# Which came first, spacetime or clocks?

Emergent quantum mechanics seeks a deeper level theory, anticipating that such a theory will provide a clearer picture of the relation between the quantum and classical worlds. In this work we show that the quantum-classical divide is a manifestation of the transition from Newton’s absolute time to relativity’s path-dependent time. The prior theory in this case is that particles are intrinsic clocks. The emergence of separate classical and quantum behaviour is seen by considering different continuum limits in a single digital clock model. A continuum limit that constructs a continuous worldline provides a simple basis for Minkowski spacetime. An alternative limit in which the clock itself contains boost information leads to the Dirac equation.