminine clock tattoos you can get, but they can be made as male clock tattoos as well.


Owl Clock Tattoo

This full back tattoo depicts a protective owl guarding a clock.

Owls represent wisdom as well as being both a protector and predator of the night. As such, an owl clock tattoo can serve as a protector in the passage into night or, more generally, of the time we have left. As a crafty flourish, consider having the face of the clock hidden, highlighting the back instead. This perfectly symbolizes protection from the unknown dangers of the passing of time.


Eye Clock Tattoo

This eye clock tattoo symbolizes a person's desire to commit to not smoking.

All eyes on you! Even images of eyes on a sign are known to change behavior. What could be more effective at signifying a dedication to change than putting them on your body? Eye clock tattoos can be a clock showing a favored time (such as the moment you finished your last drink) with eyes featured overhead or be more elaborate, showing an eyeball with the hands and numbers of a clock covering its surface. In any event, an eye clock tattoo means a person is ready to face accountability and everlasting change after a significant event.



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