The creation of networks of shell-based chronologies which can provide regionally extensive highresolution proxies for the marine environment depends on the spatial extent of the common environmental signal preserved in the shell banding and on the reliability of the dating model. Here Arctica islandica chronologies from five neighboring sites in the North Sea are compared, and the strength of the common environmental signal across distances up to 80 km is analyzed using statistical techniques derived from dendrochronology. The signal is found to be coherent across these distances. In a linked study, chronologies based on one of the same sites but constructed by two different research teams are compared. Methodological differences in increment interpretation are found to lead to slippage in the dating models. Systematic inclusion or exclusion of intermittently occurring increments results in the two chronologies becoming misaligned by 4 years over a 70-year period. Comparisons with neighboring chronologies indicate that such increments can generally be regarded as genuine annual increments even if they are not visible in all shells.