The Wandel Sea basin in eastern North Greenland is the least known of the onshore depositional centers associated with the formation of the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans. Whereas the main features of Svalbard and the Sverdrup basin have been known for many years, it has only recently been possible to investigate the Wandel Sea basin in any detail. In the course of recent investigations, the concept of a classic "bull's eye" type of accumulation in North Greenland has become increasingly difficult to maintain. This paper presents an alternative model involving a complex series of events with an overall change from elongate rift basins to a strike-slip-dominated structural belt. Individual events in this development provide evidence of early steps in the extended processes leading up to ocean formation.