Broken Clock Tattoo Meaning and All Types

Broken Clock Tattoo Meaning and All Types

The broken tattoo meanings of clocks are deeply rooted in time, and they symbolize the dreams, goals, and achievements we have between birth and death.

Throughout his lifetime, a man is said to spend most of his time at work. Time measurement has a significant impact on our lives for many reasons.

Clock tattoos represent unique ideas, which can be understood through their supporting imagery. Broken clock tattoo meaning designs can be both life and death symbols for some people.

The passing of time never ceases, but you can always count on it catching up with you.

Those who don’t have anyone else to answer to may prefer clocks that are broken, melting, or without hands.

No matter what device on the skin has been created, whether it is a sundial, hourglass, grandfather clock, or old pocket watch, these devices represent the fleeting nature of time, specifically the important and precious time in man’s life.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to clock tattoo symbols you can use on yourself.

Traditional broken clock tattoo meaning Symbolism

1.Clock and Skull Tattoo Meanings

The ultimate representations of our own mortality, skulls have been common elements in tattoos for decades, and they still hold plenty of symbolic weight. 

With so many types of tattoo styles available, skulls are great for both flowing forearm tattoos and grim reaper sleeve tattoos. When combined with an arm tattoo, they gain symbolic meaning. 

The clock is ticking, and each person has a limited amount of time left on earth. A clock and skull tattoo lets everyone know you’re fully aware of your limited time on this earth.  

2. Cogs Within Clocks Tattoo Art

At the heart of a timepiece lay the cogs, wheels, and springs that allowed for accuracy and longevity. 

In tattoos, exposing the cogs of a clock or watch can portray the wearer’s complex emotions and psyche, hidden beneath the watch’s face. 

For tattoo lovers who recognize the symbolism behind what lies beneath the surface, these timepieces are truly stunning in terms of craftsmanship, and their inner workings are equally fascinating.

3. Eye and Clock Tattoo Meanings

Eye and clock tattoos often symbolize time, truth, and life and death elements combined with a variety of meanings.

Tattoo designs based on eyes symbolize truth, protection, and guidance, whereas clock tattoo ideas symbolize time and march towards the finish line.

A realistic or geometric eye and stylized 3D tattoo are often combined in eye and clock tattoos.

4. Clock Face Tattoo Meanings

Clocks started as simple tools to tell time and quickly evolved into intricate works of art and technology. 

The traditional clock timepiece was the pinnacle of engineering before the advent of the glowing wall clock and the digital revolution.

Prior to the development of digital technology, constructing accurate timepieces (or grandfather clocks) required extraordinary precision and complexity.

The attention to detail that went into these timepieces didn’t stop at functionality. 

Tattoo artists who are die-hard tattoo enthusiasts are increasingly taking note of the artistic aspect of clocks and watches.

5. Hourglass Tattoo Symbolism

Clocks, the ouroboros, and the infinity symbol. Despite the disparity in their representation of the mystical nature of time, no image is more instantly recognizable, and therefore more closely associated with time, than the hourglass. 

The only way a man could measure time before these devices were through observing the natural world around him (and ultimately from the hourglass came the clock).

In the same way, that sand grains pass from one glass bulb to the next, so do our lives, from the past to the future. This is from our fronts to our backs.

In hourglass tattoos with wings, the concept of transitory time underscores the unrecoverability of lost time and the transience of this plane.

6. Pocket Watch Tattoo Meanings

Traditionally, bespoke gentlemen carried and displayed old pocket watches as functional jewelry as symbols of wealth and luxury.

There are still a few men who wear these fascinating chronographs to tell the time today, but they remain a reminder of a time when luxury was the order of the day.

Body art can also be enhance with pocket watches, as they allow for incorporating 3D tattoo detail and deeper symbolic meaning, as well as the use of cool Roman numeral effects.

Different broken clock tattoo meaning: Time Is a Human Construct

1. Broken Clock Tattoo Meanings

Perhaps the most symbolically powerful of all the different timepieces we’ve examined, the broken clock holds the deepest meaning. 

An unbroken clock symbolizes the wearer’s disregard for the finite nature of existence if clocks represent man’s understanding of his finite nature.

These tattoos demonstrate the way the wearer lives in the moment, valuing experience and casting the importance of measuring time to the wayside.  

2. Salvador Dali Melting Clock Designs

While seconds will always tick on, how they are used is far more important than whether or not seconds tick on.

Several types of tattoo enthusiasts have been captivated by Salvador Dali’s melting clock.

As he sneers in the face of the rigidities of time, he displays a brave rebellion against existing under traditional rules for how and when things should be done.

Melting clocks are inke on the body to remind people not to let imaginary deadlines get in the way, either to themselves or others. Their message is that dreams never expire. No one is actually keeping time, even if it may seem that way.

Secondary broken clock tattoo meaning ideas and Design

1. Realistic Clock Tattoo Art

A realistic clock tattoo is a striking choice that calls immediate attention to itself and leaves a distinct impression on all who view it. 

As either the main imagery in a complex tattoo idea or as a supporting secondary image, a realistic Broken Clock Tattoo Meaning grabs our attention with attention to detail.

Wearers and viewers are provided with a visual loop that conveys the concept of time in relation to them, and/or the tattooed piece itself.

2. Big Ben Tattoo Designs

People looking for British symbolism or a grandpa clock tattoo often choose Big Ben as their tattoo design.

We are reminded of the beauty of creation and the faithfulness of time by the grandiose architecture and time-honored tradition of the bell ringing.

There is something magnificent about this piece of history. As beautiful and bold as the structure is, it can be use to create realistic grandfather Broken Clock Tattoo Meaning art as a backdrop for a busy city like London.

Ink-drawn details highlight the intense work that went into designing Big Ben, while also reminding us to cherish the passage of time and appreciate the world around us.

3. Artistic Clock Tattoo Ideas

Observing the outside world and recreating it creatively is one of the most profound aspects of human experience.

Abstract art offers both the means of creating and interpreting complex ideas, which is what sets us apart from animals.

It is easy to see how this artistic approach can lead to deeply meaningful art if one looks at Dali’s iconic melting clocks in The Persistence of Memory to see the creative potential for an abstract interpretation of clocks. 

4. Clocks and Geographic Tattoo Art

While clocks are man’s attempt at interpreting time, the work of geography and cartography is his effort to understand the physical world. 

Incorporating these two different disciplines into one design can create beautiful tattoos that represent the wearer’s quest for knowledge and understanding in this often chaotic world. 

Whether full color or black and gray, clocks and maps make for excellent, complementary design elements. 

5. Compass and Clock Tattoo Meanings

Compass and clock tattoos combine to represent time in your life (clock) and direction in your life (compass), to remind you that time is limited and you need to explore in every direction possible until that time runs out. 

Clocks are man’s attempts to interpret time, but maps and geographical instruments are man’s efforts to understand the physical world as well.

An ink tattoo that combines these symbols can represent the wearer’s lifelong journey to learn and understand.

6. Traditional Clock and Rose Tattoo Symbolism

Roses are a classic body art element. These beautiful flowers must be tattooed on people’s bodies by every tattoo artist.

To illustrate the relationship between beauty and time, rose tattoos are often depicted with a traditional clock.

Due to their variety of colors and depictions, rose tattoos can create layers of meaning thanks to their association with romantic love and fidelity.

Depending on the tattoo artist’s skill, they can either be incorporated into the primary design of the tattoo or used to make a secondary design that’s more symbolic.


Among the many designs available when it comes to clock tattoos (and their old-fashioned counterparts, the hourglass tattoo), any man can choose from. We have many options for expressing the time, and how we operate within the construct before our lives end, ranging from the simple sundial or hourglass to the ultra-complex pocket watch.


Why do so many people have clock tattoos?

Time symbols have always been popular in art as reminders of life’s passing and the inevitability of death. Hourglass tattoos have been a simple depiction of this for many years. There has been a long tradition of symbolism within prison tattoos depicting clocks and watches with no hands.

What is the quote about a broken clock?

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

What does a broken clock represent?

No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop the time by breaking the clock. If only it was that easy. You shouldn’t spend time trying to stop it. Instead, embrace it. In the midst of that struggle, this broken clock will remind you of the importance of time as well as its fleeing character.

What can you add to a clock tattoo?

Your birth clock tattoo idea can include a variety of elements. Your body will look beautiful with hearts, roses, hands, dates, names, or eyes.