The sad truth about the vast majority of the wrist-worn and button compasses on the market right now is that they are junk. They are typically low quality and lack the features needed to be anything but a last ditch backup. That is why I was so excited when I came across the upcoming NavELite which seems to have the potential to be a standout wrist-worn compass.
The NavELite looks a lot like a watch at first glance. It even features backlighting like many digital watches. The bezel is large and looks easy to read. It has redundant low light systems (NV friendly EL backlighting and luminous paint). The liquid filled compass module rotates so you can set an azimuth. The needle dampens quickly and rides on a jewel bearing. I am glad to see a needle because many small compasses use a platter which renders them nearly useless if even a small bubble forms. These features read more like the spec sheet for a serious hiking compass.
The NavELite is not yet on the market but, on paper, it looks like a tremendous compass and they are accepting pre-orders. Check out NavELite.com.