The majority of us don’t wear watches anymore let alone pocket watches. The pocket watch’s necessity—once as practical as it was decorative— hasn’t fared well through the last two rounds of evolutionary cuts. The invention of the wrist watch followed by that of the cell phone pushed the pocket watch deep into the decorative category. But the pocket watch still exudes a level of style and decadence that once even inspired its own pocket and still manages to inspire countless tattoos each and every day. Here are some of the best.
This beautiful bee.
This vintage pocket watch is about as realistic as it gets. A small bee and a black butterfly add a bit of a naturalistic vibe to the work. (Photo: Niki Norberg)
This colorful open-faced work.
Basically there are two different types of pocket watches. Open-face (those without a case) and hunter-case (those with a case). (Photo: David Mushaney)
Gears of various shapes and sizes fill the background of this black and grey ink work. The watch itself is extraordinary crisp and clear with a gorgeous reflective white ink accent. (Photo: James Donovan)
This cracked dial.
Tattoo artist or director of photography? This open-faced pocket watch tattoo has an amazing natural-lit appearance to it that looks as if it’s sitting under the midday sun. (Photo: Phil Garcia)
This fantastic hyperrealism work.
Deep in the shadows lurks this elegant roman numeral pocket watch. Alex is one of the best in the biz when it’s comes to hyperrealism tattoos and this timepiece is a prime example of his unique talent. (Photo: Alex Bruz)
This melting pocket watch.
This watercolor work.
Here we have a shiny silver pocket watch tattoo done in the watercolor style. (Photo: Tim’s Craft)
This stellar reflection.
From the drops of dew on the petals of the rose to the mirror-like reflection in the case, this black and grey ink forearm composition is nothing short of spectacular. (Photo: Emilio Winter)
These roman numerals.
Still a little red, this piece displays the inner complex workings of a pocket watch. (Photo: Rory)
This black and grey ink open-faced pocket watch.
Here we have an antique pocket watch tattoo that any vintage collector would surely appreciate. (Photo: Ian Miller)
This gorgeous gold case.
Shards of shattered glass slightly magnify the surrounding work. New school meets neo traditional. (Photo: Michelle Maddison)